What have I been up to lately? Well, I bought two new laptops to replace my Old Grey Lady. I really love my old laptop but she had become so old that it would be much more expensive to upgrade her than to just go out and buy another to replace her. So I did.
I decided if I’m gonna really do this writing and author thing, I have to do it right. To do it right, I need the proper equipment to work with. The Old Grey Lady was too out of date for me to download MicroSoft Office8 and that was a major hinderance to my writing and possible submissions.
It broke my heart when I found out that most publishers prefer submissions in the MicroSoft Word format. I had been using Open Office for years and hadn’t a clue till a few months ago. Yes, I know about the thingy (I know, a GEEK saying *thingy*) on OfficeOffice where you can change the format of the document. I haven’t tried it yet, in fact I’m sacred to.
The editor I’d sent my manuscript was very kind and suggested nicely that I needed to invest in the proper software (because they couldn’t open the doc on their computer). Yes it was a blow, and it seems like I really couldn’t write properly until I got my new *babies*. Now, I’m in the starting gate again and champing at the bit.
Of course both computers have to be prepped. When I first bought Old Grey Lady from Best Buy, The Geek Squad had set up everything for me with spyware and stuff for an additional fee. However, when I made my recent purchases no such offer was made. I wouldn’t have accepted anyway because I’m far more computer literate than I was back then and thus know how to customize and set up my own systems.
Plus I heard from geek friends that when some stores do that, not all of their people are legit. Meaning for a little extra cash from the Dark Side, they will install malware cookies and spybots on your computer’s hard drive along with the latest version of Windows. . . . . ID Theft is a really hot business these days, and hackers will grab your info any way they can.
That’s the last thing I needed. That’s why I do it myself.
I am in no way disparaging Best Buy, Staples, or any other big electronics/office outlet that employs in store tech support people. Not all of them are bad, in fact I’ve met some excellent Geeks who I could’ve chatted with all day, if they didn’t have work to do. But, you need to and check what they installed or fixed and make sure they didn’t add anything extra. . . . . .
Like one encounter I recently witnessed.
“Umm, what the heck is this?” he asked the tech, after booting up his laptop and checking the repair. He was pointing to something on the screen.
“Oh that’s such and such (I forget the name). We needed to install that in order to. . . . . . . ..” the tech replied.
“I didn’t ask for this on my computer and I want it removed. . .” the outraged customer said cutting the tech off.
“Whoopsy!” I thought. At that time I exited stage left, as I was only there to ask a question, and the place looked like a busy doctor’s office. People on line with sick laptops . . . . .
Now you see why I like to do things myself! Plus I know a lot of great sites to get FREE virus and malware free programs! That’s right, FREE! One of them is CNET.com.
My last task will be to hook both computers up to an online back up site, which is Mozy.com. Right now I’m using a 2gb FREE account, but I’m going to step it up to a paid account.
It pays to have online back up if you have a lot of valuable writing on your computer(s). With writers ALL of our writing is valuable! It’s either that or invest in an independent hard drive to store everything. But with an external hard drive you must remember to back up everything on a regular basis. With online backup, it’s done automatically every time you sign on. Or you can customize your backup times.
Last but not least, did you know that today’s laptops no longer have a built-in disk drive? When I bought Mini-Me (my netbook) I had to purchase an independent external disk drive if I wanted to install software on her or watch a DVD. When I bought my laptops, I discovered the same thing! It’s a good thing I already have an external disk drive, which works like a dream when hooked up by the way. Saved me from beating a flaming path back to the store to buy one!
I’m also one of those people who like to pre-shop. I knew I was buying the laptops so I already bought my laptop covers and mice and whatever do-dads I needed before actually buying the products itself. I know this great discount place where I can get all kinds of wires and peripherals really cheap and I HOARD. Why? Because I knew the standard question after you make your selection is: Do you need a laptop cover, do you need this or that or the other? The sales lady was most disappointed when I told her: “I already have that, this and the other.” I know they’re trying to increase their commission, but I’m trying to save some dollars too.
Another method of increasing the sales persons commission is ye olde insurance question.
You should really buy insurance for your computer in case your three year old spills their juice box drink on your keyboard. I have no children. Or, You need insurance in case your computer falls out of the 25th floor window. I don’t live on the 25th floor They forgot to add, in case your cat or dog piddles on your keyboard. My cats know better. . . . . .
I nixed insurance, because I know that with most of these stores, that whole insurance thing is just a scam to jack the price up. To date the only store insurance that worked for me was SEARS. All others I’d bought and tried were sadly lacking and a waste of money. I’d rather take my chances on getting it fixed independently by the computers manufacturer or a good friend. However, this is just my scathing opinion because I was burned too many times in the past. For further information I suggest you check with your local consumer affairs website and see how they compare and rate in-store insurance(s).
It’s probably gonna take me a few more days to get back on track, but I am writing. I have several things on the stove at once and Rhu has decided I should spend a little time on each until I finish them all. Not like I was doing before. Writing one story and dreaming about the other three. . . . . . .
I know, that doesn’t make sense at all. That’s a writer for you. . . . . :+)