Thursday, November 29, 2007

Laptop Mania and Vacation

These last week I have been on a “me” vacation where I chose to stay home to complete household chores and the first draft of my novel. So far, I have painted doors and trim, repaired a place where I was hanging a curtain rod and pulled a little piece of the drywall off, cleaned, and played with the boys (my cats, Buddy and Oliver). I have taken my laptop in for repair, gotten it back unfixed, bought a monitor, keyboard and mouse to use on my laptop, and then returned all three. Today I take the boys to the vet for their shots, my car in for service tomorrow morning, and tomorrow night I have a grand gala cookie party to attend! One busy week!

Despite all the activity, as well as the problems with my laptop, I completed the first draft of my novel. I wrote the last two chapters in longhand and then transcribed them to my word processor. It was a great experience writing in longhand, but it was horrendous trying to read my own writing. However, when push came to shove, I was able to decipher well enough.

About two weeks ago, my laptop started doing some strange stuff. At times, the monitor looked like someone put a dark veil over it, and then began to flicker, until it finally went blank. I took it to one popular computer establishment, and they diagnosed a faulty sensor button. Apparently fiddling with the button brought my monitor alive again. They could not repair it, though.

I took it to another popular computer store and they sent my lovely baby out for repair. When I got the call from the repair serviceman, he said, “It’s your backlight. It will cost you over $800 for repair.” After I picked myself up off the floor, I asked the important questions: “Is the repair worth it?” “Do I have other options?”

The technician’s advice was to forgo fixing my computer. “Get a new laptop,” he said. “Or, if you cannot afford one, get a monitor, keyboard and mouse. All you do is hook everything up, close your laptop, and then your desktop appears on your external screen. Simple as that.”

It was not as simple as that, as I soon found out. In the midst of trying to make the monitor pick up my laptop signal, I called the computer store for advice. After several calls of nobody answering during business hours, I finally got through to a person who gave me a phone number to contact the service repair department. “We can’t give any technical advise here at the store,” he said. I called the number, which had two too many numbers. I called the store back, finally got a hold of the same person again after numerous tries, and he gave me another number- to a pleasure talk line!!

Finally, I unhooked everything and returned it to the store. My call to another computer store that does not send their laptops out for service, and who exhibits good service by answering the phone on the second ring, quoted me $500 total for the backlight repair!

Now, my backlight flickers every now and then. A gentle pushing of the sensor button brings my screen back up. I will try to squeeze another year out of this computer and back up all my writing. Once the backlight dies, I will decide whether to get it repaired or get a new computer. Personally, I love this one and I don’t want to part with it. It has given me almost three wonderful years of continuous use.

Oh, and Thanksgiving was wonderful! Don and I went to my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Sacramento. Besides many relatives, my Grandpa was there. He is such a joy to be around, and so full of great humor! He will be 92 on his next birthday in March. I hope all who read this had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!

Until next time…..

2 comments:

Kerry Wood said...

Susan,

This is a longshot, but why not? Noticed you were a Californian and a Redwood member. I'm a Central Coaster. Many years ago at Menlo School I had a student in French class named Ed Littlefield. The only reason I remember him after all this time is that at a back-to-school-night, his mother greeted me with a perfectly accented "Je suis Madame Petit Champs." (I chose to respond in English.) A possible relative?

Kerry

Susan Littlefield said...

Hi Kerry:

No relation. Littlefield is the name I kept after my divorce many years ago. I would have no idea who my ex's extended relatives are.

Thank you for venturing over to my blog. I appreciate the support.

To Go Oxford....or Not

Do you use the Oxford comma or do you omit it? Some grammar sages say to either keep it or omit it, unless omitting the Oxford comma will...