I have a problem. My beloved Sony Vaio (which was a lovely green colour that was not well-received by the reviewers at PCMag a few years ago when the computer was first released, but was well-loved by me and everyone else who saw it) has reached the point where it will be going to computer heaven soon. My screen has failed, resulting in a 1.5 inch black strip through the middle of my screen. I’m not quite professional IT tech calibre, but (not to brag or anything) I am the person who my family calls to fix their computers (I get free dinner. I’ll take it). I knew going into the campus computer store that it was a hardware failure, but I was still hoping that the guy would tell me that it was a virus or a driver issue. No such luck. The broken part is a $300 repair plus labour. That said, I knew my laptop was going to fail soon (I was hoping it would last the term, but no such luck). I thought it would be the fan or the hard drive that went, though. I prepared, and was working off Dropbox, just in case. I had no idea that the screen was getting ready to go.
So I get a new computer! Yay, right? No, not really. I really liked nearly everything about my Vaio (especially the colour, they just don’t sell bright colours anymore), and finding something to like as much is difficult. I’m also on a tighter budget than I was when I bought my Vaio. Any good, durable computer will cost $800-1000. That’s how much good parts cost. It’s practically a computer sales law. I really can’t afford that right now, so I’m looking at cheaper computers. That means a Dell, HP, or Acer. I’ve had personal problems with two of those companies and won’t buy their products anymore. Everyone I’ve asked about the third has told me similar stories. My options are limited.
Luckily, I have found one! Even more exciting, rumours are that Intel is putting out a new generation of i5 chips at some point in the next two weeks. AND Windows is releasing 8.1 on October 18th, including a return of the start button (my biggest worry about a new computer is having to say goodbye to Windows 7. That was a great OS). All I need to do is wait two weeks, and take advantage of sales, hopefully.
In the meantime, I’ve kludged together a rather elegant-looking workaround. I am very glad I brought my ‘enormous’ tv with me when I moved across the country for school (it’s 19″) because I was able to hook up my computer and use it as a monitor. I’m using my tablet’s wireless Apple keyboard (my Android tablet and my Apple keyboard hate each other, so no big loss there), and my wireless mouse. My laptop is across the room and I’ve got my tv on my lap. It’s not a replacement, and it won’t work for long, but it will do until I can get a new computer in the next two weeks. Creative problem-solving? Oh yes.