As is typical in the life of a writer, my heavily used laptop, a nearly seven-year-old Office Depot HP something-or-other, has decided it’s pretty much done running my writing program. Or anything else, really. [ETA: I forgot to mention the constant crashes. Bleah.]
It wouldn’t run SmartEdit Writer and Word together. It wouldn’t run either while playing music. It would barely Zoom, and thanks to an unfortunate fall off the stand, the camera was broken (I did have a USB-powered backup). When you’re interviewing for out-of-state jobs, the latter two especially are less than ideal.
I truly miss Toshiba’s legacy Satellite laptops. They went from long-lived workhorses to not really existing much anymore. They would have had a customer for life if they hadn’t abandoned them.
So yesterday, after trying and failing to work on a Book 3 chapter in Word and waiting for it to keep unfreezing, I’d had enough. As much as I hated to do it, I had to dip into the little savings I have left and replace the damn thing. I spoke to a neighbor on my way out to Best Buy, and he sent me to a place called Micro Center instead.
This is not a sponsored post. But based on my short-lived experience, hoooowwwww did I not know this place existed?! (Easy; my previous city didn’t have one.) I felt like I’d driven the TARDIS back in time to Circuit City, that bastion of electronic retailers that so sadly went bust after turning itself into the gadget equivalent of Walmart. Circuit City, along with Toshiba, had me for the long haul until they made really stupid business decisions.
Dear CEOs, the old-school knowledgeable salesperson approach works. Being on a mission, I didn’t get to explore the entire sales floor. I did see a whole rack of backpacks, roller bags, etc. and my little luggage-loving heart leaped for joy. I can’t wait until I have money to go back. The chain does have a store in my target location, so if (when!) I move away, I’ll be able to explore. I hope this place NEVER goes out of business.
Anyway, thanks to a helpful sales geek, I ended up with an HP Victus, an entry-level gaming laptop that so far seems to be more than capable of handling my multitasking and content creation. Currently, I’m going through the tedious file transfer process.
Best part? A heavy markdown. Second best part? Because I prefer to do computer work in low lighting, something I’ve always wanted but never thought I’d have: a backlit keyboard!
Compare that to the (sadly non-glow-y) sticker alternative:
It’s such a small thing, but it really does make the experience better. You’ll be proud of me, too — despite being afflicted with very bad travel anxiety, I managed to find the store in an unfamiliar area and come back without getting lost or having a panic attack. The only drawback is a reduction in USB ports from three to two, but I’ve got a hub, so I’ll be fine. The old model, seeing its replacement, decided it wants to behave (for now). It has been relegated to emergency-only backup.
I’m happy to have a machine that works properly again. The performance lag made writing very unpleasant. I’m three chapters in on Book 3, and every time I opened the project file, I felt like crying. Doing the cover and book trailer when the time comes and writing cover letters, working remotely if the opportunity arises, etc. will all be much, much easier.
After installing my old Office programs again, I tested Word and SmartEdit; they’re good to go. Now to get through this tedious file transfer, copy over my playlists, and we’re back in business!