Just for once in my life, I’d like to not have to buy a new computer in a hurry

October 16th, 2009 by Reinder

With 36 hours to go before my next flight to Tennessee, the Macbook dies. That means that
a) I get to buy a new hard drive for my Macbook just to have access to my files (music including my vinyl album rips, scans - the paper originals for many of which I have recently thrown out) minus the ones added since I last ran Time Machine;

b) I get to take all my installation materials to Amsterdam and install them at the address where I am sleeping over so I can catch my plane in the morning. If that doesn't work, I get to take a bricked laptop to Tennessee and try again while I'm there;

c) because Apple can't be relied upon to make hardware that survives even a short period of intensive use, instead of doing it all through Parallels Fusion on the Macbook, we get to buy a Dell box in a hurry for the long-distance work I will be doing. We do not get time to think about what precisely we want - we get to order quickly and hope it's up and running before my . Just like with the current desktop at home in Groningen, and the studio machine before that, and the studio machine before that. Other people sometimes get to ponder their aging systems and say "Gee honey, maybe we should save up a bit of cash so we can replace this old box." I have not been in a position to do that for five or so years. I get to replace dead machines in a mad rush to meet the next deadline;

d) I get to stay up late to complete the preparations for my trip that I was working on at the time the laptop gave up. Obviously I don't get to do the ones that involve installing software on the laptop, but I did lose 90 minutes just trying to diagnose the problem (see: opaque operating systems and why they're a bad idea even if they're pretty);

e) I get to lose all the money I saved through 5 weeks of stepping up the frugality. Isn't it wonderful to be me?

Well at least I'll be seeing Aggie again in two days. So it's not all misery.

7 Responses to “Just for once in my life, I’d like to not have to buy a new computer in a hurry”

  1. Branko Collin Says:

    Last time I bought a Dell laptop, it took them a month to build and deliver it. Make sure you have it delivered in Tennessee.

    I get to lose all the money I saved through 5 weeks of stepping up the frugality. Isn’t it wonderful to be me?

    You mean, the frugality pays off, right? So, yes, I guess it is wonderful to be you. Where do I sign up? :-)

  2. Branko Collin Says:

    Also, buying computers in a rush to replace dead ones because you are on a deadline is a function of having deadlines, not of your life.

  3. Leem10538a Says:

    “You mean, the frugality pays off, right?”

    Yeah, that reminds me of the Tony Hancock episode where he gives a pint of blood, discovers it’s a rare group, and then gets the same pint back after injuring himself because it’s the only pint the hospital has of his rare group. The doctor thinks it was a waste of time giving it in the first place, but Hancock points out that he’d have been in trouble without it.

  4. Branko Collin Says:

    Reinder, how is life in the new fatherland? Have they internets there?

  5. Kitchen Butterfly Says:

    Why have you burst my bubble? I’ve been living in paradise, claiming the MAC and all things APPLE to be the next best thing to sliced bread, or at least windows! And I know about buying computers in a hurry. Went to the Tea Museum in Houwewrzijl….read your review/blog post from 2005 before we went – oh the power of google

  6. Reinder Says:

    Actually, the frugality had at that time already paid for a large tax bill – which I admit was a preventable one. It’d have been easier for me to tighten the belt slightly for a year and report at the start of the year that I was no longer eligible for rent support, rather than have the amount added to my cash flow and pay it all back at once at the end of the year. Lesson learned: money leaking in is as harmful as money leaking out, in the long run.

    As for this: “Also, buying computers in a rush to replace dead ones because you are on a deadline is a function of having deadlines, not of your life.”

    But having deadlines is a function of my life and one that I would really like to do without for a few decades, just to see what it’s like.

  7. Waffle » Blog Archive » There’s no better welcome home and no better start to the new year than a dead computer Says:

    [...] you may remember, the day before I left for Tennessee in mid-October, my Macbook died (it got better, especially after I gave up running Parallels on it. I just came home from Tennessee [...]