My laptop computer is probably the hardest working device in my toolbox, just don't tell the hammer drill. The computer has to suffer the ignominies of being chucked about in vans, boats, small planes, building sites and fits of owner's pique. And it shows. The screen is a bit temperamental, the battery life is poor and... come to think of it, we're very alike!
A couple of weekends ago, I took the plunge and decided to upgrade it. As the laptop is nearly 6 years old, I had anticipated things being much more whizzy now, such is usually the way of technological progress. So I was rather surprised to see the same chipset still in use for mid-range computers, and storage capacity smaller (though more expensive). What the actual... ?
Closer inspection showed that hard disc drives are now old hat, with solid drives backing up to the Cloud being all the rage. As I can't always guarantee finding a connection to the internet whilst out and about, this wasn't a direction I was wishing to explore.
Happily, by choosing a slightly smaller screen size (from 17" down to 15.6"), I was able to find a slimmer and lighter computer (I won't be so alike with this one!). In fact, so slim that I had a momentary panic that there wouldn't be room for the port in which to plug an ethernet cable. It turns out that it is just possible to squeeze in one of these RJ45 connectors, by hinging a piece of the body of the laptop. Phew.
Having now decided upon a specific model, predictably, the cheapest one was to be found on Amazon. In my haste to place the order, I somehow triggered a free Prime trial. Gah! It took me bloomin' ages and many different webpages to cancel the subscription, although I was stuck with the free 1 month's trial. Why so prim about Prime? Well, there's not much point in building up my hopes for a next day delivery when you live in the back of beyond. And so it proved, the parcel took a week to arrive (although the new laptop bag I ordered several days later did arrive several days sooner, go figure).
Yesterday, I had allowed a whole day for tracking down a cable fault in a hotel, but I was fortunate (or skilled?) and managed to solve the problem before lunch. This meant that I had half a day free to begin sorting out the new machine. All was going swimmingly (I even managed to transfer over my Office 2013 package) until I decided to try loading Windows Updates. For some reason, although everything else was happy downloading (anti-virus, malware protection etc), and although the computer knew it needed updates, it would search for ages and then give up. After several reboots, more attempts at updating and a couple of forlorn trips through Troubleshooting, I bit the bullet and contacted Microsoft.
I could either wait 10 minutes to speak to someone, book a callback or be first in the queue for live chat. I opted for the latter and was put through to a person who didn't really deserve me (or at least my problem) in their day. For as it transpired, it wasn't an easy fix, even once I'd taken the scary decision to allow remote control from the Microsoft end. Eep! After about an hour, in which I sat and watched various windows being opened and closed, drop down menu selections being altered and DOS commands pinging about right, left and centre, my computer was restarted. This was where I realised I should've written down the ticket number on my problem! Fortunately, once rebooted, the Windows Update facility was working, so after a further 30 minutes and 24 updates, I logged back on to Microsoft to give some glowing feedback and much gratitude.
Although I was pretty sure I had never used the Cloud, within seconds of me signing in to er... um... it could've been Google... or maybe Microsoft... the new laptop was displaying the background screen from the old machine and showing me photos from late 2013 and early 2014. In cyberspace, everyone can hear you scream "Where did that come from?!"