Mar 12 2016

It had to happen sometime…


Yeah, my computer died.

It’s been limping along for a while now.   It’s an old Dell Studio 15 (they don’t make ’em anymore), and it’s  been going  bluescreen restart-me periodically for  the last couple of years, so it’s not like I had no warning.   The screen regularly goes all scrambled, which I’ve diagnosed as a dying video card, and there are some dead arrow-keys.   It’s a laptop, but I’ve mainly used it as a desktop, attached to a 23-inch monitor and ergonomic keyboard, so the dead keys didn’t present that much of a problem.

Until it stopped working altogether, of course.

I’ve had an HP SimpleSave terabyte automatic backup hooked up for ages now.  Which meant that  I didn’t lose any actual work…

Still, I lost a day of my time!  A day for which I had many plans!  All of which included writing, and none of which included fussing around with a computer to determine if it really wasn’t going to come back this time.   Nor did those plans include going online at the Dell site (using my iPad,), and spending hours waffling between options.

Luckily, since I knew this day was coming, I had already done tons of research.  I had  narrowed my choices down to a) an excellent, super-light laptop with lots of power and a great screen, or b) a small but lively desktop for which I already possessed a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Really wanted the laptop.  Went with the desktop.

Because I needed to be up and running as quickly as possible, as economically as possible.  And I have another little laptop (oh-so-crappy but perfectly usable) that I  drag around when I travel.

And Dell had a sale going on, how nice of them!

And then.. my computer came back to life.  But really, it must go.  Just as well I made the purchase.

I think that in September I’ll review my status, and see if I can swing the fancier laptop.   But right now, economy rules.

In other news:

I’ve seen two total eclipses: one in February 1979 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the other in August  of 1999, viewed from the deck of an old cruise ship in the middle of the Black Sea.  Both were astonishing, moving experiences, and I’d hoped to possibly get to see the one on March 8 this year, too.  But getting to the location was just too expensive this time.  (For the one in Winnipeg, I took a bus cross-country, and stayed at the YWCA.)

But this is a great video!  Alaska Airlines changed the departure time of their flight 870, so that the passengers could get to see the eclipse from the air.  (And they’re boasting about it, as well they might: here’s their blog post.)

And guess what?  Next year, there’s going to be a total eclipse visible from right here in the USA!

It’s going to be great.  I just have to make sure I’ll be back from Worldcon in Helsinki in time to see it.

Other other news: my office internet connection died.  It’s a cellular hotspot, through the Sprint network, which has had outages all over the country today.   Hoping it will come back tomorrow.  Meanwhile: good ol’ iPhone to the rescue.