First, some background history. Eighteen months ago, my notebook PC began to fall apart. The sum of its years and a constant daily use putting out 10,000 words each day began to take its toll… and the keys were practically ungluing themselves… (See picture). Also, most of their pressure contacts were going dead.I tried to explain this to a few of my writer colleagues, but besides getting “I would go crazy if I were you!” comments, there was nothing else. One would think there would be a certain degree of professional commiseration, but…
I got a couple of offers to send me a used keyboard (electronics have steep prices down here) there was nothing much else. However, I had already keyboards up my wazoo… three or four old PS/2 ones lying around the house… Even if they sent me an USB keyboard, I had enough stuff cluttering the place. Also. The custom taxes on electronics would have killed me, too. Not the most optimal solution, mind you.
Fortunately, some of my real online friends were smart enough to chip in for a brand new PS/2 to USB converter (just $14.95 at the time) in the form of Amazon Gift Cards or by buying a few of my e-books through Smashwords, which wouldn’t break no ones’ bank. I just had to plug it into the computer, chain one of my ancient keyboards through the gadget and Voila! I was back to work, being able to finish my The Karaoke Duo Vs the Karaoke Zombies book without any extra hassle than having to have an additional keyboard sitting on my lap the whole time.
A couple of months later, the hard disk died. But it wasn’t a physical death; the Operating System committed suicide, making it next to impossible to use the computer. Eventually, I managed to recover all relevant files out of that disk… but I was without an operating system to reset the computer. Couldn’t do a system recovery; the morons inhabiting this %$#! country have the charming notion of opening the boxes in which computers are shipped in and steal out vital components to sell them separately. Someone had removed the system recovery disks, a detail I noted the moment I bought this PC. There’s nothing that can be done about it; don’t want a crippled PC? Fine with us, don’t buy it… NEXT CUSTOMER, PLEASE!. I once bought an Epson scanner; as usual it didn’t come with scanning software… the salesman offered me to sell me a copy at three times the original cost of the scanner (I downloaded the required software that same night from Compuserve for FREE!… imagine that.) BTW… a $200 Netbook PC can come to be street valued at $3500, even during a good day in the Black Market.
So I had to live without a computer for nearly a year (again, barely any sympathy from my fellow writer friends, who thought I was joking), resorting to my cell phone to type these blog posts and most of my last novel, Fermata Girl.
Now, something has happened… Someone I know is moving out of the country, scouting for a job offer in the Good Ole United States. He has figured out it would be Hell Time trying to carry his PC with him on the plane (which is true down here in the Mighty Kingdom of Aleveznue; they would practically have stripped the poor machine into its component parts just to ensure there isn’t any drugs or explosives being smuggled out inside it) and he decided to leave his computer behind… choosing yours truly to take care of the silly little thing. So I’m basically (temporarily) using a little-bit-outdated computer to write this.
I sincerely hope this guy achieve his goal of getting a job outside of this hellhole of a country. I wish it wholeheartedly… for two very distinct reasons: the first one: that he’s able to escape this mess…and the second one is a little more selfish: he’ll be capable to buy a brand new computer, ten times better than this one, with his first paycheck.
Maybe he’ll forget all about this one, so I can keep using it. Meanwhile, I’m back from the Stone Age, albeit on a possible temporary basis.
You’ll never get to know how much I missed using a working computer.
Tears are rolling down my cheeks as I write this