Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thoroughly modern

When I became a remote employee I was given a used, dinosaur of a laptop but quickly found that I could not load my ISP's software onto it because it didn't have a CD drive. That rendered the laptop pretty much useless to me. Since I connect to a central computer via remote desktop, I simply did so with my home computer. I like it because it has a 17" flat screen monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse. I am a BIG right-mouse-click copy/paste person so I really like using a mouse.

A month or so ago I fired up the dinosaur and pushed the wireless button, just for kicks. To my surprise, there were 2 unsecured wireless signals within reach. I clicked on one and BAM!! I was surfing the internet wirelessly on the dinosaur. Spouse was particularly happy about this, since imagined himself walking around the house with the laptop, able to look up anything he wanted, from any room in the house, or even out on the porch. (FYI - he'll never do this.)

The next day I fired up the dinosaur again and got one of those Microsoft update pages, so I clicked to accept the update. A while later it advised me to reboot the computer for the update to take effect. I'd done this several times before with my home computer so it didn't alarm me.

Unfortunately, after rebooting, the laptop gave me some funky message about not being able to find some necessary driver or some such cryptic information that tells the average person absolutely nothing. Despite rebooting it again, I could not get the darned thing to load.
So last Wed when I spent part of the day in Reston VA for that business meeting, I took the dinosaur with me, in hopes of either getting the IT guy to fix it, or exchanging it for a better one. The cyber gods must have been smiling on me! After explaining to the IT guy that I can't actually use the laptop without the CD drive, and what happened after the Microsoft update, the IT guy suggested trading in the dinosaur for a new (used) laptop, and I didn't even pretend to resist.

So now I have a faster, more modern laptop with a CD drive and a larger screen. Oh, and I even have a laptop case to store it in, unlike the dinosaur which I carried around in an old, sweaty duffel bag. The new laptop has Vista and I am used to XP, so it is taking me a bit to 'find' everything.

A few nights ago I took the laptop upstairs to the TV room and was reading blogs and sort of halfway watching TV when Spouse came upstairs to join me. He said "Well, look at you, thoroughly modern Millie!"

Its true, I do feel so much more modern with this new laptop. I can watch TV and read blogs at the same time. I can carry it around the house if I want to, like a thoroughly modern person!
I can't wait for the next time I'm going to cook or bake something from a recipe. Instead of printing the recipe, I'll just read it off the laptop - right there in the kitchen! Thoroughly modern indeed.

But likely the best part about the new laptop? Now Spouse & I can both use a computer simultaneously. No more fighting for the internet. He can surf the net using the desktop and cable internet while I read blogs on the laptop and wireless connection.

Domestic bliss has been restored.

Crush du Jour: Sean Maguire


A Lewis said...

New Toys for hot boys! Good for you!

Anonymous said...

This house went completely laptop/wireless about 4 years ago and I'll never have anything but a laptop from now on.

This one I'm on now is approaching 4 years old, it's got enough bells and whistles though that I don't want to part with it. But I give it maybe 2 years. I've already upgraded the RAM, hard drive, replaced the palm rest and keyboard. The next major maintenance item will be the screen but that's a $50 fix.

By that point the only original piece of gear on the computer will be the motherboard.

But my next computer, definitely a 15" MacBook Pro.

Joy said...

I got this laptop almost two years ago and just love it but am getting a Mac next time, too.

Bob said...

Our computer has a teeny tiny rat-on-treadmill inside that keeps the whole thing running.
We bought it from our neighbors, the Flintstones, when they had a garage sale.

Stephen said...

I love my laptop & I will never go back...
I just joined the "modern world" myself. the husband & I just got our first cellphones!!!

David Dust said...

Last week when I didn't have internet access at home, I actually had to watch TV WITHOUT the computer on beside me. It was bizarre.

You're gonna get used to this "modern Millie" thing ... trust me.


Steven said...

Glad to hear that you got an updated toy for the computer problems you ran into. I'm new to Vista as well and I am almost there when it comes to getting used to it.

If you didn't already try it, try "System Restore" if you run into problems with the new laptop.