Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Foster's Annual Computer Crash

Certain cyclical events mark the seasons: the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano...the buzzards come back to Hinkley, Ohio and one of my computer systems dies unceremoniously around Christmas. For the second year in a row, I have been forced to buy a new computer because an older one gave up the ghost or was turned to toast.

In 2007, shortly after my Dell Inspiron laptop went off of lease, the hard drive died and I replaced it with a larger one and made the move to Vista. The move was painful but ultimately successful until I spilled a cup of tea on the laptop while on a business trip and fried the motherboard. That was when the "Trip to the Dark Side" began (see earlier posts from last January) and I eventually bought a MacBook Pro 15" laptop and dove headfirst into a dizzying year of ups and downs with the new equipment and system.

Monday, Dec. 15 history repeated itself and brought together all the elements for a perfect computing storm. I had to take the MacBook into the Apple store and had to leave it overnight for a complete refresh of the operating system. I returned home to use my Win XP PC as a back up only to find it wouldn't start up at all! This is the computer that Computer Builders Warehouse custom built for me almost 5 years ago. The 60 Gig drive was nearly full and I had been experiencing mystery shut downs without any warnings. That normally signals a problem with the power supply which is a quick and cheap fix. So I did just that but the computer would not restart and I was in desperate need of a back up while my MacBook was in the shop.

I had known that we needed to replace the PC for some time but I didn't want to put out a lot of money for a system that is basically used by my wife for email, writing the occasional document and gaming by my grandchildren when they visit. I lusted for a 20" iMac because of the beauty of the machine, simplicity of the OS and clutter it would kill in my office, but with economic
hard times there was no way to justify spending $1,200 for that machine (Apple tax and all!)

So how did we solve the problem and why is my wife now...happier with the new computer? Come back soon to find out or listen to the Internet Advisor on WJR 760 AM, Detroit Saturday, Dec. 20 between 7 and 9 PM for all the details.