Saturday, October 18, 2014

Farewell to the old laptop

Back in 2008, I was a graduate student and completed my degree through distance education. It was the first year in which our chats went from an instant-messaging, text-only discussion to an online video format. 

I had a Mac mini at the time that was one of the earlier models, which could not handle streaming video. So, I was one of the lucky ones who didn't have to turn on the video camera, but could simply participate through the voice chat.

Eventually, for one of my courses, I needed to run software that was Windows-specific. I couldn't run it on a virtual machine on my Mac mini. I caved and bought a laptop that was on sale at Staples.

Well, this laptop finally died on me last week. I ended up with a system error. I didn't even get a glorious blue screen of death. I just kept looking at my black screen of horror.

Okay, it wasn't really a horror. It was more like an inconvenience. I was at a crossroads. Should I attempt to salvage all data on my hard drive and throw out the laptop, or should I save it by getting a new hard drive and reinstalling Windows?

I opted with the former. These days, I can get a faster, more powerful laptop than spending hours trying to fix old technology.

I am not your average technical writing gal. My undergraduate degree was computer science, which was my major. I had friends during those days call me a techie because I fiddled with my computers over the years. I swapped out and upgraded hard disks. I changed sound cards and CD-ROM drives. I upgraded motherboards and added more RAM. 

To this day, I still like doing all these things, but I haven't needed to do it because I became a Mac user at home. I am lucky that I haven't had any issues with it. At work, I have a Windows-based laptop and don't have the luxury of tearing it apart, whether I want to out of frustration or not!

So, last Saturday, I went to my local computer store. I walked through the main doors and was immediately greeted by a helpful male staff member.
"Can I help find something for you?"
"Yes, I'm looking for a hard drive enclosure," I stated.
"This way," he replied, leading me over to the proper aisle. "Computer or laptop?"
"Laptop," I replied. "I need a 2.5" enclosure."
I go to this store because I am not treated like a woman who knows nothing about computers. I get that often. However, after talking to me for a bit, you can tell that I know a decent amount to get by.

He was helpful. I bought my new enclosure, went home, took my laptop apart, and seated my laptop hard drive into the enclosure. I now have a new external hard disk drive with a USB 3.0 connection. All my files are there.

So, my next debate is whether I truly need a replacement laptop. I could use my work laptop, but there is so much encryption on it that it's just sluggish to do fun stuff on it. Fortunately, I am not under any pressure.

After I was done with graduate school, I bought a new Mac mini. It is my main computer at home ever since. The majority of my blog post are written from it and I have yet to complain about its performance.

I will miss my old laptop. My guy and I have spent many fine times talking on Skype. Lately, we both noticed that when I was using Skype on this laptop now and again that the connection would drop because Skype would hang. I do have fond memories of my conversations with him using this laptop. I should stick to using Skype from my phone or my tablet.


  1. You are a geeky girl. You have feelings for your laptop. OK. Maybe you can put it somewhere in a showcase in your house. With a picture of your guy taped on it. And a sign: In fond memory of all Skype conversations. Come on, girl. Be a woman. Buy a new one. A shiny wonderful new one you will have tons of nice conversations on.

    Sorry, but big smile,
    Can't help it,
    Would really like to feel sorry for you,
    But cannot somehow,
    Sure it's my fault,
    Love the geeky post though,
    A store with woman friendly personnel,
    Who wouldn't shop there,

    Big smile,

    1. Such a sweet set of comments there, Han. I don't have an issue with parting with my old laptop. I tend to be a reflective geeky girl who remembers all gadgets and such that I have owned in my life. So, this laptop isn't any different. It's now I question of whether I want to dump it off at an electronics recycling depot or if I donate it to a charity.

      Yes, I'd like to get a new laptop. Maybe I can get my guy to buy me one. =)

  2. Mac vs PC...the never-ending battle! LOL...good and bad points for both. Sorry your laptop gave up the ghost but happy you were able create your external hard drive so you still have your data. I have two external hard drives (business and personal) so that if either computer crashes, I have all my data.

    Hugs and Blessings...

    1. Yep, the debate between getting a Mac or a Windows-based computer is always there. I'd like to get a Macbook Air, but they are always more expensive. Still, it's a good investment.

      I am glad that I salvaged my data from my laptop. My Mac mini has a backup of my files, but the laptop that died didn't. There were perhaps a handful of documents that I needed. Still, I should make sure that my new laptop also gets backed up the same way like you do with yours. =)