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Archive for March 20th, 2009


Friday, March 20th, 2009

It has been computer-hiccup time for a few days. A friend’s computer would not start properly after she installed a few normal Linux-related upgrades, first. Then, my main computer mysteriously was not getting electricity even though it was plugged in.

The friend’s “netbook” computer is easy to fix. She does not save anything to it, so Brian and I looked at it. We figured out how to get it back to where it was working before the update.

No harm done, just a few worried days but no expense or warranty nightmares. I may fuss with it a little more before taking it back to her, and see if I can make it more dependable. We’ll see.

My Unloved Work Laptop

My Toshiba/VISTA laptop has never been a favorite. It was the right price at the right time, but I just don’t like it. I often do fall in love with my tools, including a few laptops I’ve owned. However, this one which is my current main work machine, I don’t even like much.

But: even if you have an imperfect tool, it is really important to not be totally without that tool. I came home Thursday night after helping out at Rae’s shop from 11a-8p, and wanted to deal with some emails and other administrative work for my own business. No luck. The computer was totally unresponsive.


A Little Nurturing During the Wait

Now, life is not supposed to work perfectly every day. I did have a knot in my stomach last night, but I determined to make the best of it.

I made a comfort-food dinner (pasta with red sauce and chicken) and knit for the joy of knitting. Nobody likes not knowing “the score,” but I made the best of it.

A Good Experience, A Solution

Today/Friday I went to Vertex Computers (Lansing Michigan: in the outbuildings of Frandor, across from Sears and next to the credit union, for local folks) and they had the answer. I was in and out in about a half an hour, and my defective power supply was replaced for a price I could afford.

They treated me well (a 50-yr old woman who dresses unconventionally is not always treated as computer-savvy). They have treated me well every time I’ve been there, even when they had never seen me before.

As a woman with more than a clue in the computer realm, I can not tell you how many computer repair places have been condescending to me. Even when I was a full-time computer consultant, I had one sales person ask me “how are WE doing today?” And continue to act as though I were a child… Ugh. I have not returned to that shop.

I’m here to report this as a good customer-service experience. I want to celebrate the good.

I’m typing this blog entry on the Toshiba. It’s a plain-Jane computer. I think of it as a “work tool” which occasionally drives me crazy but gets the work done. It reminds me of the pale green Chevette I drove with a bashed-in door, about 1979. It got the job done and it had the right price.


Had I needed to buy a new primary-work computer, that would dash all plans of going to Sock Summit in Portland, Oregon. I need to be very frugal in order to make that trip in early August, and I’m determined to make it happen.

I have never been quite so pleased to have this merely-adequate machine, as I am today. Having a paid-off, working computer (or car, for that matter), is a lot better than doing without. I’m counting my blessings.


Photo today is graffiti that appeared near a bank’s ATM machine a few weeks ago. I can not help but think that putting it that close to a money-dispenser was intentional. It made me think a bit.

I am clear that life is not always easy, I’ve been there a lot (especially in the past). However, it is not really supposed to be trouble-free. I learn a lot by working through troubles, and I am glad that these days I have them spaced further apart than before.

For the record, the bank had the paint removed very quickly. It’s not there any more.