Jun 142018

I got an early start writing yesterday and things are moving along very well. So well in fact, that I thought I would be done with my new book by the end of the day. But Mother Nature and the computer gremlins were in collusion and they had other plans.

This time of year we have a thunderstorm roll through every afternoon, just like clockwork. In the past the storms always seemed to split and go north and south of Edgewater, leaving us in a window that didn’t get much, if anything at all. Not lately. We’ve been getting hammered pretty much every day, and I think yesterday may have been the worst storm yet. Lots of thunder, lots of lightning, and lots of rain.

Sometime about 4 o’clock the power went out. It came back on quickly, but my Dell computer decided that it wasn’t in any hurry to get back to work. When it restarted it decided it had to do a bunch of updates, even though I had run updates less than a week ago. But before the updates could run, our Spectrum Wi-Fi router had to come back online. Usually that only takes two or three minutes, but for some reason this time around it took close to 20 minutes. And then, when the computer started to do its updates, it took over 45 minutes. Meanwhile, I’m twiddling my thumbs impatiently.

Fortunately I didn’t lose anything, because when I am working I back everything up automatically every five minutes. Besides backing up to the computer’s hard drive, I also back everything up online to Dropbox daily, and to an external hard drive every couple of days.

When we were fulltiming in the RV I seemed to wear a computer out every two years. I guess all of that bouncing and jostling around going down the highway took a toll on them. I’ve been using this one for over three years, about half of that time while we were still in the Winnebago, which is longer than a computer usually lasts me. But I think it’s time to get a new one.

A while back the video card started acting up, and about once a week the screen would suddenly go black, then come back on a second later with a message that there was a fault in the video driver. I did all the troubleshooting recommended and reinstalled the video driver three times, but the problem continued. Then the episodes became more frequent, two or three times a week. Now it’s happening a couple of times a day, and instead of being off for a second or so it’s stretching out to for five seconds each time before it comes back on.

I thought about replacing the video card, but there is also a problem with the sound. The external speakers I have plugged into the computer stopped working, but when I plug them into something else they work just fine. And now the headphones are starting to drop in and out. When they do, the things I’m saying with Dragon NaturallySpeaking sometimes get scrambled.

Last night I called Greg White to ask him for advice, and he said that if it was just the video card he would say go ahead and replace it. But with the problems I’m having with the audio, it may be an indication that it’s time to take a different route. So he’s going to do some research for me and see what he can come up with as a suggested replacement. Once I decide on what I’m going to buy, I will put the 2 TB hard drive from this computer into the new one as a secondary drive. And when I buy it, I’ll also be purchasing a UPS (universal power supply) battery backup.

I have a laptop computer, but I work much better on a full size model. And yes, I know I can plug a full size screen into a laptop and all that, but I’m a dinosaur and I like to do things my way. Yeah, us dinosaurs are like that.

It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Dog’s Run, my mystery set in a small Ohio town in 1951. I have 20 mystery novels out, as well as 10 nonfiction books, and I have to say that Dog’s Run is my favorite. It’s a gritty tale that is loosely based upon an actual crime that took place in that part of the country when my father was a young police officer there, and I warn you in advance that there’s some rough language, but it’s appropriate to the time and place. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – I’m not saying your perfume is too strong, but the canary was alive when you got here.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “I Thought I’d Be Done”

  1. UPS (uninterruptible power supply)

  2. One of the good advantages of having a UPS if you’re not going to have a spike serge
    And as for the thunderstorm like we had yesterday WOW
    Next time you’re welcome to ride in my 18 wheeler with me through it,, just bring your diveing equipment
    I think I saw a couple of bass swim by

  3. The computer gremlins have been after me since early March, both here at home & at the library from which I’m supposed to be retired. I think some of it is from recent Windows 10 updates, but I’m sure Microsoft couldn’t care less. My laptop is almost 4-yrs. old (Aug.) and I’ve been thinking it might be time for a new one. It just freezes up for no good reason when the mouse is idle for a little bit…but not always. Nothing I’ve tried has prevented it. The only way to get it going again is a hard reboot. So you’re not alone in computer aggravation land. Will be looking forward to your next Big Lake book.

  4. My computer problem may be the power cord. I have two… and thought the problems were happening on both of them, but maybe not. That would be good news. Although the computer is old and runs hot and has other issues. But if I can put off replacing it, that would be good. Yesterday morning was a pill, though. I got nothing done because the computer kept rebooting and then finally it got frustrated and said it had to find an older version of my stuff to do startup. Grrr. I had just removed most of the empty files from the last time it did that. Well… I got quite a bit of writing done anyway.

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