Last week, I forget when, but I think it was Wednesday or Thursday night, my notebook crashed. I tried to fix as much as I could with my limited knowledge of computers (erase potentially bad drivers to fix the blue screen crashes, run a system restore, etc. ) but to no avail. I took it to a computer repair place down the street the next day and they promised me to fix it within 24 hours. Oh, that means I must have taken it in Thursday, since I needed it back by Friday (I was supposed to give a practice job talk for my committee at 2 p.m. on Friday). Of course, it turned out that the problem could not be fixed (which meant that my job talk had to do without the pictures and videos I had intended to include). Ultimate diagnosis of the status of my notebook: completely fried! Apparently, it overheated and literally fried my entire harddrive. Hence, for the last few days I have been running around sans computer and have to say that I have not felt this helpless and unproductive in years (no internet and not even a word processor that would allow me write and correct my job talk/handout). The technological overkill has brought us a terrible beauty, indeed.
Long story short: I had to buy a new computer (I bought a really basic notebook for now and hope to be able to buy a nicer Mac once I have more money in my account–should that ever happen). Positive effect: I finally have an English operating system and version of office (which means that I, too, can from now on outsource much of the spell-checking process to regions outside of my brain). Negatives: I have to get used to a qwerty keyboard, which is not a big deal, and I am still hoping that my files from my old computer can be recovered somehow, which IS a big deal (I did not back up my music and pictures–big mistake). Luckily, the nice people at the shop were able to rescue most of my dissertation (which, of course, I had backed up 300 times anyway).
All in all, I am happy to be able to write again (even though Word 2007 still weirds me out a little).