Monday, February 09, 2015

Can't Live With It, Can't Live Without It

I am in the terrible position of having to get a new computer. My PC is ten years old, having far outlasted all the fancy laptops and i-Pads my technology-addicted family have bought in between.

It’s been kept going by Brian, who comes in when something goes wrong, shakes his head and says that what I need is a new hard-drive, but then fixes it so that it works all right for a while and I put off having to face the dread of losing really important stuff in the transfer – like that email in the Family folder that my daughter sent me about a visit they made seven years ago and all the similar emails lingering in all the other folders too.

My more technically-minded husband has been helping to nurse it along but it has been a severe strain. I realised the time had come for drastic action when I found him standing looking blankly at a shelf in the supermarket. ‘I think I’ve caught a virus from your computer,’ he said. ‘My brain is Not Responding.’

So even I have realised that The Time Has Come and I have to get rid of it before it has whatever PCs have when they take a fatal seizure and die and all my files die with it.

Under the direction of my long-suffering and more technically-minded husband I have been saving all my files and email folders to a USP stick while he has been putting everything into a Drop Box so we’ve done a sort of belt-and-braces job. The new hard drive is sitting on the floor, waiting for Brian to come and install Word 8.1 - and why, pray, do computers not come with the programmes installed? I don’t expect to have to pay extra and spend hours on making my new washing-machine ready to wash clothes. But I digress.

I have a bad habit of anthropomorphising the machines that serve me and feeling guilty when their natural life is at an end: my loyal Kenwood mixer - forty years of glorious service, now old and tired and consigned to landfill; Henry, our vacuum cleaner, with the cheerful face on his cylinder, superseded by a new and - shh! more effective model.

I feel no such affection and guilt for my PC. We have squabbled constantly over the years, when it performed unprompted some unhelpful and spiteful act that caused no end of trouble and angst. Loyalty had no part in our long relationship.

But having grown used over the years to its little quirks, I’ll now have to adapt to new systems and layouts. I have the dreadful feeling that it will all have become much cleverer and more sophisticated. The trouble is, I haven’t. Oh dear.


Rick Blechta said...

If you don't have a Mac now, get one next. You will not regret it. (And also purchase AppleCare.)

Aline Templeton said...

Have just junked our ailing iPad (after less than three years) which I absolutely HATED. What sort of processor doesn't delete in both directions? New Android tablet is lovely, so you'd find it hard to convince me to get any Apple product!

Rick Blechta said...

I don't like our iPad, either, but a computer is a completely different beast. I've used both, but I'd only use a Windows equipped machine under extreme duress. I always tell people that Apples are for those who don't want to know how a computer works, just use their programs and forget about the machinery in the background. It also has Time Machine -- and for us ink-stained wretches -- that can be a real lifesaver!

Charlotte Hinger said...

Aline--a curse on all these products.

Aline Templeton said...

Oh yes, oh yes, Charlotte! Not only that, my new machine doesn't even have a proper Solitaire to calm me down. However wonderful Brian is coming tomorrow with an emegency package to fix it!

Patricia Filteau said...

MacBookPro is the way to go with the maximum memory capacity and largest screen that you can afford. It is the writers craft laptop.

Yes, the MacBookPro is very sophisticated but or so elegant in its simplicity. Give yourself about 3 weeks to fall in love then you will find that it is a match made in heaven.

I agree with Rick on the Applecare although I worked the warrantee year to its max and the lovely staff at the Apple store. It was mostly me learning the technology rather than faulty issues.
Good luck a big and very important decision.