Monday, December 27, 2010

Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt

Well, it finally happened.  The graphics card on my HP laptop is DOA.  The cooling pad I bought kept it alive for an extra 8 months, but the computer is still kaput a month short of its second birthday.  Considering that my dad just got rid of my first computer, which was 20 years old and had been in more or less constant use that entire time, this is pretty disgusting.

If this were a desktop machine I would just rip out the defective card and replace it myself, but no.  The card is soldered to the motherboard and the only way to get a new one is to send the whole computer to the manufacturer and have the motherboard replaced.  The shipping, handling, parts and labor would cost almost as much as a new laptop.  I also considered getting a bigger hard drive for my 6-year-old Dell laptop (that's what I'm typing this on), but it's really too slow and doesn't have enough memory to handle the graphics and website work I do now.

So, I spent the afternoon shopping online for a replacement.  Fortunately Dell is running a sale on the model I wanted to buy.  Even with a 30% discount the total was pretty painful, but I kept the price as low as possible by buying Microsoft Office and Adobe CS5 separately from a vendor offering deep academic discounts.  Good thing even part-time adjunct college instructors qualify for them.

My new laptop and software are supposed to arrive on January 3, almost like a late Christmas present - at least, they would be if I didn't have to pay for them myself.

“Experts agree that the best type of computer for your individual needs is one that comes on the market about two days after you actually purchase some other computer.”  ~ Dave Barry

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