8/07/2007

 

Naughty Kitty Causes Computer Replacement Episode

I was a little bleary last Friday morning when I woke up after nearly 12 hours of sleep. I haven't slept that long in ages and it made me groggy. So I was quite unprepared mentally to deal with the chaos that unfolded as I was getting ready to head out the door to work. I'd just gotten dressed and sat at my desk for a minute to pack up my laptop and a few other things. I keep a very small 1 1/2 gallon fishtank on the top shelf of my desk. Right now it has a tinfoil barb and a tadpole living happily together.
Gizmo the orange kitten often decides he's thirsty for some fish water and despite the fact I've told him "no" over and over, he still goes in for a drink all the time. Sometimes I just tolerate it as long as he doesn't harm the fish, but yesterday morning I wasn't in the mood for such naughty cat antics. I grabbed him to yank him away and he hooked his little claws firmly onto the plastic lip of the fish tank, pulling the whole thing over and spilling it's contents - water, rocks, fish and fishpoop - all over my desk below.
Everything was soaked, piles of paperwork, CDs, books, and most horrifyingly, my $1400 laptop computer. I saved the fish, screamed and yelled at the cat (who might not have realized how lucky he was that I didn't catch him before he fled out the back door), and pulled my computer out of a puddle. Water flowed freely from inside as I tipped it to and fro. I toweled up most of the mess, grabbed my computer and took of for work, steam still gently rising from out of my ears.
I got to work and plugged the poor wet laptop in and much to my surprise, it actually began to boot up. My smile faded, however, as the screen began to glitch out and display a twisted, mangled version of my desktop, as if it were a digital masterpiece by Pablo Picasso. Suddenly, a blue screen of death appeared, it's letters and numbers garbled and backwards in places. It stayed on my screen long enough for me to see something about a faulty BIOS, and the machine went ominously black. I tried every trick I could remember in PC Hardware Repair class 4 years ago, but I knew in my heart it was a goner. Official cause of death: fried motherboard. To replace a laptop motherboard is similar in cost to an entirely new computer, so why bother?
In a way, it was a relief. The dead computer was a Dell, and it really was a piece of garbage. People say terrible things about Dells and they're all true. I bought mine because they were the only company that would let me finance it with monthly payments (I just payed the damn thing off last month). In the year and 2 months I owned the beast, I had to replace the entire casing, the power pack, the keyboard (twice), the battery quit working on me after the first few months due to a faulty connection, and the mouse pad had gone tits up a while back as well. I decided not to spend the $35 a month for the extended warranty, so I was pretty much stuck with the defective beast the way it was. Naturally, I cannot go a single day without the use of a PC, so I immediately arranged for a loan and headed up to Best Buy. After fiddling around with all the notebook PC's they had to offer, I decided upon a nice, shiny little $599 Toshiba Satellite that just hit the market last month. The salesman said he had already sold quite a few of them and had only heard good things, and so far none were returned by unhappy customers. I've had it for three days now, and other than the fact that I've finally had to adjust to Windows Vista (argh!), so far so good. It drags a bit, so next payday I'm going to pop some more RAM inside it. It's a very light machine compared to that beastly Dell, which weighed a ton. All my photos and music and important docs were stored on my external drive, so I didn't lose anything like that, but I'm having to replace all the software that I had, and it's been a little rough. Most of the programs I had weren't purchased but *cough* acquired through other means, and I'm not having such an easy time finding certain things. Shhh, don't tell the copyright police. If anyone reading this is feeling charitable and morally loose, please let me know. Heck, if you help me out, I'll buy ya lunch. Basically, I'm still trying to track down Office 2007 (at least a serial number), Adobe Photoshop, In Design etc., Front Page, Sony Acid music software...maybe that's about it. God forbid I should have to break down and actually purchase these items, but I suppose it could happen...

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