Desk Work

Posted in Life in general, On writing at 8:31 am by Marion

Am considering a new computer, and since this weekend is North Carolina’s much-heralded “tax-free” weekend, I can save $70-80 in taxes by going ahead and buying one.

My first desktop was purchased in 1989, and I took out a loan from the bank to buy it. It cost about $2,300 and had NO HARD DRIVE!! It had two floppy drives and I would boot up DOS on one floppy (3 1/2, thank god, not the old 5 1/4 in floppies), remove that disk, then boot up my software program called “First Choice.” I kept that disk in the drive and saved my files on a disk in drive B. Those were the days when you could brag about having a 4 mb hard drive!!

Since 1995 I’ve used a laptop exclusively … something about those big white box monitors sucked all the life out of me and I couldn’t bear them. When I moved to Prague in 1995, I had three turtlenecks, one pair of jeans, my running shoes, my beloved tabby Norma Jean and my IBM Thinkpad.

Today there are thin screens, with harddrive bases that can sit beside your desk while you work on sleek, flat keyboards. So I was ready to buy a so-called “desktop” model. Yet when I started pricing, I realized laptops had become much more affordable.

These days, I’d love a Mac … but as a business of one, with no operating margin to speak of, I can’t afford it. So I’m there with all the mass-market PC shoppers, now forced into the cult of Vista whether I want to join or not.

So this week I’ll be taking a much-feared and scary step of purchasing a new computer. There may be some missed posts as I work out the kinks, but my heart is never far from Fiction Daily and I’ll keep up as much as possible.


  1. Thomas Brock said,

    July 29, 2008 at 10:01 am


    I’d recommend against getting anything from HP.

    I purchased an HP laptop last year and recently had some serious problems with their warranty and customer service systems. They held my PC for over 2 months with constantly-changing return dates (from March to May). You can read more about my HP adventures here and see comments from others that have had the same (sometimes worse) experience as I.

    I’ve been listening to your features for months on the local NPR network and I’m glad I found your blog.

    Thank you for the great writing.

    Thomas Brock

  2. marion said,

    July 29, 2008 at 11:45 am

    I am delighted to be cited in your blog, and am flattered by the link in your blogroll.

    I could write a book about my experiences with HP … very similar to what happened to you, but after snarling at them, they made right on their warranty after all. When I consider that the competition could do even worse, it makes my hair stand on end.

    I am half-way through Big Sur, and it continues to astound me. If you enjoy Jack Kerouac … or Dostoyevsky, or any confessional writers, then Big Sur is a milemarker.

    Thanks for reading.

  3. Thomas Brock said,

    July 29, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Thanks for fixing the links. I was a dweeb and didn’t double-check my coding.

    Big Sur is on the reading list. Once I find a copy, it’s mine! All mine!