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Friday, June 6, 2014

Posting From A Borrowed Computer

A big part of our RV life is staying connected.  The Internet is almost a lifeline at times, finding routes, good campgrounds and being able to Facetime with our grandkids.  Fortunately we both have a laptop (so there is no waiting for the other to get done, like we do with the bathroom.)  Plus we have the little, almost useless net book that rounds out the computers that we carry with us in the Journey.  It's nice to have a fall back when laptops go haywire.  Tonight, I'm posting from Marti's laptop, which she has so graciously loaned to me.

My laptop saga continues.  After having the screen replaced ($188), the computer would not start up.  The repair shop claimed they didn't do anything to cause that but would take a look at it.  Later they claimed the hard drive was not working right so they would need do a test on it.

Well, the test turned out okay, so they said they needed to reload Windows 7 on it, normally they would charge $150, but as a courtesy, they'd install it for $75.  Being stuck between a rock and a hard place, I had them go ahead.  I couldn't prove that the laptop worked when I brought it in and I couldn't prove that they had screwed something up, so I had them do the work so I could just get the laptop out of their hands.  I have to point out that this laptop cost $900+, so it wasn't something I was just going to trash and buy a new one (which now would cost, with the same specs, over $1200).

I went to pick it up today and they installed Windows 7 as promised, only the oldest version, without all the service pack updates that I had.  Plus, they wiped the hard drive to do the install.  Oh boy.

Thankfully, I have Carbonite backups on both out laptops.  With a little help from the Carbonite service tech, (in Maine, not India!) I have the laptop humming with a restore of all my programs and files.  The catch is it will take two to three days to download.  Fortunately, I have logged in to the campground WiFi so I don't use up all my 20 GBs on my Millenicom MiFi.  I'm hoping for two days because we are leaving Sunday to go to Myrtle Beach for a week for a conference Marti is attending.

So without a laptop to use, I instead busied myself with knocking a few more odd jobs off the list to keep the Journey in tip-top shape.  One thing that's been bugging me is the back wheels are covered with mud from the campground where I (almost) got stuck.  You can't wash your motorhome in the campground we're at, but I did sneak a fast wash of all the tires and rims.  After they dried, I gave them a good coating of 303 Protectant (good stuff) to prevent UV damage.  I got away with it.  :c)

My rear leveling jacks have been getting slower and slower on the retraction, so I got an old toothbrush, some rags and WD-40 and gave the seal area and the shafts a good cleaning.  Then the cleaning bug took hold, so I spent some time cleaning the metal "Winnebago" plate on my mud flap, then spying some rust on a coolant pipe, I sanded it down and repainted it.

My new house batteries got checked over, too.  I had the battery watering system installed on my old batteries, but when the Winnebago Service Department install the three new ones, they are the type that the system won't fit in.  So it was back to the old fashioned way, mirrors and a battery fill bulb to ensure these expensive babies were topped off.

Last came the change of my air conditioner filter.  Even though they say they are good for up to three months, I change them out monthly.  It's getting hotter as summer approaches and anything I can do to ensure good air flow through the a/c cooling fins is worth it.

Thankfully, working with my hands is good therapy for me instead of scratching my head over the mysteries of what goes on inside a computer.  That's the stuff I'll leave for Andrew, my 10 year old grandson to explain to me!  ;c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

14 comments:

  1. I guess it could have been worse, but wow, how aggravating.

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  2. I've decided that I'm going to take my failing laptop computer in to see if they can fix a few of the things that are going wrong. However, before doing so I'm transferring everything off and keeping it. I dread buying a new computer and would just as soon keep this one. I just hope I don't end up with the same bad luck you did.

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  3. Not India is always a good thing!

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  4. Its good that you had your computer backed up, because it is not if the hard drive fails it is when, soon you will be good as new.

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  5. I tried to do a free trial of Carbonite, but with my campground wifi, I guess it was too slow and it couldn't seem to work fast enough to back up my computer, so I ended up with nothing.

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  6. Amazing how much work we get done when we are not distracted by a computer ;-))

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  7. I was thinking the same thing that Erin said...we're lost without our lifelines to the internet, but so much more happens without it! Glad to hear from you :)

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  8. How much do you pay for your 20 GBs of mifi access? Including taxes, we pay $118 per month for 15 GBs here in Canada!

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  9. I think I need to borrow you for about a week to do all those little jobs on my rig. I use silicone spray on my levelers, but I dread the crawling under the rig to do it. I'm just not as bendable as I used to be. :(

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  10. I guess the cost of getting your laptop repaired and running again was a lot cheaper than buying a new one. It's too bad you couldn't have found a high-speed broadband connection to download from Carbonite.

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  11. Are you sure Andrew can't fix your computer? ;-)

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  12. It is true that we get a lot more done when the computer is MIA. I'm wondering about that shop that "fixed" your screen. Kind of smells like a racket.....fix one thing, break something else that you can then charge to fix.

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  13. We do need to stay connected don't we.

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  14. It is good to hear from you even though I am two days late reading my mail.

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