Sorry My Post got derailed

It wasn’t just losing a commenter and friend (they live close to our former home and used to visit) but for some reason these last two days have been murphy type of days.

Yesterday I had a migraine lasting about 24 hours. And today my remaining computer of 4 I started the year with decided to go paws up. It started having issues two days go, but today it won’t boot for love or money.

Why did I have four computers at the beginning of the year?
Mostly because over the years of not being able to afford a better computer, we kept adding cheap laptops to take some of the load. So I had a computer for writing, one for travel, one for publishing, and another one for art (that one was a desk top but almost fifteen years old.)

One by one they rolled over and died early year, until all I had — ALL I HAD — was the travel laptop, which was the youngest of the bunch and had become my social media, blog and evenings computer (because I leave the office and sit in the living room and chat with friends, while we watch something or just hang out.)

We’d talked about getting me a travel one that could handle rudimentary image manipulation (mostly for blog posts) but there was no real urgency. And despite a strange tendency to take a long time starting, it worked fine.

Well…. three days ago it started having issues, and today it just wouldn’t start. We took it apart on the kitchen table to see if it was cat hair. It wasn’t.

So I took the last few hours to rehabilitate and set up the old writing laptop (long story, but it sort of works for just social media, provided I don’t try to also write or heaven forfend anything more exciting than that.)

Maybe there will be enough money for a new travel computer but probably not right away.

Meanwhile, I need to do work I SHOULD have done yesterday, when I couldn’t think through the migraine.

So, sorry, playing hooky today.

55 thoughts on “Sorry My Post got derailed

  1. I Will Not Click On The Like Button. 😉

    Take Care Sarah. We’ll survive (I think). 😀

  2. Ghah. I know the feeling. Two fairly good desktop computers, although one, the Lenovo doesn’t have the oooph to handle certain graphic programs, and then the laptop.
    And I have extra printers stashed in the garage, for when one of the existing gives up the ghost, as the Canon Maxify just did.
    For a time, we had extra monitors stashed in a cache, and a new in the box computer from the Vine program, stashed against the day when one of the workhorses died in traces. Which they do, usually at the most inconvenient time, like a Wednesday before Thanksgiving…

  3. i can point out a desktop that will have enough oomph for graphics stuff is you use your existing GPU, for cheap, email me or have dan do so

        1. As I said, Dan built my desktop which is fairly great. It’s taken up the load for publishing and art as well.
          BUT I need a travel laptop.
          Depending on royalties (I don’t like sending uneeded money to the IRS) we might go a little fancier, as in a “gaming computer” so I can actually perhaps do some cover work when away from home.

      1. I’ve been buying used/refurbished Dell computers. Two desktops, and a Latitude laptop. I don’t need the latest and greatest, but I thought they were a good deal. Bought the thing March 1st. No DVD drive, and the Win 10 is a new installation.

        Dell Latitude E5450 14” FHD Business Laptop Computer, Intel Core i5-5300U up to 2.9GHz, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AC WiFi, Bluetooth, USB 3.0, HDMI, Windows 10 Professsional (Renewed)

        Cost was $339. Similar ones are now running $330 to $400, depending on configuration. All these are from vendors selling through Amazon. If you want from Dell itself, try:

        www dot dellrefurbished dot com/

          1. Not sure I understand. Sarah says her desktop is running all right, but how much GPU do you need for a travel laptop? (She mentioned “rudimentary image manipulation” for blog posts.)

              1. No. My desktop is absolutely fine. It’s the laptop, aka travel computer, that died suddenly and weirdly.
                The other computer failures were BEFORE this desktop, aka before May.

                1. i meant you were referring to the possibility of needing to do more than rudimentary image manipulation on a laptop.

                    1. ok, and the other question is how big of a laptop? I’m pretty much sticking with my ZBook 14U or 15U reccomendations.

  4. NewEgg has some decent refurbs going on right now– don’t do Lenovo, and I strongly suggest posting what you’re looking at in the Diner or something for folks to look for obvious problems.

    To sort of steal RES’ usual observation, this sure looks like a blog post to ME!

    1. As the guy formerly known as That Techie Kid That Builds Things (now as “that old grump”), you can build better than you can buy. Cases generally don’t crap out on you, and mobos will last a while if you’re not in to the latest gaming stuff. You can usually build, gaming wise, last gen’s high tech for less than $1500 for pretty much everything (assuming you start with bupkis).

      If you need decent graphics but not the absolute best for rendering, wait until the big names put out new hardware. Old stuff drops in price dramatically that week. If oyu don’t have it, buy a decent case and power supply once and be done with it, then a mobo to last at least five years with last years processor and RAM to match the board, drive and then graphics if you need it. Done. Only swap out parts as necessary, and that’ll take a while if you did it right. Don’t buy boards when they just came out, they never get the stuff right on the first try (leave it to modders and hardcore geeks).

      There’s probably enough folks around here to point you in the right direction if you want to give it a go and willing to help out where needed. I could be wrong, but this just seems like the kind of place where people know stuff, ya know? *grin*

      1. my advice to her is to buy an off-lease workstation, she can get a fairly hefty one for a few hundred.

        likewise with off-lease workstation laptops for mobility

      2. We are in at least the last five, ten years of latest gaming stuff. 😀

        That is, as you know, massively over priced– if you are buying this year’s stuff, or buying new for some of it.
        Just replaced the old-new video card (710) in this adorable tiny Optiplex with a low profile GTX 1050 and OH am I so very pleased with how well it’s running and you bet I’m bragging. 😀
        $200 for the base system. At $30 of memory, $75 for the chip, $25 for a case, $75 for the power supply… run out of money before the mother board or OS, and have to deal with my, ahem, questionable grace for putting the chip in.

        Cheaper to get the heart of the machine we want, double the memory, get a new card (and then a second new card) and get a good hard-drive.

        That gets us the “even if it’s hit by a truck” insurance policy on the major hardware, we get the second-hand discount over buying a new case, motherboard etc, get the operating system with the base machine, but still get computers that can play ARK: Survival Evolved (and one that’ll host a server) without screaming.

        Only time it’s bitten us was when I splurged on a system that was almost perfect…they didn’t account for the higher power draw of the really nice card they’d put in, which showed up as random failures when the card and both hard-drives were drawing power.

      3. Cases generally don’t crap out on you,

        e.g. my PC of Theseus, which still has a 3.5″ floppy drive and two, count ’em, TWO CD-ROM drives.

        Granted, said drives aren’t connected to the motherboard, but they’re still there in the case.

      4. You can build a laptop? Cool.
        I’m annoyed new machines don’t have CD/DVD drives because I RIP my CD collection and put my music on small chips to play off my phone and tablet.

    2. Dan is pretty good at it. It’s more a matter of finding out whether I GOT Guardian royalties at all (not so far) because if I did we might need to spend money, meaning a little further up.

  5. Hah You cannot me fool – your post was never on the rails to begin with Here too long to fall for that have I been.

    1. I’ve got no rails to keep me straight
      To make me linear
      Or make me sense

      I had rails but now I’m free
      There are no rails for me

      1. “To no set gauge they make us—
        For no laid course prepare—
        And presently o’ertake us
        With loads we cannot bear: “

  6. Son built his own desktop. Has been upgrading / replacing as new things come out, or things fail. Just bought a new SSD hard disk to utilize the gaming stuff. Needs to use get another cable for the old SSD drive that was getting full. His only issue he has ran into over the years is learning that the boot drive with windows on it, needs to be kept pristine and limited use AMAP … transferring legal windows licensing is a PIA when one fails.

    Laptops, we work them until they beg, but not to failure. Mine is right at 5 years old. It is fine as far as the computer itself goes. Battery OTOH sucks. Will not do anything if not plugged in. Randomly it decides that even plugged in “battery is low” and shuts down. Just a matter of booting it up again, but still PIA. Also PIA because we *can’t take it with us when traveling where no power is expected … Battery can not be replaced … bad design. Once it won’t work with the charger at all, will likely take it apart to see if can replace battery or not … not like anything is under warranty anyway.

    Anymore I don’t do anything except email, social media, & Quicken, maintaining/tracking accounts. NOT switching to App version where our data is online … nope, not happening. Hubby enhances/modifies photos, and does our long term investing/financial activities on his. Son’s laptop is a second gaming computer. I’d like to go 100% tablet, with detachable keyboard, but it needs to be a windows tablet not Apple or Android OS.

    * Which means we take hubby’s laptop and he insists on transferring pictures from digital computers, then yells when it goes “wrong” and he potentially loses something. Lord help me if I offer to do, whatever, instead. When he asks for help it means talking him through it …

    “No! Your other right! No! At the top just a little bit down! If I baby step it, I’m told “I’m not a baby/idiot”. If I don’t baby step it … it’s worse … I’ll end up point to whatever, & get yelled at for that. Every. Single. Time. The answer to the question that happens all the time “you didn’t treat clients this way!”, is “Yes. I did.” In fact not only baby steps, but they usually got a document with screen shots with each step circled in red! When we finally got software where we could see client’s desktops, and could control the mouse, that became the equivalent to “finger pointing”. Rant over …

  7. Had a computer go wonky, would not boot up. The only error message I could obtain said “No IDE drive found” Sounds like a dead hard drive? At a brother’s suggestion, unplugged its cables, cleaned all contacts and plugged it back in. Booted up just fine and has worked for over six months without a hiccup.

      1. Do you have a cable to plug in an external monitor (either HD or VGA) even temporarily? Because that will tell you if the machine is still there.

      2. About six months back, my mom had a laptop “die,” wouldn’t even spin up but one yellow light on the front was going….

        Long story short, the laptop was fine. The surge protector it was plugged into wasn’t, and it had drained almost dead but not fully bricked.

    1. That was always Dr Pournelle’s first suggestion: check cables first, and computer airflow (fans, filters, etc.) second.

  8. I feel it’s worth pointing out to all and sundry that our gracious hostess has a ‘donate’ button on the right side of her blog. A few dozen modest donations would get her enough for a reasonable travel laptop. Perhaps a way to wish her a Merry Christmas?

  9. Sorry to read of it. Hope everything gets sorted comfortably.

    And if the universe doesn’t collapse on me again this year, I’ll be able to send out the Boxing Day subscriptions.

  10. Good luck with the Dell laptop, if you go that way. Last one I had, I ended up having to hard-wire the power supply into the machine because the socket got all wobbly and wouldn’t accept the plug. Apparently a common enough problem that I found several videos on the toobz for the procedure. Got almost another year out of it before it went TU for good. As for me, Dell can go to #&!!. it’s HP all the way.

  11. *sigh* My dream “laptop” is still a briefcase with a computer inside….

    Yes, I know it’s possible, yes I know the problems with it, thus still dream.

      1. First several laptops were such– it’d just be NEAT to have one that uses my current wide-screen-the-size-of-an-80s-TV with all the (now) standard desktop parts.

        1. there were machines like that made about 15-20 years ago when flat screens first came out. they were designed to be portable editing machines.

          1. … they were designed to be portable editing machines.

            It was my understanding that early 20th Century portable editing machines included a choice of caliber and came in both semi- and full-automatic options.

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