Saturday, March 15, 2008

My laptop died. GULP.

Suddenly a gray transparent screen appeared on my laptop over the existing one. The keyboard and cursor were completely frozen. I could see what I had been working on behind it. The lighter gray screen in the middle sent an ominous message in 4 different languages about how I need to restart my computer. So I did and within a few seconds the same thing happened, so I "zapped the pram" and tried again. I did this 6-7 times and each time it was only a matter of time before I got the bad screen.


I thought about all of the files that I either had or I had not backed up.

Dissertation? Check. It's in numerous places.

My teaching files? Years of work. Hundreds of Powerpoint presentations that each took me hours to do, photos of primates for slide shows...

Check. Backed up in numerous places.

Music? My iTunes has hundreds of songs, even videos, that I've purchased but not burned or saved anywhere. CRAP. I would lose those.

Hundreds of photos I have spent hours and hours making of my inventory - GONE.

Email messages and drafts that I have saved there. Contacts info - GONE.

We did all the stuff you're supposed to do when this type of thing happens - disconnect everything that might be hooked up, reboot with the start up CD, reload the OS. None of that worked.

I wasn't happy about it. No scientist ever wants to lose data. Fortunately Mr. Field Notes acted quickly and set up an ethernet connection between his desktop computer and my laptop and in between zapping of prams (talk about defibrilating your computer!) we managed to save the music and photos. I was able to forward some important emails to another account.

Obviously my computer needed help, so I saw 2 choices:
* Take it to a tech
* Buy a new one

A tech costs $60 an hour and may not be able to revive it. It's a 2005 model. The nearest tech is at least 60 miles drive away, and no one is going to be able to fix it and send it home with me on the spot, so that would add to at least 240 miles of driving for the possibility of having it work again, plus whatever it cost to fix. It's no longer under warranty.

Given all of that and the really unpleasant reality of being without a piece of equipment I use more hours in the day than my bed, I decided to just get a new one.

My new white 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 160 GB storage Apple laptop is on its way, along with info about sending my broken ones back to Apple for free to be recycled. I am so pleased, not to be shelling out 1400 bucks, but that my new machine will be blazing fast and I will be able to process more video. Yahoo! I will have to celebrate by producing some footage from my travels to Japan.


** I uploaded this on my old laptop. It's missing the option key and the right arrow, not to mention the paint has chipped off several of the keyboard letters and it is SO FREAKING SLOW. It's sort of hard to believe that at one one point I actually thought this thing was blazing fast. It's amazing how quickly computers evolve.

16 comments:

Psycgirl said...

Oh goodness! My worst nightmare. I'm going to back everything up right now! I hope you love your new laptop :) My Mac is a 2004 and I wonder if it will die soon... my Husband's has, but mine is going strong.

UniqueNurseGranny said...

So sorry.Hope all works out positively.

espionage said...

Right now I am replying to your post from a mac laptop with a busted screen with a big red blotch on it. I have a cable connecting it to a huge old-school monitor and am successfully using it as a desktop for the time being. The screen busted the week before my wedding when my 2 best friends and I went to San Francisco for a weekend. We stayed at a friends with 3 dogs. Needless to say, leaving food in your backpack in a house with 3 dogs is not advisable ;o)

julia said...

ooooh no! Thank goodness for Mr. Field Notes fast action. Losing photos is one of my worst nightmares.

Melody said...

We just got a mac after our pc crashed on us about, oh, 20 times. We ended up losing all our itunes songs and I lost a couple weeks worth of pictures because I was lazy in backing them up. I LOVE my new mac! Hard to get used to, but it is so much better in every way :)
I'm glad you could save some of your things and that you're getting a new computer, hope it works out well for you!

yellowfish said...

oh no!!! that is the worst feeling ever! at least you could get some of the stuff off of it. although, I can say, I just switched from an old mac to a new one (with practically double the hard drive space) and it is soooooooooooo nice! enjoy your new friend!

Hey Harriet said...

Oh how horrible! I think my computer is about to die any day now. Reading your post has inspired me to do something about it! Thankfully it sounds like it's worked out in the end for you. At least not all was lost. Phew :)

~Stella said...

I'm so sorry that happened to you, but great recovery! I love your cost/benefit analysis of fix vs. buy new. And it's great that Apple will recycle the old one. Have fun with your new machine!

RainbowMom said...

Ahh, that's terrible! Good thing everything is working out in the end! And, how great is it that they can recycle your old one.

missfire said...

So jealous! I'm posting on my sloooooow 2004 G4, and even though it's slow as heck, it has NEVER been a problem. But I would love a new laptop. And I HAVE to have white. I'm kind of an apple purist that way. I hate that my iPod touch only comes in black. :(

Nnairda's said...

Sorry to hear about the death of your laptop, but it sounds like a new birth is coming fast! Enjoy your new Apple!

Psychgrad said...

That sucks! I think I'm going to go and back up all my files again.

Lynn said...

Oh, I must back up my photos. I think that is what I would miss most on my computer.

Jenrosesegrest said...

I am so sorry to hear this, that same kind of thing happened to me here at work. My hard drive went kaput and with it pictures, music, and pics of artwork. I have tried to get better about backing up and I email myself a copy of almost everything I do here at work. Well I hope you enjoy your new computer:)
xoxo jen

Waterrose said...

I had a power supply go out at the two year point..luckily still warrented...I thought I was going to die. I had backed everything up, but you second guess yourself and wonder what you hadn't backed since the last one!

punchanella said...

my darling laptop with all things dear to me (actually, much the same as the things you have on your laptop) is starting to die. so far i've got a random yellow stripe down the middle of it that never goes away, and i regularly get the blue screen of death while working.

it's only a matter of time. i'm SAVING for a new one.

i'm a LITTLE jealous of your new purchase! ;)