Monday, May 11, 2009


Computers. Bah.

I used to be very lucky with computers. My first laptop, a 1997 Toshiba brick, lasted me for four years, until it was stolen. Its replacement (which I count as the same computer, because the insurance paid for it) lasted me for six more years. In ten years, I only had to buy one computer. That's a pretty good track record.

At some point, Jeremy convinced me to put Linux on my laptop, and in spite of my initial frustrations, I eventually got used to it, and even came to like it. I'm not a typical Linux user, though, because I don't care about what's new and exciting. I just want a basic computer where I can find what I want, do what I want, and not have my computer freeze all the time. If there was something I wanted my computer to do that it didn't do, I would describe it to Jeremy, and he would eventually get my computer to do it for me. (Usually. Apparently, the things that I think are basic and simple are often ridiculously complicated.) That computer kicked the bucket about two years ago. I'd like to blame Linux, but really, I think Linux was its life support, dragging it out for several years of life past its natural lifespan. So I can't complain too much.

When we replaced that laptop, Jeremy was on a relatively short-lived mac kick. So, I got a refurbished iBook. It was great except for that little line on the screen, and the tendency for the screen to invert colors when it was at the wrong angle. But those little screen problems kept on getting worse until one day, it just went black. Poof. Display gone. In less than a year.

Apparently, you can't fix an iBook screen for anything like a reasonable price, so that was the end of that. I had Jer set up his extra desktop in the living room for me, but I really missed having the mobility of a laptop. I was given a hand-me-down ThinkPad (fourth-hand, I think?), which is great for 90% of what I do on a computer - email and reading blogs - but doesn't really have the speed for things like editing pictures and videos. But Jer liked having a desktop in the living room, anyhow, so the desktop stayed, and I use it for photos and videos, and do everything else on my laptop.

But then Jeremy, who is a typical Linux user, decided to install a new version of Linux on the desktop, even though the one it was running was perfectly fine. And the next time I tried to use it, the photo software crashed. And the time after that, and the time after that. I really wanted to post pictures from our trip to Virginia last month, but I couldn't get the photos to upload. And while it only takes a day to make Linux stop working correctly, apparently it takes a month to get it working correctly again. Or more.

So, I am trying to get Valerie's monthly letter written, but most of this month's photos are still on the camera. Fortunately, I have a spare memory card, so I'm still able to take pictures, but the prospect of sorting through them all just gets more and more daunting every day. I finally broke down and started uploading some of them to my laptop, but it's really testing its processor's limits. And my patience's.

Monthly letter coming soon. I hope.


Alana said...

I thought computers were supposed to make our lives easier. Lies! Lies!

benjiesluv said...

Benjie always wants to install Linux on everything and I always convince him otherwise. I let him install it on his own Desktop PC which now doesn't work due to a wonky Hard Drive (so he claims). He keeps wanting to put it on our PS3 and I always tell him No. My computer, he knows is off limits so he's stopped asking :P I hope that Jeremy can fix the desktop in less than a month. I enjoy reading the monthly letters and seeing pics.