Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sandra's Computer Woes

Stand back, because I'm about to reveal my age. Are you ready for this? I am old enough to remember writing by hand. Yes, with a thing called a pencil. No keyboards, no monitors, just pencils and paper.

That's how I wrote my very first Presents. In longhand, on pads of yellow lined paper. Then I typed that manuscript, all 250 pages of it, on my trusty IBM Selectric typewriter.

Harlequin Presents bought the book.

I took my advance check and sank it into a computer. It was a Franklin, it had (gasp) 64 megs of memory... and I didn't have the slightest idea how to use it. Everyone in my family had suggestions but nobody knew anything more than I did so, finally, I shut my office door and warned them that to open that door was to court disaster. After a week of hell, I'd learned enough to begin writing my second book.

Over the years, I bought new computers. Many new computers, at first because I fell in love with the technology and then for less happy reasons, like fried motherboards or dead hard drives.

Last week, we had a death in our computer family. The corpse was my husband's desktop unit. It was time to replace it.

This was the plan: I'd give him my desktop computer and buy myself a new laptop that I could use when we travel and I could also plug into my big flat-screen monitor and my ergonomic keyboard for use at my desk.
(I already have a laptop but that's a whole other story.) Sounds simple, right?


I spent days and nights, literally, researching what to buy. The brand I'd relied on in the past was now getting awful reviews, including from me. The only good news was that I'd just finished writing my latest Presents, so I'd have a couple of weeks in which to select a new computer, order it, receive it, set it up...

Anyway, I finally placed my order last night.
The new computer is gorgeous.
It has zillions of bells and whistles. I love it... Well, I hope that I'll love it. Despite its great reviews, its good looks, its excellent components, its hefty price-tag, I won't know if I made the right choice until it arrives. Or until I start using it. Or until it either becomes my steadfast friend or my worst enemy and yes, I had one computer that was precisely that.

I have to admit, sometimes I'm tempted to go back to pencils. Or typewriters. Or further back, maybe, to papyrus or stone..

Hmm. I went through erasers like crazy when I wrote in pencil. I bought White-Out three bottles at a time when I used a typewriter. Didn't anybody ever make a mistake, chiseling on stone??? What happened then, or don't I want to know?

Anyway, I'll let you know how things go on my own blog where I'll also keep you updated about my books. Oh, and right now, if you go there you'll see that I'm giving away $1.00 (one dollar) off coupons (a very, very limited number of them) as well as gorgeous bookmarks. Why not drop by and say 'hello?'



Lois said...

Ooh, pretty computer. . . :) Mine sort of died last year so I got me a nice, new one that I'm typing away on. :)

Although I say sort of died because it kept shutting off without me trying to prop it up. But someone fixed it up for someone else and it works now. Things one learns. :)


Sandra Marton said...

Computers can be so frustrating, can't they? But new ones are always nice. Enjoy yours, Lois, and long may it live! :-)

deseng said...

Sometimes I would like to throw my computer out the window! ARGH!!! I have an old computer, GATEWAY, with old software and a dial-up connection. It gets me where I want to go but it sure is frustrating when it takes forever to load something or it freezes up over a big e-mail downloading. I need one bad!

Congratulations on your new computer? Hurray! Have fun and enjoy the new features, and time saving options.


Lois said...

Oh geez, my fingers are crossed that it lives a reeeeeeeeeeally long time. (Guess I over did it with the e's. Anyhoo. . . LOL) Can't live without it! :)


Karen H in NC said...

I have a 3 yr old Dell desktop that I really like and with my DSL connection, it works just sign of dying any time soon (knock wood) but I often wish I had bought a laptop instead. I would really like the portability. Oh well, maybe someday.

My son-in-law bought a Mac Book Pro at Christmastime last year and finally, after 6 months, he is a reasonably proficient user on that puppy. Talk about bells and whistles...that thing is loaded to the max with a hefty price tag to match! I Would dearly love to have one of those things...oh well...maybe someday...sigh

Maureen said...

Good luck with the new computer. I think it's funny how attached we get to them and it's always sad when one dies.

Sandra Marton said...

The computer saga continues...

My new portable arrived Thursday, "lived" for a couple of hours--and then died. I could hardly believe it! Since I'm pretty good with computers, I dug into the box it came in for an operating system disk (Windows Vista--more on that another time) and there wasn't any.

I phoned the computer salesman I'd dealt with. Seems this company--why am I being coy? It was a Sony Vaio--it seems they don't provide the Operating System disks. Just call tech support, he said...

OK. You really don't want to hear the rest of this. The bottom line is, I called tech support, ended the call, packed up the portable, phoned FedEx and the new computer is now history.

Friday, I went online at Dell, selected another portable, phoned, spoke with a salesman and now I'm waiting for delivery. Two weeks, at least, the salesman said.

I am very, very happy I have other computers in the house--and that my next book isn't due until the end of November!

Nathalie said...

Well... mine is a 6 years old laptop which I have diagnosed with compensated heart failure... let's pray it won't crash soon... I kind off got use to it.