09 October 2013


That's what you'd call a computer killing itself, right? Don't bring your laptop or smartphone if you visit this week: we're having an epidemic over here.

Now, my husband is an IT guy, and we are both constitutionally incapable of throwing away a computer "in case we ever need the parts," but I'm not talking about the two deceased laptops in the closet, or the many no-longer-working phones from the early days of touchscreens when they would break all. the. time. I'm talking the three pieces of equipment that all failed me today.

First, my decrepit laptop from college--which, in all fairness, is thoroughly obsolete and maybe I should give it a medal just for turning on? Maybe not. But it's the only piece of tech we own that runs the software to upkeep my dad's website, and he needed me to make some updates this morning, so out it came. It took more than fifteen minutes to download one measly photo, twenty minutes to load the web design program, and five minutes each time I tried to switch between the program and my email. Trying to run two programs at once? What nonsense; everyone knows computers can't do that. When I dared think, oh so briefly, about finishing my current freelance writing project, it stuck its tongue out and blue-screen-of-death'd.

When Matt got home from work, he agreed that the laptop has reached the point of no longer being able to reasonably function. He offered me his work iPad to go finish typing my freelance project, which thankfully I'd been working on in Google Docs.

Google Docs is worthless on iOS. WORTHLESS. And awful and terrible and stupid. Or maybe it's just Safari, but I think it was Google Docs. It randomly italicized halves of words, sections of sentences, and certain punctuation marks... and wouldn't let me fix it. It crashed and wiped out my progress over and over again. And it absolutely refused to let me select more than two sentences at a time.

Also it kept autocorrecting Humanae Vitae to "human vitals" without telling me.

I gave up, and typed the rest of my project in Google Drive on my phone, where it had none of those problems but maybe it's because I was in the app instead of in Safari? I don't know. BUT, the app doesn't show word count. So I copy-and-pasted into another app that does show word count every time I thought I was done, and flipped back and forth between the two as I fine-tuned. (Because phones can run two programs at once, but computers can't.) 

And I finished--yay!--but was stuck with a Google Docs file when I needed to submit a Word file, and no way to convert it on my phone. Okay; copy-and-paste the whole text into an email, open the email on Matt's iPad (quick, close Safari before it crashes again), copy-and-paste the text into his Pages app. The only way to export as a Word file is to email it, but I can't email it directly from the app to my contact because this is Matt's work iPad; the email will come from his work address. Email it to myself, open it on my phone where I already have a four-paragraph email to my contact sitting in drafts... except the drafts file is empty, because technology hates me tonight. Tell it to forward the email from Matt--yes, include the attachment--and begin rewriting the email... Little Bear, nursing, flails and hits "send" as I'm in the middle of the second sentence.

Eventually the whole email got written and sent, along with the attachment. And a huge apology for the accidental first email. I guess I can't really fault my phone for the stress and jumping-through-hoops of getting the project sent; it's a phone, for crying out loud, and it certainly outperformed the computer and tablet today. But I think we established tonight that I simply don't have the equipment I need to be able to do my freelance work anymore, so we are going to have to take a field trip to Office Max this weekend and test drive some laptops. Matt is happily making a spreadsheet of all of the different models that would meet my needs without being too expensive, so hopefully we will find something soon!

1 comment:

  1. It's a good thing I live too far away to visit you, because my own bought-in-2007 computer is on its last legs. Actually, it's more like its last legs fell off a while ago and we strapped on some makeshift legs and forced it to keep going. (I have a USB keyboard and mouse because the keyboard and touchpad don't work, and I have to keep it plugged in all the time because it eats batteries. It's like a desktop with less processing power.) I really want to find some room in the budget for a new one when I'm not busy trying to find room in the budget for a crib and diapers.