Fair Warning

At over six years old (240 years in computer age, apparently), my laptop is showing signs of age — it’s slower than I am, more reluctant to work than the average Minneapolis looter, and falls over more often than the late Ted Kennedy at an open bar function.

Ditto, incidentally, my Logitech mouse, which is of the same vintage, and has developed the annoying habit of occasionally double-clicking when only one click is requested.

Tech Support II just clucked his tongue sorrowfully at my tale of woe, and metaphorically speaking adopted the tones of a doctor talking about a terminally-ill patient.  Clearly, there is Nothing To Be Done.

So at some point today, I’m going over to Ye Olde Compooter Shoppe, and will buy replacements for both the above appliances, something I’ve been putting off for over a year because poverty. Now, like the man forced to choose between death by drowning or by a long fall to the concrete, I have no real choice left.

There may be only one post tomorrow while I grapple with the tiresome details of transferring all my stuff from the old hard drive to the new one, while deleting the megatons of unnecessary garbage which seems to infest all new PCs these days.

Bear with me in this trying time.  I hate this shit.

All contributions to help defray said expense will be gratefully received (see the PayPal link over on the right hand side of the page, or paper to the Sooper-Seekrit mailing address).

Update:  it appears as though my laptop’s memory chip has fallen over, and this particular Dell model doesn’t seem to allow for easy replacement thereof — assuming that’s indeed the problem.  Anyway, I ordered a new laptop — and many MANY thanks for all your contributions to the cause.  It should only get here in a week’s time, so posting will be light until then.

Please bear with me in these trying times.


  1. If you are open to suggestion, may I recommend you consider a refurbished computer from a reputable manufacturer. I have a local outlet for the ones I use (I like the HP Elitebook 8460, but Dell and Lenovo both have good refurb programs) and there must be a good small-business store in your area, too. For much less than $500, you can get a very serviceable, reasonably fast machine with a modern operating system, e.g. Windows 10.
    I have three of these that I use for serious work (yeah, I am a software engineer) and have not had a lick of trouble from them. Here are the guys I use, if you can’t find a local shop: https://www.impresscomputers.com/product-category/laptops-and-tablets/factory-refurbished-laptops/ The owner, Roland, is from SA. You might get along.
    And by the way, computer mice, like magazines are wear items. I go through 2 or 3 a year on my most used computers … buy Logitech 100’s by the half-dozen.

    1. My ageing laptop is a Dell, and has barely given me a moment’s trouble other than at present. (The only problem with buying a refurbed laptop is that you might as well buy a new battery at the same time — for some reason, none of the manufacturers bother with the battery in their refurbishment.)
      Thankee for the recommendation. I’ll look it up.

  2. Long time computer guy here (my first “personal” computer was a TRS-80 Model 3, bought in college before the IBM PC was even a thing). I buy new computers, but the older models (generally the model that WAS the hot-shit a year or so ago, but is now a mid-range computer). Why? My main criteria for a computer is reliability, I don’t want to waste my time beta-testing their computer, so by the time I buy it all the patches have been worked out and it WORKS. Because when I’m on call and the phone rings at 2:00 am, “My computer is running an update” isn’t an excuse for stopping the production cycle. The last laptop I bought (before my company started supplying us with laptops so I no longer need to use mine for work) was among the last Windows 7 laptops Dell sold, because I knew the software I needed for work functioned on Win 7, and no one in the office had tried it on Win 8 yet. I didn’t want to be the guinea pig.

    I’m also firmly in the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it camp, so don’t mess with settings unless I have to, and I’ve never once had to reload the operating system because I tweaked the wrong thing. Maybe not as fast as it might be, but again it WORKS.

  3. This is being typed on a 7 year old Lenovo X230 with a new 500G Samsung SSD (about $100), and an upgrade to 16G of RAM (also about $100.) I will probably keep it until the keyboard gives me trouble, if that ever happens. It does everything I need and will probably do so for quite a while yet.

  4. My 2 cents is SSD hard drive and get a usb drive enclosure for the drive from the old Dell. You can add it is and browse as you like.

    Two things will affect your experience one is Ram, 16 GB is minimum and the second is SSD Hard Drive. I took a 4 year old dell and got 4 more years out of it with those two upgrades.

    Computers is my 2nd career and I have been plugging away at them for over 35 years. but what do I know.

    Good luck.

  5. You will have to spend a fair amount of time finding and turning off all the spyware embedded in the new machine with no guarantee you will find it all. Come back soon.

  6. Kim, my personal recommendation is a laptop from either Toshiba or ASUS. Unless you are a fan of spyware embedded in the chipset, Lenovo is right out.

  7. My brother really rates his Surface Pro.

    But decide if you’re going to by a desktop or a laptop – or both. I have a desktop for everyday use and a tablet for when I’m out and about. My desktop’s a beast but for your use case, I suggest you look at the Intel NUC boxes.

  8. No recommendations, except that an external hard drive USB’d to your computer allows regular backups of all the stuff that would cost you a shitload of time to find / recreate again.

    1. I’ve heard good things about, and use, a Seagate 2TB Backup Plus which I’ve had for over 5 years now. I would be inconvenienced if I lost my data in a fire, maybe I’ll get another when I catch them on sale, do a backup and give it to my daughter to keep at her house.

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