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Title: My Computers
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Blog Entry: My first foray into what would become my fascination with 'computers' was to get a Brother Word  Processor. It was one piece, with a 'flip up' cover that allowed me to carry it. But it was bulky and not easily carried. One thing I really liked about word processors is that you could stick in 'stationery/paper' & actually type on stationery, if you wanted.   This is what it looked like: Next, I found a two-piece word processor--also a Brother. It had a detached 'monitor'.  Like the first one, it had a floppy disk drive.  And I could still 'type' straight onto stationery if needed.  Plus, it had a 'wheel' disk, with each 'font' on a different 'wheel'.  At that time, you had  3 choices: Elite, 'regular' (which I can't remember the true name of!), & Script. Naturally, I really loved the Script font--and used it on all my letters, etc.   Another 'choice' was colors: I could buy different colored 'ribbons' for it--my favorites were green and blue. Other choices: brown and red.  My pen pals were surprised to see green script on the letters I sent them!  In 1998, my husband and I were asked to be Managers of this mobile home park (96 homes). One of the 'jobs' was for me to keep a 'spreadsheet' of who owed what & how much they paid, etc.--which of course, I had no  idea how to do! They gave me a very simple 'computer' to use. And I do mean simple! I couldn't figure out spreadsheets, so I decided to just 'type' the information. It wasn't easy, but it did work. Not long after that,  I happened to see a 'computer' at Sears one day. And I decided it was time for me to move up.  So I bought that and gave back the 'simple' computer to the owners. It was an HP Pavilion (no laptops in those days).  I can't be sure, but I think I remember it had something like 6mb RAM. I've tried Googling it, but haven't come up with any info that would help me with the specs.  At that point, I saw no point in having Internet.  I mainly wanted it for my 'writing'.   I had put my novella onto a floppy disk, but wanted to put it onto a real computer.     Well, surprisingly, I found it fairly easy to figure out how to use that HP on my own--and I was totally in shock about how much more it could do than the 'loaned' one!    I learned how to do a real spreadsheet quickly.   It had Windows 98 on it.  It worked until 2006! This is it: My second computer was another HP Pavilion.  It had XP as the operating system.  Here's the info I found on it: Sadly, it was a 'lemon'.  After a while, it started acting up; it kept coming up with "the blue screen of death", one after another--too many to count, even though I'd written down the 'numbers' of quite a few of them. I've told the story here before--17.5 hrs on the phone with 7 different HP techs (each one said he'd stick with me till it was 'fixed', lol); I finally asked for a replacement. Their reply: not until it had  3 'bench' repairs--but they wouldn't even agree to take it in once!   I finally paid a family friend $250 (special discount--he usually only worked on 'professional, business' machines) to work on it. He replaced Windows &  did 'who knows what' all to it.   I had previously bought an external DVD-RW drive when the one on this quit; but I put that away--for a while. (by the time I needed that again, the drivers were out of date & it couldn't be fixed)  It worked a few more years, on/off. But in 2009, I decided it would probably totally quit again soon, so I decided to try a laptop. This time, I got a Compaq.  It came with Vista. 3 GB RAM, Dual CPU  2.0GHz. It has a 19 inch screen. Not very good for being 'portable', but a nice picture.    I've complained about it over the years, even though technically it's still working. To be honest, it's main "problems" are:  it only has 3GB RAM...so is very, very slow--and it overheats quickly. Yes, I bought a 'fan' thing to go under it...but that doesn't seem to help. It quickly reaches 125ยบ & has to be turned off.  I still keep this for 'emergencies'. But it's slow as molasses--so it makes you want to tear your hair out trying to use it!  Oh, yes--it came with Vista; but over the years, I've upgraded it until it now has Windows 10.  In 2012, the desktop was 'toast' and I was tired of messing with the laptop. I looked around & found what I thought--hoped--would be my final computer. It was an ASUS dektop, which had 12GB RAM, i5 processor, 10 USB ports, etc.  My perfect computer!  I planned on just 'upgrading' it when needed.   However, in late 2015, that desktop started having problems.   It would suddenly start/stop on its own. I finally figured out it would 'stay' okay if I left it "on" 24/7.  It apparently was mainly a 'cold start' problem.  But it still kept going 'off' at times.  Then, I did a System Recovery (or?). That worked for a while, then it started acting up again. Well...I started another System Recovery--and it quit  right in the middle of that! So it no longer had Windows on it. And I couldn't figure out how to fix it.   I decided I had to give up on it & look for a new computer.  I took out the hard drive, then gave it away; I found a guy from the nearby Air Force Base who works on computers, via Facebook--I figured he might get it going, eventually.   Needless to say, I was disgusted that it had only lasted a few years! I was afraid it would cost way too much to take it to Office Max/Depot, etc.  (and my 'friend' in the computer business wasn't around any longer) Well, I now think I made a mistake. Instead of buying a new computer, I should have taken that money & tried getting the desktop fixed!  But...hindsight, as they say. What I did do was buy an ASUS laptop. It had Windows 10, 6GB RAM, an i7 processor, & 2.4 GHz.   Sadly, within a few months, the WiFi went out; they offered to fix it under warranty--but I didn't want to send it off and not have it for a week (or more). So,I just hooked up my Ethernet plug & have been using it that way, since it never leaves my desk anyway.    That wasn't really a problem. However, last year I noticed the DVD drive suddenly stopped working; it wouldn't even 'read'/play DVD's much less 'write' them.  It still plays CD's; however, I somehow doubt it would record them (I don't have any blank ones to 'try' & don't see the point in spending the money on buying any at this point).    So I bought an inexpensive external DVD-RW drive. But guess what??  It doesn't work on this laptop! However, it does work--or did--on the old Compaq laptop!  So...it's apparently an 'inboard' problem with this Asus. Sigh.  Luckily, I don't really need a dvd writer; I can save things to my big external drive or to flash drives.  By the way--I said "or did" because just this past week, my old Compaq has started acting up. Now, almost every time I turn it on, it says it's encountered a problem and needs to restart. Sigh. So...it may be headed for the scrap heap shortly!     Needless to say...this is not a good time to even think about a new computer!  So...until this one totally quits...it'll have to do.   And then...I just might try to get by using the iPad that a friend gave me last year, in place of a computer. That's NOT my idea of 'fun'...but...we'll see.