Sunday, October 16, 2011

Death of a Laptop

This isn't the first time this has happened to me, but it is still painful every time. My dear, beloved laptop appears to be on her deathbed.

A few years ago, her predecessor came to an unpleasant end when a tree outside our home was hit by lightning. The electrical charge traveled down the tree, and to the wire electric fence that surrounds our pastures (an effort to keep goats in, and coyotes out.) Apparently, it was quite a spark. When it reached the wooden post at our gate, it caused it to ignite. We weren't home at the time, but by some crazy stroke of luck, a neighbor happened to drive by and her son noticed our fence post smoking. She put it out with the water bottles she found in her families car. I love my neighbors.

The tree and the fence post were goners, and tragically, so were a number of electrical things that were plugged in at our house. This included our telephones, answering machine, and two computers, one of which was my former dear laptop.

Thankfully, a friend was able to retrieve the pictures and data on the computer, and I started over with my new baby. Like a lot of computers, my current laptop has always had a few quirks, but overall, I love the thing. I can't believe how addicted I am to spending time with her. The fact that she allows me to work in bed has added hours to my productivity. She affords me privacy, mobility and flexibility with my insomniac, night owl tendencies. Now, she appears to be dying, and I am crushed.

The signs have been there for a while. The fan humming at a pace that seems like it could start its own fire, and the heat coming from her- I should have known. But, the other day when I went to start her, she wouldn't cooperate. I got a blank screen with a tiny flashing cursor, which eventually (like after 5 minutes) said "operating system not found." I'm no techie, but that sounds bad.

So, I decided to restart a bazillion times. I googled possible solutions on my other computer, and attempted pushing assorted F keys while rebooting. My husband thought I was mumbling about F-ing keys, but I was referring to the actual F keys, like F2, F10 etc. Anyway, I managed to start her a few times and saved my pictures and documents, and was hopeful that all wold be OK, but I am back to the blank screen and my attempts at F keys caused her to beep loudly at me, alarm clock style. That really doesn't seem good.

It looks like I'll be taking her to a computer guy, and hoping for a favorable diagnosis. What will I do if she's dead? Yes, we have a "family computer" in a central location that I can use, but the fact that there are people all around is not all that conducive to writing for me. I like to write by myself and at odd hours. My bed is my favorite office with the front porch being a close second. My creative flow is stunted when people are milling about looking over my shoulder, and I can't be clicking away in the middle of the night out here keeping everyone awake. This is very scary indeed.

I just started my online writing class, and I just finished sewing 8 new hats that I wanted to list on Etsy, so I'll have to figure out something. If my writing here is scarce for a bit though, you'll know why.

Wish me luck.....