The new computer: an eMachine T5212. (The company is owned by Gateway.) Got it at BestBuy after significant hours spent researching prices. We didn’t need a monitor, so this was the best way to go, with a much faster processor and hugely larger hard drive than our old PC.
Thanks to my friend’s loan of an external 40GB hard drive, I was able to back up everything (I thought) that I needed before we left town for Thanksgiving. When we got home, the old PC started up only after multiple attempts and a variety of ugly grindy noises; it reminded me of trying to start an antique car by cranking it. My husband spent half of Saturday setting up and configuring the new PC — and a good thing, too, because the old one officially died and Refused to Start Regardless of All Efforts at Resuscitation. (We think it may be something relatively fixable, like the power supply; if a local shop can get it running for not much money, we’ll set it up for the kids — in a public, viewable area, of course.)
Yesterday I devoted several hours to transferring files, setting up Outlook, restoring my Firefox profile, etc. Today I sat down to get back to work, confident that I had everything I needed. Hah! So many irritating little details … setting the correct default printer, getting folders to display their contents the way I like, downloading software updates, …. Discovered that I forgot to copy over my Word template files. Grr. Finally got some productive work done beginning in midmorning. Finished editing a file, went to upload it and — whoops! All my Network Places are gone, with my connection settings for the FTP sites to which I upload my work for several companies. Fortunately I can email, instead, but still, it’s a pain.
I hear tell that if you have a Mac, you can sit down and really, truly, begin working on it immediately. Is that true? With this PC, we’ve devoted conservatively 20 hours to getting it to a point that it has the software we need and works the way we want, with little kinks yet to be resolved. And we’re relatively computer literate people. What happens to all the computer newbies who’ve never dealt with installations and updates and configurations and reboots? Do they all hire teenagers to come get things up and running?
Ah, well; it’s fast, it’s under warranty, and it isn’t making scary noises and restarting spontaneously — and given that I work on my computer all day, that’s a lot to be glad about.