So I have been absent from this blog for a while, but there is a reason!  It’s the same reason that I’ve been having a lot of trouble producing any dissertation writing for the past month: my laptop was kaput.  And now it is back!  Picture as proof:

img_04112The story behind the laptop’s death is long, and not that interesting.  I will tell it anyway, though, in timeline form:

November 2008: I notice a small crack in the screen of my laptop.  It doesn’t affect the display much, but I call Dell to see if they will fix it.  They quote me an outrageous price, then come down once I point out that a) the laptop is still under warranty, b) I never dropped the thing (although it probably cracked while riding around in my backpack), and c) they want to be nice to me because I buy a lot of their crap.

Still November, but a little later: Dell was supposed to send me a box to ship them the laptop in, but it never arrived.  I learn later that the reason is they wrote down my address (217 1/2 S. Patterson St.) as 217 Andahalf St.  This strikes me as profoundly dumb.  The box never arrives, and I give up on the whole thing because the screen still works (although I intended to call Dell about it again at some point… but I’m good at putting things off).

January 2009: The screen decides to finally cut out, which given that it has been opporating while cracked for months, should not actually be too surprising.  I, of course, am surprised.  I plug it into a monitor at home, and only use it at my desk, severly limiting my willingness to do work.

March 2009: The computer out-and-out dies.  I am flummoxed as to why, but realize that I need to finally send it in.  This is the week before March break, though, so I don’t actually get around to calling Dell until U and I get back from San Francisco.  In the meantime, I buy this sweet little thing:

It's Pink!  EeeeeeeeeeeeeeeePC!

It's Pink! EeeeeeeeeeeeeeeePC!

It only cost a little more than $200 dollars, which was pretty sweet, but the keys are teeny tiny, and I end up making 5 typos every sentence when I write things on it.  Ultra portable, sure, but I’ve never really minded carrying a laptop around with me.  Anyway, this was my stop-gap, what I took to San Francisco to get me through.  I have a love-hate thing going with it: the screen is tiny, and although it has a ton of memory (110GB, actually more than this laptop… I need to upgrade the memory on this thing!), I find myself not doing anything worth saving on it.

March 18th or so: I finally call Dell, explain the situation, have them send the box.

April 2: I get my laptop back!  Life is awesome.