30 June 2010

Back to Normal?

Ah, I am back to normal, or at least, trying to be. I am back in my office, reading, and slowly tackling with the pile of reading material that I have accumulated while away.

Yesterday, I printed out a whole stack of papers, effectively draining my print quota in the library. I actually printed another paper today, and I already have to pay extra because my quota was already depleted. Yeah, that's how much paper I actually read.

Anyway, tomorrow will be a lab meeting, and it would be nice to see folks again. I miss them, somehow, and it's nice to see fellow members of intelligentsia.

I have a technical problem at the moment, and my laptop has been hit with a virus. I know what the virus is, I know how to deal with it, but I am still putting it off, somehow. Perhaps, due to the fact that this virus attacked my computer, it added enough constraints for me to shop around for a new one. My battery is already dead, and I am still on Windows XP, and the keyboard has been having some small problems, and the operating system is so slow now that whenever I start it up in the morning, I put in my password and then run to the library and use the computers there for about 20 minutes before I can have full functionality of my own equipment. So, given the current problem, I decided to buy a new laptop. It seems that 2010 is a year for new purchases: a new phone after 4 years, and a new laptop after 5 years. I am just grateful that this happened while it is summer and not while the classes are in session.

And I am also happy that I already knew this was coming: I have been backing up my stuff every time I work on it, so no files were lost. Although I still have plans to retrieve them in the old hard drive. The only pain I think I will have is installing the programs that I usually use: I use LaTeX and therefore would be needing a new TeX editor that is compatible with Windows 7, and I need to install E-Prime as well.

So I shopped around, and eliminated Toshiba even though they were dirt cheap (because there are enough people who tell me that they do not manufacture laptops); I also eliminated HP because of the same reason; and I almost decided on a Dell. They were still cheap, but I got convinced that they aren't worth it. I used to think that they would be good: after all, almost every computer in every corporate and academic institution I know uses Dell (the computers here in the university are all Dell in fact), so I figured they would be good, but it was pointed out to me that almost every time, there is a sign on the computers that they are down for maintenance. And the IT people on campus also exist for a reason. On the other hand, my old Sony VAIO didn't give me problems, aside from the gradual wear and tear and aging of the machine. The problems I had with Sony VAIO did increase, but gradually, as one would expect as a laptop would age. I didn't have occasions where I had to take my laptop in to the service center since the hard drive crashed for no reason (but my two friends' HP laptops did).

So yes, I am getting a new Sony VAIO. It's a little more expensive than Dell or HP, but it is cheaper than the price of the laptop I got 5 years ago. I wonder why, maybe Sony products are becoming cheaper? Who knows. But even though it might be a little more expensive than the other brands, at least I am looking forward to another 5 years of computing bliss. Let's see how many years this will get me.

(The Long Winding Path, from my Moray Series)


  1. I got a new laptop earlier this year for similar reason and I also paid less than I paid for my old laptop a few years earlier, both Toshiba.

  2. Zhu,

    I take it that you had good experience with Toshiba?