Friday, March 16, 2007

Ack! (or doing without the computer)

It may have been my day to post a blog today. I don't see my name on the calendar, but I thought I'd signed up for today, and I couldn't check until this afternoon, because the computer was back in the shop.

My computer died just before the Christmas holidays. I ordered a new one, with all sorts of cool bells and whistles, and an extra CD recorder...which refused to work the same way twice. So last Thursday, just before I drove down to Waco to do a workship at the Heart of Texas RWA chapter and see all my friends who still live in the area, I took it in to get fixed. And it took them a week to figure out what was wrong with it and how to fix it.

Apparenly, neither the recording software they installed to work with it, nor the software I had bought and installed to run with it knew how to work this CD burner. In fact, some of the time, it couldn't be found at all. And when the burner was found, it couldn't read what it just burned onto a CD. Or it thought the blank CD waiting to be burned was corrupted beyond all redemption. So the brilliant lads at the computer fix-it place installed another CD-burning software program, which apparently knows how to find the burner and read what it burns.

In this day and age, doing without a computer for a week can make a girl feel at loose ends. I'd see books stacked on the desk and think "Oh, I can log books into my list... no, I can't. I don't have a computer..." I could have checked e-mails on the "backup" computer in the back bedroom, but I didn't. I suppose I used the computerless status as a poor justification for laziness. I did keep writing, since I don't compose directly on a computer, though I didn't get as much done as I would have liked. (I actually blame that on the spouse being home for spring break, even if he did go down to the state capital for a couple of days to lobby the legislature for more junior college money) And I read.

I read the new Stephanie Laurens hardback The Taste of Innocence from the library. I read Nalini Singh's Visions of Heat, and Lydia Joyce's Voices of the Night, and The Earl's Secret by Terri Brisbin, and The Marriage Trap by Elizabeth Thornton, and The Abducted Heiress by Claire Thornton and The Secret Lives of Doctor's Wives by Ann Major, all good books well worth reading... I was kind of in a historical mood... but I had a great time, and I refilled that creative well a bit.

How much of a crisis is it at your house, if your computer is out in the shop? And what do you do to fill the time when it is?


meardaba said...

These days I tend to break down if I don't have my computer. I also end up spending atrocious amounts of money on internet cafes. It's quite sad, really.

When I'm at my parents', though, I can go days without checking the internet. I just read books. I think the problem is that my apartment is very dark and there are no good reading spots, so I like to play on the internet more than I like sitting down and reading a book. No so at my parents', where there are comfy couches and huge bay windows with lots of natural light. Why stare at a computer screen when you can relax and read a good story?

Nancy Morse said...

I wouldn't call it a crisis if my computer is down. It's more like a catastrophic event. Mainly because I do my day job from my home office and I'm on the computer all day, so without it, no work gets done, which means the work piles up and is laying in wait for me and I have to bust my butt to make up for lost time. Fortunately, I have a guy who comes to the house for computer repairs. Usually, a little begging will get him here fast. I lose a few hours, but at least I'm up & running again. The company I work for buys all my office equipment for me which I get to keep. After Hurricane Wilma when the power was out for days and everyone was scrambling to buy generators, the company shipped a generator to me. Still, when the computer starts doing something weird, I get this sick little feeling inside.

Samantha Hunter said...

Luckily, because of my husband's work, we're never without a computer -- our house is like a computer warehouse, LOL. Though I just bought a new laptop last year, my old one still sits as a print server in the office, and he has at least two others in addition to the one he uses for his work (these come with his job, not all personal purchases). But it's one of the reasons I back up everything I need on google, so I can reach my work from anywhere.

When we go away, on vacation, or during the summer, I don't miss the computer at all, but since all of our work, for both of us, is computer-based, we can't risk ever being without them.

Glad to hear you finally got back online, Gail. :)


Dr. Bill Emener said...

Based on my experience, computers and other forms of new technology have made things faster and easier, but I’m not convinced that they necessarily have made our lives any better. I often wonder if I have become a prisoner of my own devices (my computer, cell phone, etc.). I have a good friend who is planning to go out of the country for a one-week vacation “just to get away form his cell phone and computer.” My adult children occasionally get annoyed with me because I don’t carry my cell phone with me all the time. Maybe I’m not as efficient as other may like, but I don’t have an ulcer either.
Nice Post… thanks!

Terry Z McDermid said...

I'm in a different spot computerwise than last year. My husband and I both had computers at our work and the ones at home. This year, I'm only working from home and our computer-genius son is away at university with one computer. So I have to have a working computer at home -- and my support staff tends to be in class when something doesn't work! We're learning and so far, so good.

I agree with Dr. Bill, not sure if life is better just somehow easier. I had a situation last week where someone e-mailed me a question at 9a.m., then again at 10 a.m., and later at 2 p.m., asking the last time why I hadn't answered. I try to check my e-mails once in the morning and once late afternoon -- which is why I knew about all the other messages. If it was that important, why not a phone call? The message wasn't that important, just the person couldn't understand why I didn't answer immediately.

Geniewrites2 said...

No computer = I must not be at home. I must be on vacation some place so nice I don't have a lap top with me.