I am now without a computer at home as my long-lived Acer Aspire finally died Wednesday night. It been having some “issues” — mostly the hard drive overheating rather quickly — for a few weeks. I think, possibly, the tiny ants I’ve been having a problem with in the new apartment chewed through some interior cables or gummed-up the works in some fashion. At any rate, I was told by the local Acer service center that it was unrepairable (they didn’t even offer to replace the hard drive which was the solution when it stopped working a couple of years ago). Luckily, this time I’d backed-up my photos as recently as last Friday so I didn’t lose any of those. I did lose a lot of data, however, including my “Reading Record” and “Blogging Activity” spreadsheets and about 3000 ebooks I’d downloaded over the course of the last year. I’d been planning to back these up as soon as I had them all entered into my calibre Library with proper covers and metadata (the project I’d been working on when the computer died).
In fact, my biggest worry when the laptop crashed was that I’d miss a day in my thirteen-month long daily reading streak. I’d been in the middle of John Burdett‘s The Godfather of Kathmandu and I set out for the used bookshops on Phang Nga Road yesterday afternoon in search of a copy. No luck there but I purchased The Templar Salvation by Raymond Khoury which I’m quite enjoying (and I’m already 150 pages or so into it). I was devastated to find that I didn’t have a copy of the “Reading Record” spreadsheet on my thumb drive (or in one of my online document backups) but I did remember I’ve read a bit over 1420 pages for the month of August so far. I can backtrack using this blog’s monthly stat summaries to find an approximate year-to-date total. I’ll have to try and remember what books I’ve finished recently as I’ve been a bit lax at updating that information online (The Wrecker by Clive Cussler was book number 55 for 2011).
It’s going to take me a while to scrape up enough cash for a new laptop on my current monthly salary (municipal government-run schools pay a lot less than private bilingual schools) and I do have a few debts to repay first. I will probably save and purchase an Amazon Kindle before setting my sights on a full computer. For now, it’ll be back to the internet cafes for me — I quite like the one at the corner of Rasada and Phuket Roads, expecially on a rainy Friday evening like tonight. Also, for the time being, I’ll be back to buying “tree” books — I’ll try to pick out weighty tomes that I won’t finish as quickly as they cost between 170 and 240 baht at the local used bookshops.
I’m not as sad as you would think about the death of my old laptop. Afterall, it served me well since September 2007 with relatively few problems. Yes, I’ve lost data over the years due to poor backup management when peripherals have failed but the computer itself was fairly solid. I probably should have upgraded the RAM a long time ago as it did slow down quite a bit when I was multitasking (I always had the latest-and-greatest software installed). But this gives me a chance to really shop around and get something really great. Perhaps even a Mac! It has been quiet the past few evenings as the laptop was also my entertainment center with plenty of music and movies to cut through the silence. The book I’m reading helped last night but I’m going to need some help this weekend; my plan is to purchase a new notebook and pens and do some serious writing — something I haven’t done by hand in many years. My first project? The start of my “Streets of Phuket series….