Monday, November 24, 2008

Tired of my curse

So, I lost about 7k words that I'd written on my Asus. The file is gone, replaced with some nonsensical gibberish. I had emailed it to myself, same nonsensical gibberish, so I had to go back to an earlier save. Hence the loss of all those words. I am really tired of my curse. My curse is that computers and everything associated with them are out to get me.

Seriously. Here's a short list of how my history with computers has gone:

First laptop. Worked great for four years. Never a problem.

Second laptop, the company had to ship it 3 times because 2 got stolen out of the mail. The printer they shipped, they had to ship twice because the shipper (they changed shippers twice just for me) lost it. I took the laptop to the police and they glued a barcode on it, making it harder to steal. 6 months later, the computer died and I learned that the barcode is glued over the screw to access the harddrive. I had to get the police to pry it off, so I had a tattoo on my computer that said "Stolen", and this two days before I was set to fly home. The computer was non-functional for three weeks, while I was in my 3rd year of law school. The company kept asking me to do ineffective things like replace the RAM, then sent me a refurbished piece of garbage that made a loud grinding noise when turned on as a "replacement". My father had to eventually call them, and this is what steams me the most. They were fine jerking me around, but a deep male voice talked them into giving me a brand new computer. That computer worked okay for three years, another calm period in my computing life (while my work computer kept refusing to boot up unless a sysadmin was in the room - of course they thought I was just completely incompetent).

When the laptop died, I then inherited a laptop from my husband, which he'd been using for his thesis, and had therefore been put through it's paces. No sooner did I inherit it, though, than it's hard-drive controller spontaneously failed. Best Buy's Geek Squad refused to honor its warrenty, insisting it's software problems. I took the computer in to them five times, and they reinstalled the OS five times, insisting this would fix it (I do know how to reinstall an OS on my own, tyvm.) One of the times, the computer was already not working again by the time they tried to give it back to me. All my business with Best Buy is now done through their Santa Fe location, which honored the warranty at their own cost since the Geek Squad refused - even with Geek Squad employees agreeing with me that the problem was hardware and the computer was a lemon. Five visits to the Geek Squad took more than seven months.

My husband, in order to get me a computer to last for those months, tried to build me one out of parts he's used before. He had more trouble getting it to work than he's ever had. Finally he managed to get the OS installing, and the power went out in the house, crashing and damaging the hard drive. My husband had taken a long weekend to help me, and by the end of it was neurotic with frustration. He'd never had such a hard time with electronics in his life. He's an MIT grad who often builds his own systems.

So I ordered a new computer online. A desktop, which is supposed to be more stable than a laptop. The desktop worked for one year - the length of the warranty - then went on the fritz. It appeared to be overheating, and we tried everything. Finally, the only way to get it to run was to blast a fan right into it while it was on. My husband has ordered many machines from this company, including ones for his job, and never had a problem like this.

To replace it, I dug into my earnings as a lawyer and bought an Alienware, for two reasons: 1) gaming systems have to be the most robust of any system, almost and 2) I've never done business with them so they won't see my horrific track record and think that I type with a sledgehammer and use the CD drive as a coffee holder (hot chocolate holder, whatever). That computer has lasted two whole years!!!! If it can make it another, it'll be the cheapest computer per year that I've ever had. And so yes, this is why I blog from a Ridiculously Overpowered Alienware. This thing better keep working. It's freakin' water cooled.

A couple months ago, my replacement laptop from Best Buy died. My husband let me have his Asus to replace it and we get a better ultramobile for him. Asuses have no moving parts, no hard drive, it's all solid state. They also run Linux, not Mircrosoft. Can I break one? Apparently. I write my novel on it, emailing it to myself daily, and now have lost the entire file for no apparent reason. Thank goodness I'm used to backing up my work. Oh, and the Alienware, for no reason we can discern, kills our wireless every time it comes on. Whether it's on the net or not. We don't get it, and we're too tired to figure out how to fix it. Actually, it only kills the wireless for my Asus. Trevor's Acer can still surf the web.

This week I'll need the ultramobile because I'll be away from home a lot, what with the holidays. I am so sick of this curse! I spend more money on electronics than many geeks I know, and all I do is word process!!!! I love my husband too much to ask to use his ultramobile. I bet I could kill it....


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  2. Chris has the same problem with desktop systems. And online games. He perpetually rolls single digits out of 100. I don't get it.

    Have you tried writing with google docs? I've been working on it for the last week and I haven't had any problems yet.

  3. I am thinking of switching over to Google docs or a similar service. I've had some compatibility issues with Google and Mozilla. Do you know anything about that?

    But yes, I'm going to do a bunch more changes to how I back things up. Tell Chris I feel his pain!