Monday, July 21, 2008

My Ailing Computer

Alas, my poor ol' Aptiva is ailing. It's most likely old age and the fact that it's not necessarily up to dealing with everything online these days.

The Aptiva's not the oldest computer we have, though. We have an Ambra that uses Window 95. There it is right there, in my messy office.

Neither of these are the computer I write on, though. For that, I use the Franken-computer -- tower and keyboard from my son, who complained about it's ancient-ness at least five years ago, and new flat screen. You can't see it in that picture; it's to the right. Since I've heard horror stories of viruses wiping out files, it's not hooked up to the internet.

Unfortunately, it's not hooked up the printer, either, because it would have to be on the same network (see above re fear of viruses).

The printer/fax/copier scanner (on the left in the picture) is hooked up to the Aptiva, which would be on the right of that picture if it was wider, and the Ambra. We have a separate scanner now, hooked up to the Aptiva, because the combo unit only scans into black and white.

To print anything, the Ambra has to be on, even if it's not being used for anything else. So if I want to print up a chapter? I have to make a copy onto a diskette and then take it to the Aptiva or Ambra.

We won't even get into the issue of diskettes and that certain people look at me as if I were referring to a wax tablet and stylus when I confess I still use them. But what happens if I've got every copy of my ms. on a flashdrive and it breaks??? What then, oh wise ones? At least with the diskettes, every copy's on it own diskette. But I digress.

Although I need the Ambra on to print, I can't edit on it, because the Franken-computer's version of Microsoft Word is newer and the Ambra doesn't have it. I can edit on the Aptiva, but it takes a long time to open those files, because the software isn't exactly the same there, either.

Yes, this is one bizarre office set-up.

We've been discussing getting a new computer and making things more streamlined -- but I still don't want my writing computer hooked up to the internet.

Mr. M. thinks a laptop may be the way to go when replacing the Aptiva. I don't like laptop keyboards (can you tell I'm rather resistant to change?) and I love my larger flat monitor, but Mr. M. assures me we can still use those, only hooked up to the laptop.

"Won't that look a little weird?" says I.

"Not really," says he, "and then you can take your computer to the cottage."

But...that's no bonus for me. I prefer not to work at the cottage if I can help it. It's only one week out of the year, after all.

Whatever we decide, though, the time is fast approaching for something to be done. I've had too many moments where I've thought the poor ol' Aptiva had finally bit the big one (and taken some work with it) lately. And now I'm having browser issues, too.

Gosh, there are times I miss my Selectric....


Louisa Cornell said...

LOL! We are definitely kindred spirits, Margaret! I had my last computer, an eMachine, for five years before it finally died and FORCED me to get a new computer. My Compaq is okay, but it is having memory issues. Add that to dial up and it makes surfing the net a "not so fun" experience! When my eMachine died my entire novel was on it! With no backup!! Thank God the owner of our local bookshop married a computer Geek! He retrieved my novel, gave me a looooong lecture on the virtues of jump drives AND disks as backups. Needless to say I have heeded his advice ever since.

I am a computer idiot and if it were not for my fabulous CP I would not have a website at all. I really need to learn more about these things! I miss my Smith Corona!

Margaret Moore said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only Luddite in Computerland! :-)