Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Making Lemonade by Andy Scheer

This past weekend I bought a netbook computer at a garage sale.

The machine was just a few years old, the price was great, and they said they’d take a lower offer. I gave it a test, and it seemed to work fine. They said it had hardly been used. After I got home, I discovered why. But only after I’d invested multiple hours.

I spent much of Saturday sorting it out: removing factory-installed bloatware, replacing the internet access program, and adding Open Office and a few other free programs. I added my data files and favorite desktop photos and adjusted program settings just the way I liked.

I figured I’d spent a little money and a few hours for a nice, compact, backup machine.

I was wrong. Turns out this make and model has a glitch. Like a fainting goat, it’s given to freezing at random moments, with no solution but to push the power switch and start over. Even the promised solution of updating the BIOS files didn’t help.

Did I gain anything from the experience? Probably. Every now and then I need a reminder that a deal that looks too good to be true is likely just that.

It didn’t hurt to get a refresher on how to set up some key programs.

Best, I learned the data files I keep in my pocket on a flash drive are indeed sufficient if my real computer crashes.

Plus, I got something to write about here.


Linda Glaz said...

Ugh. I hate when that happens!

Andy Scheer, Hartline Literary said...

I've gone back to work on the machine, finding and removing a program that supposedly conflicts with Windows 7. Now I just have to install 140 windows updates that weren't added while the computer was on a shelf for several years.

C. Kevin Thompson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C. Kevin Thompson said...

There was a list of the Top 100 Oxymorons given a few years ago. The #1 Oxymoron was : Microsoft Works.

matt jackson said...

A quick suggestion, have you tried Linux? Now, don't stop reading. I used to use Windows all the time, I was heavily invested in all the Adobe products and I knew there was no way I would give that up. I had an older laptop I picked up around 2008 and about three years ago I began to have problems. On the suggestion of a computer friend I tried Linux, all the flavors. Some were nice, some a pain, then I stumbled upon one called elementaryOS. It looks a good deal like a Mac system but it works very well. You can even try it out on a USB stick to make sure your system works without actually doing anything too your laptop. It is also designed to work with older, less powerful machines. Oh, eOS is also free. 100%, updates are free. I now use all open source software on my almost 8 year old laptop: Libre Office (just like Open Office), GIMP, Inkscape.

I love it and doubt I will ever return to a Windows system. Not sure it will fix the glitch you are having, but it might.