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Location: New England, United States

Friday, October 14, 2005

Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em . . . don't want to kill 'em

Computers, that is.

The last couple of weeks I've been nursing along good old Charlie, my laptop. At first I thought the screen was going--it wouldn't display, though I could tell the computer was on. No problem, I figure--we've got an old monitor tucked away in the attic with a bunch of other computer components we no longer need. I could use it if I have to. It would be a pain in the patooty to be tethered to a desk (kind of defeats the purpose of a laptop . . . :-(), but I could deal with it. I really haven't been planning to replace Charlie anytime soon; I upgraded some things about 18 months ago, bringing the machine more up to speed (literally!), and hoped that would last me for quite a bit longer.

But no--technical difficulties come along. Always some kind of new challenge.

Anyway, just to see if the screen was the problem, I connected Charlie to the monitor of our desktop computer--the newer one, the _family_ computer. I've used it on occasion (like when Charlie's keyboard suddenly stopped working, right in the middle of doing revisions--ack), but it's not my cuppa, by any stretch of the imagination (I managed to fix the keyboard problem, btw. I'm not afraid to do minor surgery on Charlie when necessary). Got the display to come up on the monitor. Must be the problem, right?


After a few hours of Charlie resting while I was at critique group, I returned to find I could get no display to appear on the monitor, either. Major bummer, but not quite panic mode yet. I took apart Charlie, cleaned, tightened screws, made certain all the cables were properly connected. Voila--we're in business again! And the screen on the laptop works, too :-)

I shouldn't have been so excited. The past two weeks I've been nursing Charlie along, taking him apart way too often, fighting to get him to function. It seems the only way to get him to work is to take some part apart (the hinge for the cover/display seems to be the best bet), but it's a battle every time I turn the machine on. Leaving him on doesn't solve the problem, either--inevitably there will be an error message I can't get rid of, and I have to start all over again.

Maybe he's trying to tell me something. Maybe he's tired (I can understand that--there are a lot of miles on the old fella). We've been through a lot together, and I'd hate to see him go (not to mention the pain of transferring everything over to a new machine), and I'd hate to switch to using the family machine.

I'll admit it--I've been checking out new Charlies on the Web. There are some good deals out there, and I'm flexible enough to switch to newer versions of programs and operating systems (that's the sound of my DH laughing in the background. Just ignore him :-)). But do I want to go that route? Spend all that $$?

I don't think I'm going to have a choice . . .


Blogger Sharon Schulze said...

So far, so good . . .

An update on Charlie--he's hanging in there so far (fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc.)! As long as I don't shut him off, we're ok (and when I have to, we do a little finagling).

Now to finish up my Author's Alterations--another way of saying "ok, let's read through my upcoming book one more time ." Good thing I like these characters.

8:31 AM  

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