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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
>. 
14th-Dec-2012 10:42 am
Hearth
So, last night, my laptop died.

I am getting a lot of questions on Twitter about how exactly it died, and there's a long story because it died in at least two different ways, and we can't tell how many other ways it died because one of the ways is the screen. We did a blind TimeMachine backup. I haven't lost any of my writing (back up your stuff religiously, guys!), but I did lose a completely copyedited manuscript and some other important things. Unless they're not really lost. Which I won't know til we can hook TimeMachine up to a working computer. LET'S HOPE.

I have had offers of loaner junker computers, but y'all, for all of 2012 I have been limping along on near-death junkers. The last computer that was actually mine can no longer run any program for more than ten minutes without the spinny wheel of doom. I keep getting shuffled from piece of crap to piece of crap. On the most recent one, I had battery life of 30-45 minutes and not enough space for any music.

Judah set me up with a kludged-together rig from his stuff: a Mac Mini, a keyboard I have to hold down with one hand so it doesn't jump off the desk with every keystroke, and a monitor on which everything appears out of focus. Massive eyestrain within the first five minutes. This is only here so I can make Arisia corrections (the Arisia system, Zambia, doesn't work on iPads) and pay our bills (which we keep track of online).

We've bitten the bullet and gotten an Apple line of credit to get me an actually new computer. We have no idea how much it'll cost us per month, but we had no choice. I have a stack of dead laptops in my office right now and the thought of adding to that stack at the rate I've been doing so sends me right into meltdown mode.

I can't work without a computer. I can't write, and I can't do the copyediting work that pays me, either.

I can't *afford* a new computer.

I have no choice, though.

*sigh*

In addition, Victoria has a large hard bump on her head. We think it's probably a cyst and probably harmless, but that's still probably $200 just to get it looked at, never mind tests. We're doing Elayna's college applications this weekend, too, and that's money. She needs to pay her class dues, which she knew about in freshman year but somehow failed to ever tell us. We need to pay another $100 toward her band's trip to New York.

I honestly have no idea exactly how bad things are right now, because there are umpty-million things money needs to go to. So I'm going to sit down and pay bills and try to get a better idea.

So this is to say that I will not be online very much until Wednesday, when the new computer gets here, and also that I hate not being able to have a day job because it would be really nice to not be financially terrified all the time.
Comments 
14th-Dec-2012 03:47 pm (UTC) - I have a computer or 2 ...
I have a couple of Lenovo thinkpads that are a bit older but in good shape. They belonged to Aries.

I know that one of them has been completely cleaned and reinstalled OS. It is an XP machine and probably needs SP3 installed on it.

Let me know if you are interested.

Best,
me
20th-Dec-2012 03:15 am (UTC) - Re: I have a computer or 2 ...
What are the specs on those Thinkpads? I might know someone who needs a computer.
20th-Dec-2012 03:48 am (UTC) - Re: I have a computer or 2 ...
They are both T61p. I do not know what RAM and CPU are, I would have to boot them up.

(Deleted comment)
14th-Dec-2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
If it helps any, I got a refurbished MacBook Air a few months ago (when my 2007 MacBook started not-working in new and interesting ways, like deciding that the USB slots weren't there). I've had few problems with it, and getting a decent refurb model saved me 20% over a brand new one with equivalent specs (except a 0.1 GHz processor speed difference). It came with the free upgrade to Mountain Lion (which is quite a jump from 10.5 Leopard, which I was using before!)

I hope the kitty-bump is something self-limiting.
14th-Dec-2012 05:17 pm (UTC)
Secretly, clock speed doesn't matter at all anymore, except for gaming, and even then, instructions per cycle (IPC) is way more important.
14th-Dec-2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
I honestly don't know if I could tell the difference between 1.5 and 1.6 GHz under any conceivable circumstances. So I said a resounding "meh" and bought the older 1.5GHz model. For $200 less.

(I love my Air, it is tiny and cute and light and trackpad scrolling and whee. No optical drive, but there are other computers in the house with DVD drives, and Mountain Lion will let me remotely mount them (presumably if the sharing settings are right).)
15th-Dec-2012 03:24 am (UTC)
Check apple for refurbished stuff. Cheaper and they give the same warranty as new. And we've done the apple credit thing before, too, it wasn't too bad per month.
15th-Dec-2012 06:21 am (UTC)
Not that it excuses the not bringing it up in the last few months, but I vaguely recall you guys mentioning something about a chunk of money for class dues but that it wasn't actually due THEN or even that year at all. This is separate from Adam's expressed frustrations regarding notice on payment due for a school (band? theater?) trip last year. (I think that was last year.) But the class thing was at least two years ago. So.. at least she didn't TOTALLY flake on you about it?

It's also possible I'm having an odd reality out of correct linear order moment, but I'm almost certain it was mentioned because there was a bit of "gyah, NOW money for what?" followed by "Oh, not requiring it quite so stupidly far in advance, ok." And then it was eaten by chaos.
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