I’ve been waylaid from writing for the past couple of weeks by computer problems. First, my old PC, a Compaq Presario SR2020NX that I purchased in 2006, started to stop showing its video to the screen. The problem was intermittent so I muddled through the problem by turning the system on and off continuously until the video finally appeared. Now obviously this could not continue forever so soon enough the computer finally died.
To fix it, I took it into Computer Computers and found that the problem was with the motherboard. In short, it was toast. $115 later, I was the proud owner of a refurbished. However, since Windows ties its software products onto a computer’s motherboard, replacing the motherboard creates a little bit of a problem. Numerous problems followed and resisted my attempts to fix them.
So I tried the include PC Restore. No go. OK, I thought. It was time to pull out the big guns – FULL WINDOWS REINSTALL. Black Screen of Death. It didn’t even have the courtesy of giving me that nice Blue Colour.
Now that was it. I couldn’t risk playing around any more or risk losing my hard drive data. So I bit the bullet and went to the Mac Store to buy a Mac Mini. I had planning on buying a Mac Mini for a while but I was waiting for them to update it with HDMI. But with a broken computer, my taxes due, and an estimated update two or three months away, I had no real choice. It was time to make the leap.
I bought a 2.35 GHz Mac Mini with 4 GB of Ram and 320 GB of Hard Drive Space. I also picked up a wireless keyboard, magic mouse, a copy of iWork, and most importantly the three-year extended warranty. All in all, it cost me about $1500. It had better be the best computer I’ve ever had.
Despite a false alarm when I thought that my Mac had bricked, the transition has worked out pretty good. Everything works smoothly, the sound quality for my music is vastly superior, and everything works the way the should. I can’t complain. Another reason that I made the shift was the Mac has lots of great software for writers. Currently, I’m trying out StoryMill and have been greatly impressed. I still want to try out Scrivener before I pony up $50 to buy the software but so far it is much better writing environment for Prose Fiction than Movie Magic Screenwriter. Once I get more familiar with it, I’ll write a column about it.
With my computer programs behind me, I should be able to write and blog more often. Stay tuned to this site for more updates. But if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that the solution to any computer problem is to buy a Mac.