Friday, March 11, 2011

A Death in the Family

My computer died last week and until I get my new one set up, I am using my laptop. I still don't know all that I lost on the dead computer. I guess I won't know until I need some file and realize it went down with the ship.

I had backed everything up about a year ago and I always back up my writing daily, so whatever I lost probably isn't that bad.

I have decided that this is the perfect time to clear out my writing room. It has gotten more and more congested with each new book. Let's just say there is a path through boxes of papers to my computer desk. I thought I would have the new computer set up by now, but cleaning out the room is more time consuming than I thought. What can I say, I keep reading over things and admiring treasures I'm finding buried in all the stuff. I found some money, too.

The computer that died was old by computer standards. So old, I can't remember when I got it. Not like the old days with typewriters. But then everything electronic is obsolete as you walk out of the store. I think of that every time I look at my clunky Kindle.

I admit that playing with an IPad in an Apple store was fun, but buy one? No way. I learned my lesson with the Kindle. Wait awhile. At least until they stop coming out with a new generation of it every few months.

I hope when I finally get my computer set up it has a long and useful life. I don't have to have the newest shiny toy in the electronic department. So, even when it's obsolete by other people's standards,I won't replace it until I have to. Though I'm definitely going take Terri's advice and get drop box. I'm also going to get some kind of automatic backup.

How do you feel about being sold devices that are outdated in a short time?


Dru said...

With electronic gadgets (e-readers, computers, netbooks, ipad), I wait 6 months before I consider making a purchase - that's mostly for them to get the bugs out. I want an iPad. The iPad2 just came out and now they're talking about the iPad3. So I'll wait another 6 months.

Good luck with your computer purchase.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I sympathize, Betty. Even though I back things up, too, I worry about losing something important. As far as new devices, it takes me a while to figure out what they are so I usually wind up waiting by default! But, yes, it's frustrating to realize they're obsolete practically as fast as you buy them.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Our computer whiz (he runs the server for my husband's store and does our websites) says that every hard drive will fail. It's just a matter of when. Scary thought. We're so dependent on these machines.

Monica Ferris said...

I believe I can make do with older models of electronic gadgets because my demands on them are limited. I have an old-fashioned cell phone because I don't want to take pictures with it or read my e-mail on it. My laptop computer is very out of date because pretty much all I do on it is e-mail, surf the 'Net, play some simple games, and word process. Oh, and watch old television shows once in awhile. I have an automatic backup system which has saved my keyster a number of times. Sometimes I feel like a luddite, but mostly I don't care.

Betty Hechtman said...

Dru, I'm with you about waiting. I learned the hard way with the Kindle. I wish I had waited as the ones out there now are so much less clumsy.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, I understand your worry. Even flash drives don't work well after awhile. It's like you have to back up your backup.

Betty Hechtman said...

Joanna, I'm sure the guy who works for you is right about hard drives. It's just that when they're working it's so easy to forget that someday they won't.

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, I'm with you about not needing the latest toy. Though I must admit it is nice to have a camera on my BlackBerry.

Planner said...

I do love electronic gadgets, but I pick and choose the ones that fit my lifestyle. I love my MP3 player, my Kindle, and my computer, but I haven't entered the world of smart phones or iPads and have no plans to. I don't upgrade my gadgets unless there's a compelling reason.

Although technology is changing at a dizzying pace and I can't possibly keep up, I marvel at all the new technology (there are a lot of smart people out there!). Sometimes, I do long for pre-computer days, but I wouldn't give my computer up if given a choice (at least not today).

I hope you enjoy your new computer, and I empathize about the death of your trusty computer friend. I'm sure you shared many good times together.

(Ironically, my computer locked up when I was leaving this comment. Do you think it knew that I was talking about it?)

Monica Ferris said...

Betty, I guess it's like any advance in technology. Your first reaction is amazement that anyone would want such a thing, then you can see a little of what makes it keen or useful, then (once you buy it) you wonder how you got along without it.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, I hope your computer unfroze.

I do not endlessly fiddle with my smart phone the way some people do, but it is nice to have access to my email and to be able to take pictures.

I have dearly loved my computers from the first one with a gray screen and ten megabits of memory. I am not a good typist, so the backspace and delete buttons are my best friends. So much better than liquid paper or that white out tape.

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, you are so right about wondering how we got along without gadgets. Or in my case freaking out when mine didn't work.

I was on a plane and the flight attendant insisted I completely turn off my BlackBerry. Previously, I had just turned off the phone connection. I figured out how to completely turn it off, but then realized I didn't know how to turn it back on. I started to panic when I realized I couldn't even call my son to ask him how to turn the phone back on.

I ended up figuring it out myself before I started asking for help from other people on plane.

Ellen said...

Never mind the obsolescence problems. Get thee to a computer store, buy an external drive case, and resurrect your dead computer's hard drive. (I have just that kind of hard drive sitting in my desk drawer. The useful stuff is out of it, but I'm hanging on Just In Case.)

You may have lost the computer, but your probably didn't lose the data.

Betty Hechtman said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Ellen. I will definitely look into it.