Monday, November 21, 2011

The Lights Went Out in Florida

There was a bit of a computer emergency here in our household last night. I'm not exactly sure if its resolved or not but for now I've got it to a usable state. The computer I use is a Dell laptop and its on its semi-last legs. I'd say its probably about 5 or 6 years old now and I've been nursing it along for a couple of years now because I'm too cheap to buy a new one.

For almost a month now I've been seeing a slight flicker on my screen and until last night I was sort of attributing it to maybe the battery or power supply. I'd fiddle with the power cord and sometimes it would stop flickering and other times it wouldn't. Not a huge deal, I'm not doing anything on my computer that is really impacted by flickering. Its just another thing you deal with when you use an older computer. The keys stick a little, spots on certain keys or the touch pad are worn down, and the screen flickers.

No big deal, right? I'm not so sure now. Last night I was solving world peace screwing around on line and my screen went blank. Yes, blank. As in black. So, I did a series of restarting, rebooting, removing the battery and nothing worked. When I'd start the computer back up the screen was perfect and I thought "OMG thank you God for fixing this computer" and then after seeing the home page for about 2 seconds (no lie) it went black again. FAIL. I could see that the icons on my desktop were still visible but it was very, very dark.I tried bumping up the brightness and it didn't help but after Googling (does that count as a verb?) I saw a suggestion to DIM the brightness. I guess it has something to do with the power being used to keep it bright? I restarted again and as soon as I saw the Windows logo pop up I dimmed the brightness and lo and behold, it worked!

Working on a computer with a dim screen is difficult and tonight I've got it adjusted a bit and its usable but it was a really good wake up call to back up all my stuff. I'd be upset if I lost everything on my computer. Its happened before and it sucked. I spent about 3 hours last night with a back up running and copying everything to an external hard drive. Its not neat or anything like that but its backed up which I should definitely being doing this more often.

Have you looked at laptop options lately? OMG there are too many options. Add in the fact that I don't really know what I'm looking for and it begins to get really overwhelming. Sounds like this will be a project I need to make more of a priority, just in case. So far my plan on winning one of those cool HP Touch screen computers of blog contests is not working out so well ;)

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