Sunday, May 10, 2015

Finally Back

Well, it's been a long, long time since I made a post here, but there have been reasons.  First, we lost Comcast for more than two months.  Three, if you count a month of totally unusable service.  We thought about switching providers during this period, but found no alternatives where we live, which is boondocks central.

On top of this, we lost both computers within a week.  Lost completely.  Both blew motherboards and hard drives.  Neither was worth repairing.  I don't know what the odds of this are, but it happened.  We had plenty of time to make a decision about new computers because my work load right now has been all offline, and off computer.  Most know I write the large majority of first drafts longhand, and that's what I've spent the last few months doing.  Everything I wanted to do online, mostly making forum posts and doing research, was easy enough to do with a cell phone.  Trying to post here with a cell phone did not work at all, so I gave up after two attempts.

Money has been the real problem.  It's been scarce since my heart attacks.  Even with good insurance, we still went through our savings.  All of it.  So the choice has been buy cheap, or go in hock for something expensive.  About three weeks ago, we reached the point, or I did, where we had to make a decision.  I had reams of work built up in longhand, and deadlines looming.  You can't rebuild savings by going n hock, so we decided to buy cheap now, and save for expensive computers later.  We started shopping around, decided on a pair of Asus laptops, and paid cash.  I'm just now running them through the tests, but so far, so good.  They have a one year warranty, and should keep us going until we can afford to pay cash for bigger, better computers.

I've already learned I hate Windows 8.1, but other than this, I'm impressed with these computers so far.  And I'll probably update them to Windows 10 when the release is made public. 

I really shouldn't be very hard to impress.  My first computer used those huge floppy disks, and stored only about fifty pages of writing.  My first "modern" work computer, top of the line at the time,  had a four gig hard drive,  and the OS required two gigs of hard drive space.  But even with only two gigs to play with, I never filled it.  Yet it cost something over $1,200, which was a lot of money back then.  These Asus computers cost $249 each, have four gigs of ram, a five hundred gig hard drive, and a fifteen and a half inch screen.   A massively more powerful computer for twenty percent of the cost.  That's progress.

My wife needs a bigger, faster computer for some of her later in life activities, but who knows, if it doesn't break easily, this cheap Asus may prove to be all I need for writing?   I've always bought top of the line, but maybe that's no longer necessary?  We'll see. 

I'm certainly going to put it through the test over the next month or so.  I really do have a massive stack of longhand that needs transcribed, and I start on it tomorrow morning. 

Anyway, we now have Comcast back, and they even paid us for the months without service.  I have a computer, and all, so far, is well with the world.


James A. Ritchie


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