Thursday, February 9, 2012

Please Hold for Old Toshiba's Spa Day

Old Toshiba, my writing computer is getting too s - l - o - w. This is also the computer on which I do a lot of my online research. When I try to boot up the machine, bring up my emails, delete emails, check my financial sites, move from one website to another and back again, it is taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R. As in, my programs are starting to lock up and not respond more and more. Yes, I have firewalls and keep my anti-virus updated, but either nasty electronic critters have still managed to get in, or my poor ROM memory has developed too many connections to sort through.

So, no, this is not the same deal as my "Ghost Riders in the Sky" computer crash two years ago. I was researching ghost towns in Colorado back then, and in the process of trying to go back a few pages, then when that did not work, go to the home page, the machine locked up on me while "Ghost Riders in the Sky" blared out of my speakers full volume. Now, I like "Ghost Riders in the Sky", but not minute after minute at that decibel range. After searching vainly for the volume control, which was also locked up, I did the only sensible thing. I pulled the plug.

That was the wrong move. After letting Old Toshiba settle down for several seconds, I tried to reboot. Old Toshiba went into the continual boot-up loop and could go no further.

Thankfully, in that instance, about a month prior, I had suspected my poor Old Toshiba was getting ready to die on me. I bought New Toshiba. (Very original names, yes? My cars I name based on make and model, my cats I tend to name based on physical characteristics, so what do you expect when it comes to computers?) I was not sure of the cause of the impending death of Old Toshiba back then. Was it due to the motherboard burning out? (been there, done that on another computer) Was it due to too many food crumbs under the keys as I researched and wrote Aurora Rescue 12-14 hours some days, eating as I worked? Anyway, I saw it coming, and decided it was my work on Old Toshiba that needed the rescue. So, about a month before "the crash", I backed up everything. During the next month, anything of current value was backed up into my Dropbox file.

Old Toshiba was not dead. She just needed a day at the spa -- aka -- the old reformat with recovery disks.

So, here we are today. Even though I am in the middle of preparing the manuscript of Family Secrets to be sent off, I decided Old Toshiba needs another day at the spa. The last two days I have spent consolidating and deleting unnecessary files, saving emails I still want, saving my Favorites and Bookmarks on a word document (all organized and consolidated), backing up everything in more than one place and  sending all my current work to my Dropbox file. I am ready for reformat and recovery.

Why don't I just use New Toshiba? I use the new one for a lot of things, including managing business activities. But, Old Toshiba has a better touch on both the keyboard and the touch-pad (mouse), which is better for lots of writing and online research.

Please hold while Old Toshiba renews herself so she is ready for my next novel, Armitage.

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