Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Laptop Diatribe

A few weeks ago I mentioned that my laptop was on it's last leg. Although I've only had it for a little over a year the last two months have been a horrible struggle. My problems with it started in fall before we read about a recall on my laptop (Sony Vaio). They were being recalled because of some faulty wiring near the hinge which could cause the laptop to overheat and possibly burn a person. I DID get burned; as a matter of fact, a few days before the recall was announced. I fell asleep with it on my lap, my bracelet conducted the heat from the laptop through to my wrist and I had three blisters that were each about 1/4 inch across. We called right away about the recall but were told my model was not one that fell under their recall. Huh, my wrist really says otherwise! I just went on with life, being extra careful.

With the rapid heating and cooling in that area, the plug socket began to become loose. I noticed that I'd need to hold it in the correct place just to charge the battery. This worked for a while. I started standing it on it's side so that the plug was up against something and would charge. Before long, I had to wrap the cord a bit and keep it taunt. Before Christmas, Mike took my laptop into Best Buy to see if it was a cord that needed replacing or something else. Turned out the socket was actually coming loose from the inside and the repairs would be a minimum of $270. To me, that didn't make sense considering the laptop cost $500.

While I was trying to decide what to do, the integrated mouse began to be unresponsive. It was touch and go. Meanwhile, the cord got more and more picky and the battery stopped holding a charge. With the cord coming out of the back, I'd have to wrap it under the laptop and then over the top just to have enough force to keep it plugged in and in contact. Still, I kept putting off doing anything about it. It just wasn't an expense I wanted to incur even with the thought that the plug fix was $270 and who knew how much would be added to that to get the mouse fixed.

Then one day, my network connection disappeared. No matter what I did, how many times I rebooted, it was dead. Some days I'd turn it on and it worked, other days, not at all. That was the straw that broke the camel's back, it was time to Laptop Shop.

I decided I was going to go with a Dell. We've always had good luck with them and I really like being able to build my own system. In my previous job, I was an inside sales person for a computer reseller. I'm no longer in the "know" so to speak but I do remember which components it pays to upgrade and which just sound like a good idea to pay extra money for.

Between not wanting to buy and not being able to make up my mind, I bet it took me two weeks to build and make a final decision on my laptop. I had it in my head that since I had the choice of colors, I was going to go with pink because well...this is ME we're talking about after all. The self proclaimed Pink Gadget Girl. Just as I was running through my specs for the last time I noticed a new series of systems in the drop down menu. I'd later find out that Dell had JUST loaded them onto their website; it wasn't just a figment of my imagination. Wahooo, a brand new version that even had a lower price for the same components. The caveat was it only came in Black, Blue or Red. Oh well, even a Pink Gadget Girl has to know when to fold on color choices!! It was a done deal, I ordered it. Now I just had to wait for it to arrive.

While waiting I worked on getting my files organized for the switch. My plan was to dump my files onto my external hard drive and then copy them to the new laptop a little at a time. It was 2 weeks early. I wasn't ready yet with everything on my hard drive but decided to just grab some files, load some and go back and forth. HA! When do things go the way I plan in my little world?? Nevah!!

Ready for a melt down...

I went to move files and guess what? Now the external hard drive isn't being recognized by old lap top any longer. I figure a simple re-boot or two, or four will fix such luck. Now I'm mad at myself for putting off the decision to fix or buy new, mad at myself for taking so long to decide. Now what? Oh wait...Vista came out with a file transfer thingie, I'll do that! Giggle...only I don't have the right cabling. I go to Office Max, they don't sell just the cable but I can buy a cable AND software for $60. $60?? Are you crazy? I can go online and pay between $30 and $40 for the same thing. I'll wait thank you very much!

...Enter Radio Shack. The store that no one ever seems to start with but whenever I do finally end up there, they always end up having what Gadget Girl needs so why am I so stupid not to start there first?? Walked out with a $40 cable. Yes, that still seems like a lot to me for a cable but I know my files are worth wayyyyy more to me and at this point it seems like old laptop could just explode and loose everything at any moment.

Why not do a backup you say? Well I January. There's lots of changes since then and with a hard drive that is no longer recognized I'm sort of up a creek without a paddle.

Who knew file transfers could take so bloody long? After watching it do it's thing for about an hour I was sooooooo bored so I went to bed. I have no idea how long it took.

My main concern was itunes. I do think the tracks are all there but my audio books are MIA. I know where they reside, I just can't get them to play nice. Another concern is the fact that every song is checked...where DID all my playlists go?? Shouldn't that little file have come along for the ride? Oh well, if all that I lose in this transaction is playlists, life will go on. I can re-build them. It's still better than losing EVERYTHING! A few more tweaks and I'll finally be all set.

Here's a picture of my new spiffy Dell Inspirion 1545An Inspirion 1545 with a super cool 320GB hard drive and 4GB RAM. Gawd, I remember the old days when I had 1024MB of hard drive and 16MB of RAM!!

Now...she/he is just going to need a name!


jillquilts said...

Omg! You and your toys and issues! Giggle

RobynK said...

Well Jen you certainly can make laugh! I love "hearing" your stories sad and funny. Her name has to be BELLE, B and E for Blue and ELL for Dell. It sorta makes sense!
Robyn, New Zealand

Kelly's Kwips said...

Wow, what an ordeal! I have a Dell and I have been really impressed with it. I've had mine a year, course, Kasey poured liquid dishwashing soap all over it! I think I ended up changing out most of the components but it seems to be fine now. I figure if it last 3 years, I'll be doing good. It seems like they always arrive quicker than they tell you too! Have fun with it.