Monday, January 11, 2010

new toy

This is my new baby. I bought it on Saturday, after spending several frantic hours on Friday night making sure that I had downloaded everything off my old computer (still new-in-my-mind) before the battery drained completely. Several weeks ago I realized that I was having trouble recharging it; I thought it was the jack, but TH had recently had trouble with his power cord so I went out and bought a universal adapter. I brought it home and it worked like a charm for about a week or so. Then on Wednesday and Thursday, even that began to fail. The jack continued to become increasingly loose and I was afraid that the motherboard would short out if I didn't take care of it. I went to a local big electronics warehouse and talked to the service people. They could repair it, but they'd have it forever and I'd have to order all the parts and there would be no warranty for the work (it seemed). So I came home and called Toshiba and they quoted me a horrifying flat-fee figure if I shipped it to them. They also gave me the name and number for a nearby authorized repair shop--about 70 miles away! (and I do not live in the out-frakkin' back), which really frustrated me. And they'd have it for about a month (right at the start of the semester, no less). Their prices were only slightly better (but of course, they reminded me that they might find other things that needed repair or reconditioning). So the long and short of it was that I'd spend about half the cost of a new computer repairing the jack on my old computer. Fail.
My new laptop has lots of great features, including a wonderful keyboard and high def, 16" screen. It is heavier, but I've always got my work computer (a really light-weight portege) for tougher travel conditions. For $20, I was able to buy the entire Windows Office package. And then, since I needed photoshop and dreamweaver, I bought adobe's web premium package for a fairly reduced (but hardly cheap) rate, so I've got to spend some quality time with it later this week so that I can take advantage of all the graphics toys on that (a class may even be in order). My new year's resolution is to take MUCH BETTER care of this computer and battery (calibrating faithfully every 3 mo.s and not leaving it plugged in too long). I got quite a lecture about this from the Toshiba customer service rep (who was clearly in an overseas call center).


Anonymous said...

What's this calibrating business?

auto ethnographer said...

You are supposed to totally drain out the battery once a month, typically (although my new computer says 3 months for this battery)before recharging. Drain it completely--as in dead for about 3 hours so that it doesn't even have a reserve for running your computer clock. Then plug in and recharge--making sure it's fully charged before unplugging. This will recalibrate the battery so that the reading you see on your computer readout for battery-charge is accurate. Otherwise, it may show that you have less charge than you actually do and you'll end up lowering the battery charge by re-charging too often (or you'll do it by just never using the battery up--I tend to stay plugged in--which puts more pressure and heat on the jack). I've been nagged at by MP2 about this re: both computer and iPhone for literally years, but bad habits die hard! and expensively.
I love that my word verification is "wootters." Who does THAT bring to mind????:)