After nearly six years, I’ve finally broken down and bought a new computer.
My previous machine was a refurb HP Pavilion that had a whopping 50gb of memory and a processor that can only be described as not up to snuff. Oh, it was fast when I got it (replacing an HP tower from the mid-90s, mind you). And it served me faithfully for many a long year. But the time had come.
I meant to get a Sony Vaio. But whilst shopping for new machines for both myself and my intrepid companion, this one at Staples caught my eye. It’s an HP Pavilion dv7-4171us. It had all the proper specs and a companionable keyboard. And it was on clearance. I walked out of the store, looked at a couple of reviews online, and marched right back to the store. It’s a good thing Staples is within walking distance.
And I’ll tell you something about this computer. I hated it last night. It’s not the old familiar machine, it’s not got my stuff on it, and keep in mind that I hadn’t used a new operating system or much new software in absolute years. I’d been running an ancient version of Windows Media Player, had to have an external soundcard because its own card had crapped out, we were still on Windows 95…. It was old. But it was what I knew. And now here’s this young whippersnapper having the audacity to look all new and different.
Not to mention, Monotype Corsiva has vanished from the face of the earth. Open Office hasn’t got it. The new trial version of Word hasn’t got it. The starter version of Word hasn’t got it. And I refuse to cough up hundreds of dollars for a software package I’ll only use the word processor and occasional spreadsheet on. So I spent an outrageous amount of time last night trying to figure out another way to get my favorite font, only to admit defeat in the end.
And the Windows Media Player graphic equalizer has odd ideas about how it should deal with my music.
And then I had to spend hours fixing the fonts in my writing journal, which is up to nearly 800 pages. Can’t just do a simple highlight-and-change-all because I use a variety of fonts to draw attention to various bits. Note to Microsoft et al: stop getting rid of fucking fonts.
So I hauled me arse in to work after a measly three and a half hours of sleep still hating life, the universe, and everything. I dragged the computer along. I neglected my in-between-call reading in order to load shit from the external hard drive and start mucking about. I figured out how various bits worked. I got shit loaded and arranged. I discovered new and interesting bits. I got used to the way it works, and started enjoying some of the newfangled features.
I discovered the Beats Audio equalizer. Holy fucking shit. I am sitting here right now listening to Lesiem through my Sennheiser headphones, and I can hear bass. ZOMG WTF?! This, my friends, is what happens when you get a powerful sound card. Still needs some tweaking, but mother of god, this is amazing.
There’s still kinks to work out. Some genius of a designer decided that a laptop could have a bulgy battery, which means there’s a weird ridge digging dimples into my knees. I need a right-angle adapter for the headphones, because the only jacks are on the side, and the computer’s already almost as wide as my chair – tack on the three-inch jack, and you’ve got issues. I’m still trying to figure out how to sit comfortably with it – the fit’s quite different from the old one. The screen needs manipulating before the color’s true. But those are minor things.
And now that I’ve got the sound and word processing mostly sorted, I’m just a little bit in love. I’ll even learn to love that battery pack. We’re on battery right now. We have been for hours, and it’s got hours more left in it. Damned thing certainly provides the juice. Once I have one of those laptop desk thingies to keep it from dimpling my knees, we should get along fine.
And the screen’s big enough that I can set it on the recliner’s footrest and still read it. I shall have to investigate the possibility of a wireless keyboard so I can really get comfy.
So, upshot: I’m finally on a modern machine. My, how things have changed. And let this serve as fair warning: I might gush about it occasionally. But right at the moment, I’m gonna go put it to work writing a novel, baby, yeah!