WoB Talk

March 19, 2012

The Computer Curse Continued

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 1:08 am

For once, there’s actually nothing wrong with my laptop.  However, the reason there’s nothing wrong with my laptop is that it’s brand new, and the reason it’s brand new is that it’s replacing another brand-new but defective laptop, and the reason I had the brand-new but defective laptop was that the laptop before that one, which was well under three years old, had finally died completely, a year and a half after its hard drive was replaced.

I really don’t know what it is about me and computers.  I’ve complained about my Acer before, and I would like to reiterate the complaint now.  I got off to a bad start with it because I wasn’t used to either Vista or the new style of keyboard (with extra “\” keys everywhere and a tendency for the keyboard to turn French without warning and without any way of making it go back to normal).   I took a couple of months to figure out how everything worked; then the computer started malfunctioning.  It crashed constantly.  The DVD drive stopped working.  One of the keys fell off, and I couldn’t get it back on because the key itself was broken.  Other keys jammed (this was near the beginning of the Really Flat Keys Phase, and the manufacturers hadn’t yet figured out that it was a bad idea to leave space under the keys so that bits of crud could lodge themselves in there).  Finally, about fourteen months after I had purchased the computer, it stopped working.  A friend helped me pull a few files off it, and I got the rest from Future Shop (though not without giving them about eighty bucks for the privilege).

As I had wisely bought an extended warranty,* I was able to get the computer repaired.  However, I was without it for nearly two months.  When I finally got it back, it was basically a new machine.  Again, it worked for a few months, then deteriorated.  In the winter of 2012, it once more ground to a halt.  I was able to rescue all my files myself in safe mode, though it took a while.  Then the real fun began.  My desktop computer, which is four years old, has dysfunctional USB drives (at one point, they fell inside the computer; now they’re just sort of hanging out of the tower, and they work when they feel like it).  I simply could not get the USB drives to recognise my external hard drive, and I was therefore unable to access any of my files, even though I had technically rescued them from the Acer.

I had to go to Future Shop the next day and find another computer.  I had listened to my brother-in-law’s advice but ultimately chosen another laptop, which did turn out to be a better deal.  However, almost as soon as I started using it, the power cord started to malfunction; the computer wasn’t getting any power half the time.  Every time I jiggled it, it would stop charging.  It took thirteen days for it to get so bad that I had to take it back.  Future Shop will replace your laptop if you return it within fourteen days.  As it turned out, the store had sold out of the Samsung model I had bought.  Hasan, the guy who had sold me the Samsung, remembered me and found me a Lenovo for the same price.  Hasan was very nice all the way through this process.  He was a good salesman, but I forgave him for that because, well, he was a good salesman.

I now have a Lenovo to replace my Samsung, which replaced my Acer, which replaced my Toshiba, which replaced my Compaq, which replaced my other Compaq.  I have had more laptops than most people have had dental procedures.  I honestly don’t do anything to these computers; they just don’t like me.  I really hope the Lenovo lasts for at least a little while.

*This would not count as wisdom for most people, but computers really hate me.

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1 Comment »

  1. Ouch. Good luck with the new computer working for a while. I sometimes suspect that the secret is to abuse one computer really badly, so that you don’t make as many mistakes with other computers. Not that I suspect that any of this is your fault- frankly, it sounds like a bunch of hardware issues that are almost certainly not your fault unless you practice juggling with them, which I suspect you do not. But still. Maybe the universe really does work better if you make a sacrifice to the appropriate deity beforehand.

    If it helps you any, it is possible to have good luck with computers. I’m going to be replacing mine soonish, but it’s also nearly six years old, and is still quite functional, just a bit slow. Any my printer is quite possibly the most valuable printer in the world, because of one, simple, miraculous thing: it works. It’s never not worked. The one time I thought that it wasn’t working, it turned out that I had simply been silly and not plugged in the printer cable. Once I corrected that, it worked fine.

    Comment by erwaro — March 19, 2012 @ 4:18 am


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