Posted by: Kerry Gans | August 7, 2014

Laptop Scramble

I am always surprised at how lost I feel when my computer is out of order. I can write on paper, of course, but I use my computer for so many other things. I have a massive To-Do list, which I have color-coded in Excel. I take many photos, which I edit on my computer. I have a dumbphone, so the only way I can get to email or social media is my computer. For someone who lived most of her childhood before the Internet and computers, I am amazed at how addictively plugged-in I have become.

Whether this plugged-in-ness is good or bad can be debated, but there is no doubt that a computer is a requirement of my job. I need it to do my publisher’s edits. I need it to collaborate with my web guru, currently updating my website/blog. I need it to upload manuscripts for self-publishing projects. I need it to submit short stories to markets, and query letters to agents. And of course I need it for the marketing necessity of building platform.

So when my laptop died last week, I felt cut off from the world.

I went away on vacation Monday, and by Tuesday the laptop was acting up. It would start to boot, then just power off before it even got to the splash screen. Multiple tries finally got it booted. I managed to get all my blog posts finished and posted before I closed down that night. Same scenario happened Wednesday—a few heart-stopping moments before it booted. Thankfully, it booted, since I got an email from my publisher. Thursday we headed home, and it booted right up when we got home. I wisely backed up the few things I had not already backed up, and shut it down.

That was the last time it ever booted up.

Diagnosis came on Friday: Fried motherboard. I am so thankful that I had begun to do weekly backups, so I didn’t lose anything!

But I still needed a new laptop asap.

Saturday I went shopping. I found one a laptop I really liked at Walmart—the same brand as my old one. But Walmart didn’t have the one I liked in stock—only on display. So I went to Best Buy. I found one that was close, but more than I wanted to spend. But after calling 3 other Walmarts which also didn’t have the model I wanted, I bought the Best Buy.

I talked to my parents soon after arriving home, and mentioned my disappointment in not having found the model I wanted. My mother suggested I call the Walmarts around them, and they could pick it up. So I did…and the third one had ONE computer left.

My wonderful parents, tired from the Billy Joel concert Saturday night, picked up my laptop (after a couple of minor snafus, of course) Sunday and made a special trip to bring it to me. So after a nice lunch with them, I spent the rest of the night setting everything up.

So far, so good. I am adjusting to the new keyboard and the new operating system. My biggest peeve so far is that the power cord is about 4 inches shorter than the old one and no longer reaches the most convenient plug for me. But if that is the worst of my problems, I will take it!

My old laptop lasted 7 years. So that means I should be good until 2021. 🙂

How technology-dependent are you? What’s your worst tech horror story, and how did you recover?

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