On Spills, or Why I Shouldn’t Get an E-reader

Bike & buggy trail between Fredricksburg and Millersburg
How I spent my Sunday (picture from 2010) - I was on the bike side 😉

As I type this on my ancient and frustrating backup laptop, my regular machine is sitting silent and still on a shelf patiently waiting diagnosis. Or rather, verification of the problem. See, Thursday past I accidentally (and very unintentionally) dumped a cup of tea on the table, the floor, myself…and my laptop. Before I could unplug it and remove the battery it shut down, a possible short. Despite my best efforts to dry it out, it still won’t start and so I took it to the repair shop this morning. The interesting part here is that I found the shop by way of a friend of my brother’s—his cousins own/run the shop, and it just so happens that they are Amish. Whatever works. It was a lovely drive down into some of the more rural parts of Ohio, by the way. I can’t believe they thought I wouldn’t want to make the drive—my brother’s friend had kindly offered to take the computer in for me.

Best case scenario: something fixable for a reasonable price. Worst case: the repair is so expensive it makes more sense to replace it rather than fix it. This last possibility hurts me for two reasons 1) the expense (ouch!) and 2) it seems so incredibly wasteful to be replacing something only just 15 months old. I’m one of those wear it out until it’s useless people. The only reason I replaced the computer I’m currently using as backup is that it wasn’t powerful enough to run the software I needed to learn to increase the likelihood of a new job. The good news to this story is that I shouldn’t lose any files/data, regardless of outcome. I know you’ve heard it before, but I feel compelled to offer this public service announcement:

Regularly Backup Your Computer

I’m perhaps more paranoid than most: in the course of 3 computers I’ve owned I’ve had to replace at least two mother boards (third diagnosis pending; previous mother boards were under warranty) and one hard drive. When I was in school several of my classmates had laptops stolen (out of a supposedly locked studio). Tragedy happens. So I backup on a weekly basis. It just so happens backup day is Wednesday, so I only lost a few hours worth of unimportant notes. If I had more important files/created files more frequently I would backup more frequently, and given the suddenness of the tea incident I’m thinking that I should at least consider it now. I also have a new appreciation for “the cloud.” It is somehow very reassuring to open up Spotify and realize all my playlists are there, no matter what computer I’m on, or open Twitter and see my background picture. Now that I have my backup computer updated with the files/settings I need/want I should be back in business, although I admit I’m really tempted to “mark all as read” in my feed reader.

I mentioned e-readers in my post title. I don’t have one. I don’t intend to get one; I’m not very good at staying focused when reading from a screen. (So if I’ve ever left a not-quite-on-topic comment on a very lengthy post, it’s because I lost focus partway through.) But this liquid incident reminds me that I really need to stay away from expensive electronics that I don’t need. It’s a lot cheaper to replace a paper book than an electronic reader, even if they are coming down in price. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this as an argument in the books vs. e-books wars (so silly to be fighting, really), but in my case clutziness must dictate. I now question the wisdom of owning an mp3 player. I suppose I don’t have to replace it if I kill it too. I’ve nearly laundered the thing, after all! And let’s just say I have a “dumb” phone for a reason. 🙂

Hopefully this week I will start posting on my Cinematic Treasures project (I have a backlog), finish a couple books, and generally embrace the month of May. April does not seem to be my month at all—besides the computer, I only finished one book, had a mild panic attack over the job situation, and was generally depressed by the chilly, gloomy weather. I welcome May wholeheartedly!

10 thoughts on “On Spills, or Why I Shouldn’t Get an E-reader”

  1. Oh no, sorry your comp had a tea overdose! I hope they can fix it. Being just a tad on the clutzy side myself, I ventured out to get an e-reader a while back, and to my surprise it’s still with me (touch wood). There’s hope, you see…

    1. Thanks, I hope so too! I’m kind of amazed I haven’t killed my mp3 player, but it’s survived several years with me, so I guess there’s that…

  2. Hopefully your computer can get fixed relatively easily… having to replace a computer is always a pain. 😦

    1. Thanks! Having an updated backup always helps with computer replacement, but even things as simple as getting my browser up to date is a nuisance.

  3. First, let me say what a gorgeous road is in your photograph! It makes me want to ride my bicycle (not a horse) right down the middle.

    Secondly, it’s rather odd to find oneself in the midst of both worlds: loving technology ( as in blogging) but also loving the page. Like you, I’m loathe to replace something on such a quick timeframe. Like you, I probably haven’t backed up my files. On Blogger that’s especially scary. At least on WordPress I could get help from someone on their site.

    Anyway, there are parts of an e-reader I’ve come to love. Perhaps you will too someday. Although I don’t see the need to rush unless you travel. Or, get your computer paid for. 😉

    1. Motorized vehicles aren’t permitted on the path (just buggies and horse-drawn carts), so it’s a great ride! Smooth, flat, wide, and through beautiful countryside.

      Unnecessary expenses are out of bounds right now, so even if I were lusting after an e-reader it wouldn’t be happening. 🙂 I can see certain advantages (lots of books/pages in small device), but it’s not something I see myself using—a multi-use table seems more practical. I’m still waiting to hear on the laptop, but I’m crossing my fingers it’s repairable for less than the cost of a new machine! Regarding the blog, I didn’t lose anything since that’s all online, but I did loose some of my bookmarks that I’ve had to go searching for again. (Of course, if the computer if fixable, I won’t actually lose anything in the long run.) In terms of backing up the blog itself, I know that in WordPress all I have to do is go to Tools and then Export and save the file someplace safe. I’m guessing it’s similar in Blogger.

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