Computer Meltdown.

“Technology makes it possible for people to gain control over everything … except over technology.”
~John Tudor

Lesson Learned: do not write about your work plans (aka: do not squeal about starting a new manuscript), because the Technology Gods will swoop in, put a spell on your laptop, and leave you concerned that it just might disappear into a poof of foggy smoke forever. You will then begin an immediate OMG-is-everything-transferred panic that includes emailing yourself important documents and sending each file to an external hard drive yet again, even though you know full well that at least three quarters of them have already been copied. Not that I’d know this from personal experience or anything … she says as she watches hundreds of picture files slooooooooowly transfer over.

Seriously, though, UGH. My laptop is four years old and it’s been having daily temper tantrums lately, so this was not unexpected, but still. Internet issues have been somewhat tolerable. Unplugging the computer for five minutes and having the battery drain completely, then refuse to recharge? Having antivirus software refuse to function properly? Not so much. I’ve been researching new computer options for the past week – something told me this was coming, even though I hoped it’d wait at least another couple months – and it looks like Decision Time is on the horizon. Luckily, there’s an Apple store only forty-five minutes away, so I can head over tomorrow and spend some time experimenting with a Mac in person. PCs have always been the name of the game, but we used Macs for video editing in college and I absolutely loved them. For this, though, my mind seems to keep bouncing back and forth. A new laptop is such a commitment for a writer (yes, I know how ridiculously dramatic that sounds, but it’s true – this one has become somewhat of an appendage over the years), and I just want to make the right choice.

Those of you who have so kindly given me tips, suggestions, and information – thank you, thank you (and don’t be surprised if I bombard you with even more questions at some point soon)!

Anyway, all this to say that I’d planned to do a post today about the goodreads 2012 book challenge, but instead I will apparently be spending my time chained to the laptop and ensuring that everything – everything! – is duplicated. Okay, who am I kidding? Paranoid Me will probably ensure that each file is saved in at least three different places. Maybe four. Or five. I can’t help it, though. When your novels are your babies, your computer becomes, in a way, your lifeline. Better safe than sorry, right? Even if it means not being able to start reading the second book in my fifty-two book challenge. Even if it means having to take a couple days off from querying agents. Even if it means not getting to anything else I’d hoped to spend this weekend accomplishing.

But beginning work on the new manuscript tomorrow? Somehow, someway, it is happening. The colored pens are coming out, the writing journal is offering up its blank pages, and the next journey in Sofie’s life is starting to be mapped out. I just may have to take up temporary residence at the library, that’s all.

Do you have any computer horror stories to share? And – anyone else want to weigh in on the Mac vs. PC debate?


7 thoughts on “Computer Meltdown.

  1. I definitely cast my vote for the Mac, without any hesitation. You can never go wrong with one. As for horror stories, I did have a hard drive crash a couple of times on my old PC, and did lose some unsaved material in the process. I guess I learned my lesson the hard way :/ Good luck with your choice!

    • Thank you! I spent awhile in an Apple store yesterday, trying out the different models, and I can definitely see why everyone loves them. They’re so sleek and stream-lined.

      Why is it that hard drive crashes only seem to happen when material hasn’t been backed up?!

  2. I vote Mac. I’m on my second Macbook and I could not be happier. The people at the apple store are soo helpful and the genius bar is a great resource if you have any problems with your computer. I always joke that once you go Mac, you never go back!

    • I visited the nearest Apple store yesterday, and oh my gosh, was it crowded. It’s amazing how friendly and helpful the employees are, though, and I loooooooooooove the MacBook! Question for you – what screen size do you have? My laptop now is a 14-inch, so I’m concerned that dropping down to 13 will be tough/give me headaches, but the 15-inch is just so expensive!

  3. I totally know what you mean about a new laptop being such a huge thing for a writer. That’s your main tool for doing your job; of course you want it to work as well as possible! I’m glad to hear you got to spend some time at the Apple store. My Mac was definitely a big transition, but I do like it. Just be prepared to take a little time to get used to it if you do switch. Of course, since Windows and Word and many other things have been updated in the last four years you’ll have a big transition even if you do stick with a PC.

    • Exactly — it might sound dramatic to non-writers, but it really is like a lifeline of sorts. That’s a good point about how Windows & Word have evolved over the past four years. I actually really liked the Mac version. I played around with it for a good fifteen minutes and felt very comfortable. I think it helps that I used Macs a lot in college – granted, not for writing, but I’m at least somewhat familiar with them.

  4. Pingback: Why this week rocks: « Shari Speaks

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