Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Death Throes of an Old Friend by Jannine Gallant


My laptop is on its last legs. Okay, maybe not legs, but whatever. The poor thing is four years old, and I'm currently writing my twelfth book on it. Quite a few of the keys no longer function...the s and d being the worst offenders since I could maybe live without the q. I have to plug in a keyboard to write (or even log on) and haul it around with me wherever my trusty old pal and I go. It's beyond pathetic. But it's not just the keyboard. My computer was doing something weird, just running and running and running. After some intense investigation, I discovered it was trying to load updates and failing. The solution, I simply turned off all updates. Yeah, probably not the smartest move... Then there was the time my screen went completely black. I took out the battery and hit a few commands before putting it back in, and my screen resurrected from the dead. I'm getting pretty good at searching out fixes online for all my technical problems. More's the pity.

So, why don't I buy a new one you ask?

Reason #1 I have Windows 7 on my laptop. I love Windows 7. I don't want Windows 10 because I'm an old dog who doesn't want to learn new tricks. And Windows 7 actually works.

Reason #2 I would have to transfer all those gazillion files. My daughters say it's easy. I seriously doubt it.

Reason #3 Most of the sites that require passwords load automatically. Changing computers means trying to figure out what all those passwords actually are. Like my email...which I've completely forgotten at this point. Ugh.

But, since I'm not completely delusional, I know the time is drawing near to say good-bye to my old friend. This is where you come in. I want a trustworthy new laptop for writing and storing files, pictures, book covers, etc. I don't play games or store tons of music. I want simple and functional with enough memory and speed to do the job but without overkill. I want something smaller than my current 15" beast. I don't want to pay $1000+ for an Apple computer like I shelled out for my youngest daughter's graduation gift. I'd like to keep it in the $500-$700 range. I want recommendations since walking into Best Buy is like walking into a foreign world. My eyes glaze over, and I don't have a clue where to start.

Do you have a laptop you love or hate? What would you suggest I buy for my current needs? Maybe my quest can help others considering the transition from old to new. Let's get the discussion started!

And if you'd like to help pay for my new best friend, pick up a copy of one of my books. Reading romantic suspense is a great way to enjoy your summer, and I have plenty to choose from...all written on my old pal! Buy links are on my WEBSITE.

21 comments:

Alicia Dean said...

Ha, Jannine. I definitely think it's time to put your old friend out of its misery. I wish I had a good recommendation, but I would also like to know the answer to your questions. I would even like to know the most comfortable size. I have a large screen laptop and a tiny one, and I'm not thrilled with either. And, you will love Windows 10 once you get used to it. It DOES work. It's a breeze, actually. Sometimes us old dogs just have to learn new tricks. :) Good luck! Let us know what you choose.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Okay Old Dog, listen up. I have a new laptop and desktop, so I must be using windows 10 and didn't even know it. It must be easy, right? I also transferred files, copy and paste, and not sure how I did that either, but it worked. I absolutely guarantee you can do it. Also, my new favorite brand is Lenovo. I once had an HP laptop that was truly possessed. Especially with Word. Both my systems are Lenovo and I LOVE them. Even got one as a close out clearance. Geez, I remember when you bought your old friend. Time flies

Jannine Gallant said...

I have a large laptop, too, Ally. 14" I think. My girls have the smaller, super thin ones. Possibly 11". They seem a lot more portable, but they aren't tiny. I've gone on theirs to do something a time or two and like the size. I'm glad Windows 10 is working. I heard a lot of horror stories about Windows 8 so I've been skeptical!

Got it, Margo. I'll take a look at Lenovo. Good info! Which model do you have?

Brenda Whiteside said...

I went through what you're going through. I had to turn off updates. The old thing just didn't know how to handle them. I finally broke down and got an HP Notebook at Costco. I'm not going to tell you I love it. Well, the computer itself is a perfect size and feels good under my fingertips. But I'm not crazy about windows 10. My word docs aren't set up like I'd like but I haven't taken the time to figure it out. I loaded this way and don't want to reload for fear of losing something. It came with Edge browser but I switch between Edge and Google cause I don't fully understand to like either of them. Anyway, the price for the computer was good and like I said, it runs fine. Good luck.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Model? ***shrug*** I'll check when we get off the road and let you know. Seriously, both were special deals.

Jannine Gallant said...

I don't even know what the differences between a laptop and a notebook are, Brenda. Size? functionality? I like Google. It's the browser I use. I've never heard of Edge.

Shouldn't you be editing Vince on that laptop while you drive, Margo? LOL

Alison Henderson said...

Last December, I was where you are now--strongly resisting the need to replace my beloved laptop. I finally gave up right after Christmas when my daughter heard my fan running at top speed and dragged me to Best Buy before we had a fire. Because of the graphics work I do, I wanted the largest screen I could find. I bought a 17" HP Envy. Yes, I had to learn Windows 10, but I did it and so can you!

Jannine Gallant said...

Alison, the fan issue was why I turned off my updates! LOL I could see why you want the big screen, but you probably don't have to drag yours around to work the way I do. I feel like a pack mule going to the boat ramp with all the crap I take! How many gigs of memory does your new one have? I'm wondering what I actually need since I store a lot of book covers, graphic teasers my pub sends me, photos, etc. on my computer I don't even know if those take up a lot of memory space.

Alison Henderson said...

Jannine, you wouldn't want mine. It's big and way too heavy to haul around. It came with 16 GB of memory, which (I think) is much more than I would ever use, but you can always upgrade the memory.

Rolynn Anderson said...

The guy at Apple transferred all my docs from one machine to the new one. When in doubt, pay for the service... when it's important. Good luck!

Jannine Gallant said...

Alison, good to know. I was thinking 8GB would be plenty.

Rolynn, the last time I transferred files I had a computer guy do it. But that was because I waited to buy a new one until the old one died an agonizing death, and he had to recover those files. LOL

Brenda Whiteside said...

I don't either, LOL. But I think it's bigger than you want.

Diane Burton said...

I groused relentlessly about my laptop woes all through July. Like you, I didn't want to spend $1000+ on a new one. I really liked the size of my old one (13"). I'd gotten an 11" before that one only to find it was too small for me (and my old eyes). I took that one back withing a week and got the last one. Some people swear by ASUS, including my neighbor who thinks they are wonderful. I swore at it. Right from the beginning. Give me a Dell or HP. I bought a Dell last Friday for $400. (It's on sale this week for $350 & I'll go back to Best Buy for the refund.) It's a 15" and seems so big. If I'd wanted a 13" I would've had to pay too much (for me).

I love Windows 10. Hated Win 8. MS really screwed up with that one. Win 10 is pretty easy. I've had it since it came out. Transferring files from the old computer to the new one was super easy. Thank goodness, the Geek Squad guy was able so save all my files, pictures, and downloads onto an external hard drive. Using File Manager, I copied all my documents into the Document folder, all my pictures into the Pictures folder, etc. What amazed me the most was I didn't lose my bookmarks. Chrome saved all of them. (So did Firefox). I don't use Internet Explorer or Edge so no bookmarks there. I hope you find a computer that works for you. Although this one still seems big, I'm getting used to it and I love the ease with which I retained all my files.

Jannine Gallant said...

Good to hear the info transfer went well, Diane. I've no experience with ASUS. We had a Dell desk top that had issues, but my daughter likes her (fancy and expensive) Dell laptop. I don't want fancy or expensive! Thanks for your input. It helps.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Okay. I looked and finally have IT, sort of. My laptop is a G50 as far as I can see. I've heard ASUS is good too. IBM product, I think.

Jannine Gallant said...

I checked it out, Margo. It's one of the bigger ones, 15.6 inches. That's what I have now. I finally figured out how to measure the dang thing! I think I want to go smaller without the disc drive, since I've never used the disc drive in my old pal. 13-14 inches. Not the tiny 11 inch ones.

Leah St. James said...

Chiming in late here, but anyway...
I'm like you. I use my laptop for writing, email and storing photos for blogs. I don't play games. Several years ago I switched from Dell to Lenovo and love it. I think it's a G50. I paid around $500. My son also has Lenovo and loves it. We are both former Dell users. I ditched Dell when I discovered that the simplest of updates (like memory) were more difficult with a Dell. (Don't ask me to recall much more than that, please....it's been several years!)

My son hates Windows 10 but I have no problems...or haven't since I figured out the new pictures and what they mean. :-) (I am so NOT an icon person. I need words!) My one "must" was an Intel processor, not the Celeron (I think) which can boost the price up. But again this is several years ago.

Whenever I buy technology, I'll search for articles like "top ten basic laptops for 2017" from reputable sources, like PC Magazine (just an example). Then I research myself to death until I'm forced to pick one. :-)

Good luck with your search. There are tons of great back-to-school sales now! You should be able to get something decent.

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Jannine,
I went through the same process and finally ended up with an Apple. I didn't want to pay so much but it was worth. The learning curve is minimal and they don't change it every year. I can take it into the store and they will help me fix any problems.
I couldn't keep up with the changes in Windows. Like you I was happy with Windows 7.
I did get Scrivener to work on my manuscripts instead of using Pages.

Jannine Gallant said...

Good idea to check PC Mag, Leah. Another vote for Lenovo means I'll definitely check them out!

Barb, I got my daughter an Apple as a graduation gift, and she loves it. Of course I wouldn't spend that kind of cash on me... I hear you about the learning curve, though.

Andrea Downing said...

Jannine, isn't this false economy? I have an Apple laptop, MacAir and it's now 7 years old and still going strong. I just updated the operating system and everything is hunk dory. think about it. And it's so lightweight for travel, too. I used to use Windows but learned quickly to use the Mac--there really isn't that much difference. But good luck with whatever choice you make.

Jannine Gallant said...

Mine actually still woks, Andrea, but I've literally worn it out with constant use. An Apple product might last longer, but the phones don't seem to with constant use. One of the advantages is less viruses, though. I do like that thought. Thanks for your input!