Love/Hate

Sometimes I love my laptop. Really. It’s little and pretty and I haven’t managed to spill anything on it in the nearly 10 months that I’ve owned it. When we got it, (it’s a Dell XPS), my mom was concerned about some issues regarding bad graphic cards on these models. This laptop was an emergency replacement when the evil IBM died, so the decision to purchase was made over less than a weekend. I said I’d keep it, we had a good warranty that would require the people I bought it from to keep replacing the graphic card for a couple of years gratis, or until they got sick of the expense and gave me something new. So, naturally, that was what I worried about. But I don’t do a lot of graphics-intensive things on here and 10 months in, we’re still good. No, hardware-ly speaking, this laptop has been great thus far. No keys flying off, no hinges failing, etc.

In June-ish, MSOffice decided to uninstall itself. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. Eventually, we convinced it to come back, and it’s not gone on vacation since. But I have all kinds of screwy things going on with my windows updater and I was never able to install service pack somethingoranother for Vista this past summer. Honestly, it doesn’t bug me *that* much. Do you know the 4 applications that I use on my laptop? Word, Firefox, iTunes, Y!Messenger. I don’t think I have a single game loaded onto this sucker. So if it comes to the point where we have to just take this thing and set it back to factory default it would probably solve a whole lot of stressy problems. Because I know fk-all about computers, I’m terrified of viruses. Fortunately, I do have a firewall, a secure network, an anti-virus program and windows defender -which I found a way to download updated definitions for directly since updater doesn’t like looking for updates anymore. My biggest fear is that I’ll lose my writing. But I’ve got it on a flash drive and I made a backup on CD last night, so I know that it’s mostly me looking for something to worry about and my computer illiteracy is a great focus for it. And now that November is over, even if my laptop was out of commission for any period of time, there are 2 other computers in the house.

What brought me to write this blog was that my laptop decided to BSOD on me about half an hour ago. Now, with the evil IBM, that sucker would BSOD if you looked at it funny, but this is the first time it’s happened on this one. Naturally, because I know nothing about laptops, it just makes me scowl and squint funny at it.

Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest. I was planning on doing some writing tonight, but now I’m sure I can stress about things I have no realistic way to fix, given I’ve no actual knowledge of anything. Hah! I am such a great procrastinator.

Also, I’m not really looking for advice if you want to comment. Telling me things I can do is actually more likely to set my worry-meter off than anything else. Commiserate. Tell me how much computers suck.

The only thing I console myself with? Unlike the old Dell, unlike the evil IBM, the *hardware* is still good. If I have to wipe it, I’ve still got a machine that turns on and does shit for me. As it’s been made perfectly clear to me that this was the very last one my parents will buy for me, that’s sort of an important reassurance until I’m employed.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Love/Hate

  1. krugka

    Computers do suck… last year during NaNo the space bar on my laptop decided to stick, so I pretty much had to deal with it being dumb since I was worried that if I tried to pry the space bar off to clean it I would break something. I ended up having to plug an old crappy keyboard into it for the last half of NaNo. I have a little netbook now though, which so far hasn’t given me any problems, although the smaller keyboard is hard to get used to at first.

    I have my desktop too that I could use but every time I start it up it tells me that there’s something wrong with the chip fan… so rather than trying to figure out how to fix it, I just don’t turn it on anymore so I don’t make it angry.

    Also… this is kind of along the lines of advice, but not computer fixing advice. I know you said that you have a CD and flash drive as backups for your novelly goodness. If you’re worried about losing things though, you could always get a dropbox account (www.dropbox.com). It’s free to sign up and you can store 2 gigs of stuff on their online server things. It’s cool because you can access it from any computer anytime as long as it’s on the internet. It’s where I keep my NaNo stuff because I know that no matter what happens to my computers or flash drives, it’s still on dropbox.

    • kateness

      thanks…I’m in the process of it syncing all of my files to their server. My whole writing file is only about 500mb, so I think I’m good on that front. I don’t think you can ever have too many backups!

  2. Joe

    Yeah, computers do suck. I’ve had two BSOD in the past month, including one during NaNo. Luckily I had backed up the night before. Doubly luckily I always seem to be able to get up and running after a BSOD with relative ease. But in all honesty one of the best things you can do after a BSOD is reinstall your OS. Most of the times it seems the cause of BSOD is a registry or DLL error and those can sometimes be hard to fix.

    ANYWAY, I know you said you’re not looking for advice, BUT I would ditch that God-awful Vista and either roll back to XP SP3, or move on to 7.

  3. anne

    gods, computers do suck. mine’s currently in the throws of a painful death, and i think it realizes that we’re not going to tolerate it much longer. (getting a new one at christmas, thank all the gods invented and not.) so, it thinks this gives it the right to go batshit crazy on me, which it is doing. today, its trick is that opening aim causes it to crash. that was fun. oh, and random restart for no apparent reason. (that one could be user error, though i don’t see how; the aim is not.) the mouse is going mad too, and my mousepad seems to have vanished.

    ooh, AND there are the error messages you get whenever you try to open a program. the ones that used to be banishable-by-anti-virus but are now just a permanent fixture. funfun.

    never had the ‘official’ BSOD, but had several other blue screens (actually, the same one several times.) it was so bad that last year (in november, of course) we couldn’t turn it on and had to send it off to shop, who kept it for two weeks, charged us much money, and told us to put in another memory card. seems to have worked, though recently we’ve gotten said same screen again. joy…

    but yeah. getting a new one at christmas. hope you can fix your issues without resorting to that again!

    –anne

  4. Kara

    You need to update this again i love reading what is going on in your life its so interesting and i am wondering what has happened to those novels 🙂

  5. Joe Union

    Yeah, what Kara said.

    I am wonderfully ignorant about computers. I turn it on, putter, and turn it off. Sort of like my car.

  6. Great idea, but will this work over the long run?

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