My computer finally died.

The screen, to be precise. And I’ve known it was coming.

I’ve owned this Dell Inspiron laptop for about five years and it’s been great. I had to replace the motherboard (under warranty) just before I submitted my thesis (yak!) in 2004, and I’m on my second battery. It survived being in the trunk of my car when I was rear-ended outside of Charlotte, NC and came through with just a slight gap in the casing.

But a few months ago, the screen started to look pink at startup. Then one of the hinges on the top broke and I was only able to hold the lid in a couple of (open) positions, or else I had to lean it against the wall. Yesterday, my screen started going black 30-45 seconds after startup. Everytime. Plus my battery was wearing out. I.e., not worth repairing.

I had been toying with going back to Mac. Michael got one for Christmas and it’s very sexy, but I have enough PC apps to make it a pain to switch, and there is always the possibility that I might go back to work, likely not into a Mac environment. So I pulled out the Consumer Reports back issue on laptops and sure enough, Dell is still near or at the top. I put in my order this morning and should have my new Spring Green satin-finish Inspiron 1720 (with matching soft case!) early next week.

I’ve been good about backing up all my files, and have made a list of all the software I will need to install when it arrives. I can still use my current machine if I plug it into Alex’s monitor (which is what I’m doing now). So it should be straightforward to transfer all my data over our wireless network, right?

I’ll keep you posted.

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