Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is it broken or not?

After work on Tuesday I went for a run. I was shocked and amazed at how hard it was! Although it's been weeks (and weeks) since I last ran it isn't like I've been sitting on my couch eating bonbons all day; I rode that little century and did all the training for it. But running not only uses different muscles it also is completely weight bearing.

I felt as if I had gained 30 pounds since I last ran, which for once I haven't. In fact, I was darn near the exact weight as the last time I got out there. But my legs were like iron and I felt like I was dragging around the Biggest Loser, pre Bob or Jillian. It was hard. I was determined to run, and determined to run at least 2 miles. Or 3 miles, since it wasn't worth getting clothes dirty for just 2.

Because my breathing was so awful I decided to do a 9:1 run:walk. At least it gave me a goal, a little piece to look forward to. I was running on the Iron Horse Trail in Danville and it was a beautiful day. The air was clear, the sky blue, the sun shining low in the sky. It was warm too, somewhere in the low 60s, with just a light breeze. Perfect conditions for a great run. So I continued trying to have a great run.

I ended up running 3 miles, with a slow average of about 12:15, and then I walked another quarter mile back to my car while trying to catch my breath. I felt much better after the run than during, but it was hard (I think I might have mentioned it was hard). My legs are sore from running so I intend to keep this up until it's easy again. In fact, I'll be running again after work today.

After my lovely run I went home and turned on my computer to upload the stats from Mr. Garmin. To my horror, instead of starting up I got a black screen with a little message at the top: "Primary hard disk drive not found. No bootable devices." I tried bunches of things, or rather bunches of things that someone who knows nada about computers would try, and it appeared that my disk drive was a goner. Dead. Kaput. I was horrified and depressed but hopeful that the backup I had done over the weekend contained everything I would need. I resigned myself to the fact that my 4 year old PC had passed its expiration date and it was time to get a new one. But I needed one immediately so I could do my taxes (procrastination anyone?)

I'd known for some time that the computer was on its last legs but was resisting getting a new one until Microsoft came out with the new operating system. Hah. I was pretty certain I didn't want to go Mac since I didn't like using my mom's, I didn't want to have to go through the learning process for a new system and I didn't want to have to get all new Mac software for the programs I use. But I really didn't want to go Vista since my current computer is all crapped up with useless stuff and I didn't want another one stuffed full again. But it looked like that time had come and I'd have to do something.

I took my computer to work yesterday just in case someone could fix it. It seemed that every time I'd have problems with my work computer our Sys Admin (who isn't the Sys Admin any longer but still knows his stuff) would just walk in my office, do things similar to what I had done already, and magically the computer would work again. It was worth a try and what do you know. He did a few things, reiterated his feelings toward Microsoft and their products, did a couple of other things and magically it started working. Huh? It wasn't as if he changed anything, added anything or removed anything. All he did was go looking there, open this, close that, start stop start stop on and off and there you go!

Despite that, I figured I still needed another computer stat. I took home my newly fixed computer, crossed my fingers and turned it on. Black screen, "primary hard disk not found" etc. Huh? I did manage to start it up in safe mode where it slowly but competently performed for the rest of the night. I did the few things I need to do and turned it off.

Yeah, I think I need a new computer, but where to start? I know I don't want a desk top. I want something very small and portable, but want something with a screen big enough to comfortably see. That pretty much leaves laptops instead of notebooks. I want the newest technology, both hardware and software (except Vista thankyouverymuch) at a reasonable price. I want it fast and with a few hundred gigs of storage. It needs Office and Quicken and iTunes and I want Firefox and Thunderbird for my browsers and mail. I need odd little things like uploading pix from my crappy camera and uploading data from Mr. Garmin. I want to be able to watch movies and listen to music and look at my gazillion pictures (and edit those pictures). I want to be able to play games. I want to be able to take advantage of the next new thing that comes along that I don't know about yet. Most of all, I want it to be reliable since we've already established I'm technologically deficient. Any suggestions?

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