Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Update on computer issues

Good news: I've ordered a new computer which should arrive sometime on Friday.  It's a newer version of the exact same model as my old one, with the same OS, so it shouldn't take much getting used to.  It's also the same model as Odysseus's, so I ordered one that there will be no danger of confusing with his.

More good news: I managed to keep my laptop up and alive long enough to change the password to my blog, and Odysseus has made me a short-term loan of his laptop, so I can do a little bit here and there.  

Little bit more good news: I can get Office through my job at MSSU, so I should be okay once I get everything set up, and transferred over.

The last of the good news: it was a hundred dollars less than I was assuming it would be, and ordered with Amazon Prime, so there's no sales tax, and shipping is the free two day shipping.  In other words, I didn't need to spend near as much as I was afraid I would.

Bad news: the breaking-down laptop is resisting moving all of my data.  I've gotten some of the most vital moved, but nowhere near all.  Granted, I don't need all of it, and will likely winnow out old shit that isn't needed any longer once I manage to get it moved onto my new laptop.  Unfortunately, I lost something like four or five hundred words of my current project (tentative title: The Schrodinger Paradox) through what the dying laptop is doing. 

Worse news: what the old laptop is doing is randomly turning itself off.  Not shutting down and rebooting, powering off without warning.  The fan isn't broken, so what I think is wrong is a power supply that is in the process of dying.  It might be salvageable, but I am not confident in replacing a power supply, and there's a diagonal crack in the lower right hand corner of the laptop's screen's frame, going from about 1 cm above the bottom right hand corner of the screen to about an inch above the bottom corner of the screen, heading up and to the right. 

What I am planning on salvaging is the 4G memory chip (probably to go into Odysseus's machine) and the battery (if it fits). 

Otherwise, I'm not sure if I'll do anything but have the system wipe itself once I save the data I can, and trash the thing. 

It's a pity.  The laptop has given me four solid years of heavy use without much complaint, until yesterday morning when I had warnings that this issue was starting.

10 comments:

  1. External hard drives are your friend... Just sayin... And hope you salvage everything you need.

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    1. Got one, just need Odysseus to show me how to back computer up onto it. I mean, I'm not entirely sure what to even look for.

      I am a barely competent user on the few programs I use (Word, some Firefox surfing, Blogger, emails, parts of the class site platform, Wordpress, a few games...really not much else). Where things like that's concerned, I'm useless.

      Maybe I'll just hold my nose and do Carbonite, or something, and let my computer keep constantly backing up without my input.

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  2. Are you sure there's no sales tax if you have Amazon Prime? If so, I'm in.

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    1. Most internet sales aren't taxed unless they're done through a store in your home state, so no sales tax with Amazon, despite the continuing attempts to change that by various gov. entities. Any purchase over a certain dollar amount is free standard shipping (5-8 day), but Amazon Prime is free two day shipping. That, plus the movies, TV series, and music available for free streaming makes the $100/year worth it to us (a lot cheaper than cable), but your mileage may vary.

      It is awful nice to get new books in your mailbox within two days of ordering them, though. And very nice to not have to wait on new books until you've got a big enough order put together.

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  3. I need to get my daughter a laptop for homeschool. I'd be courious to know make and model if you would be willing to share.

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    1. I use an Acer Aspire. You can get them from netbooks (which I've had, and had little complaint with, are capable enough for students, but suck for much more than that) all the way up through the monsters designed as media machines. I've never had an unstable Acer until I've used the absolute hell out of it. Netbooks are a lot less expensive than the bigger laptops, and are easier to carry around, thanks to being only the size of a hardback novel or so, and about a pound or two. My netbooks tended to last about two years (I had two), but the laptop that has just died on me is about four years old.

      Really, it kinda depends on how much she'll be transporting it around with a load of huge books (i.e., back and forth to libraries) vs. how much capability you want it to have. If she's going to be using it only at home, it matters a lot less, and a 15.6" or larger has a nearly-full size keyboard, complete with separate ten-key number pad, which is a selling point. Especially if y'all are doing math on the Khan Academy site.

      The one that died had that, my husband ordered one for himself when he went back for his accounting degree, and the new one I've ordered for myself is just exactly the same, only a different color so we can tell his from mine.

      Sorry if this is a bit disconnected and rambling--I've not had coffee yet.

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    2. I've been keeping one Aspire alive since 2008. It had the hard drive die in 2011, so my wife told me to buy a new laptop, which was another Aspire that I'm typing on right now. The older one got a new hard drive and sent to be the "kid's computer" which they promptly destroyed the keyboard. So I fixed the keyboard, doubled the RAM, and installed a new battery, and it's still going although it is getting to be less than stable. 7 years of service is a lot to ask of a laptop.

      A friend of mine had an older Alienware (gently used) in the "microbook" size, which I purchased (gladly) but it was too small for me, and just right for the wife. So I purchased an HP refurb off of newegg.com (a former US Gov model, you can tell by the built in card reader) which will replace the one I'm currently using (two deployments to Afghanistan caused the case to crack around the trim ring). If I wasn't in the Army I would have gotten another Aspire, but having a built in card reader is just too handy.

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    3. I'm planning to see if replacing the internal power supply solves the problem, but I'm not really hopeful. If it does, I'll clear it and hand it over to the kids (4 and 6) for educational games.

      By built-in card reader, are you talking about like ID cards, or memory cards?

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  4. When the last laptop died suddenly I did a little online research and bought an adapter that allowed me to read the deceased laptop's hard drive as if it was simply a backup drive. All photos and documents were safely transferred.

    It was something like this, although you may have to research the type of connections.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812232002

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    1. Thanks for the info. Not sure if that would work with what's going on with the old laptop, but if another one dies in a different way, that could be really handy.

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