My December, Or When Technology Fails


December was when devices spontaneously started going wrong. Or, in one case, more wrong than they had been.

This was by no means the first time in 2011 that my laptop had issues.

I started off the year dependent on a USB keyboard because the A and S keys died in The Root Beer Spill Incident – or, rather, died because of my fiddling with them before everything had dried out entirely. Part of my 2010 Christmas was the gift of a replacement keyboard from a family member, but it was 2011 before the delivery and installation.

It was however the first time the errors had come so closely.

At some point this past spring or summer, I made a bit of a mistake while loading the car one bright Sunday morning. I can attest that a simple laptop sleeve is no protection at all against a paperback study Bible gone airborne. Within a week, the right hinge had started to go. By October, the left hinge had started to go with it.

By December, both hinges were held together by binder clips and the laptop had made it clear the lid was not going to close again. It made it through NaNoWriMo nobly, and I’m now wondering if there’s a technological equivalent of the human habit of holding onto life just long enough to do one last thing or see someone one last time.

Total estimated value of parts required for replacement? At least a fifth of the original purchase price.

I spent most of December dealing with a laptop that was acting like a desktop, only lighter and more compact.

Also in late November and December, the back button on one of my two mp3 players decided to fall out (really, the internal button just came loose and I cant get it to stay back in) and the battery on the other entered the point of simply not holding a charge anymore.

I had purchased a new 4GB USB drive just before Thanksgiving. In trying to recover from an error in early December, I managed to mess something up just enough that Windows and Ubuntu both can’t tell there’s anything on the drive. I’ve managed to recover the spreadsheet that had my NaNoWriMo word count tracking stored in it, but that’s pretty much all I’ve been able to recover usefully from the drive – making me very glad most of the contents had already been backed up elsewhere before that error occurred and that Scrivener was set to store backups in a different place than the working files. Thanks to the laptop problems, I was spending a good deal of time working on another machine and using that USB drive to store working files.

So imagine my surprise when a box arrived just in time for Christmas. My boyfriend surprised me with a new laptop.

This is the first time I’ve had the chance to play with Windows Seven since early in the beta process. I’m really quite pleased and may even be inspired to do some software reviews later on, because there have been some nice little surprises along the way.

And Windows Live Writer came pre-installed with the plug-in directory finally working again (it was offline when last I tried to use Live Writer), so I’m typing this now on a mobile laptop, offline and with the capacity to export and backup all settings and drafts whenever I want so that the first time I have to or choose to restore the OS to its factory state, I can be up and blogging again in the time it takes to install a plugin and import the backup file.

In the next few days, I’ll wade through whatever’s gotten stuck in the comment spam filter. and get started back on my read through Wicked.  I only just found out the fourth book exists, the local library has a copy, and I’ve sworn to myself that I’m not going to read it until I’ve blogged through the end of Lion Among Men.


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