Feb 272018

So most of yesterday was dedicated to trying to get the laptop running again. And failing. I think I might be able to get it in good working order again but then I decided that the thing is just too old. It's like having an old car. You get more and more repairs and then you're afraid to use it on long trips, and the impending doom of being without one suddenly keeps hanging over your head.

Oh, and I didn't go running yesterday. And didn't make music or write. Funny that.

Some time in the afternoon I decided to get a new laptop. And to use the emergency fund for it (not all of it, just a quarter or so). I tried buying one online that I could pick up at the Apple store with no luck. (That was a fun experience, the website kept crashing on my iPad, and I had to do the whole thing on my phone, and then it told me I could pick it up in two weeks. Um, no.)

So I tried buying one at the gravis store (that used to be the only store selling Apple products in Munich in the olden days), and their website had a glitch that didn't let me. But they had the one I wanted in stock. Not in the color I would have liked but when I have to decide between having my computer now and it being a gray I don't really like and having it in two weeks – that decision was easy. (If it had been pink I might have waited.)

My last student canceled which meant I could leave the house (without dinner and already quite hungry) with loads of time to spare before the shop closed.

Or so I thought.

Now it is rather icy here in Munich at the moment, and yesterday there was some kind of train chaos in the city. I knew about it but thought that by then it would only mean slightly delayed trains.

The train I took to Munich was delayed five minutes – not a big deal. Then we were told that this one wouldn't stop between the Western and Eastern edges of the city. Since I wanted to go right to the middle I left the train at the Western edge and waited for the next one. For twenty minutes. With hundreds of others. While freezing.

The next train again didn't stop at all stops but I decided to just take it anyway and wind my way back from the East train station by subway or something. So I took that train (and yes, the one I had arrived in would have been a better choice but I didn't know), and then the subway, and then a tram, and arrived at the store about 45 minutes later than expected. It was still open, though.

It took me a few minutes to attract a sales guy. I think I got the youngest and most inexperienced one in the bunch. I looked at him and said, “I want a Macbook pro with an i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of RAM, and a 512 gigabyte hard disk, please,” which seemed to surprise him.

“You're certainly well-informed,” he said, “with touch bar or without?” I keep forgetting that these guys in computer stores don't expect middle-ages women with handknit (and handspun, of course) mittens and hats to know anything about computers. Silly.

“Without.” Of course. The touch bar is nonsense, and makes the computer quite a bit more expensive plus impossible to take apart for repairs.

He actually asked me about color after he had already fetched the computer, getting my hopes up for the same model in silver. They didn't have it, of course. I had seen that on their website already.

Then I let him talk me into buying longer warranty. I saw through his, “I'll make you a deal you won't be able to refuse”-spiel but paid for it anyway. I hope I won't need it. And then I said that while I didn't expect this computer to last me more than seven years like the old one I certainly hoped it would last me three. And then he started telling me that with the amount of data we are processing these days one can't expect a computer to last that long. Huh? You mean because I buy a new computer the amount of data it needs to process suddenly changes from last week to next week? I mean my old computer wasn't just sitting in a closet. I'm using this thing, heavily, all the time.

I told him the difference is that with my old machine I could open it and swap out parts if they didn't work anymore. The new one is all glued together, and the RAM is soldered to the motherboard and they're impossible to repair on you own. Which does make me somewhat cranky.

Then I bought an adapter so I can connect regular USB cables to the computer.

I did not buy anything else even though I have an extensive list but I'll research the connector hub, external hard drive, cables and ton of adapters for all kinds of things plus a case for the laptop in peace later.

The way home took about as long as the one there. I went the roundabout way again which was a mistake but I didn't know that.

I had dinner at half past nine. Good thing I bought some chocolate before venturing into the city. And my husband thoughtfully put a beer in the fridge for me. Which I drank in bed huddled under three blankets.

I feel like I'm still not quite thawed out, and had a big bout of sneezing just a minute ago.

But. Shiny new computer! Which is exciting!

I feel a little bad for spending so much money, and did toy with the idea of doing a hackintosh (which means installing the Apple OS on a computer that's not by Apple) but one big reason why I've been using Macs for the past, um, 38 years is that most of the time they just work. Setting the new computer up will take some time, especially since I only have half the disk space that I have on the old one but I will be able to just connect the new computer to the backup disk, type in a few informations, and then it will do its thing for the next few hours.

Yes, I know I will have to re-install all.the.software. And one thing I really dislike about the new machine already is that it only has two USB ports, nothing else, and one of those is needed to charge the computer. And it isn't even USB proper, it is “thunderbolt” or USB-C which means nothing else connects. (I told the boy that I need FireWire, Ethernet and HDMI as well, and he was all “FireWire? What's that?” Kids these days.)

So I guess there won't be any writing today as well. There will be grocery shopping, though, and quite a bit of teaching, and strength training (the soreness from Sunday's training is just coming through full strength but today will be arms again), and a lot of computer stuff, I guess.

I still haven't unpacked it but will right after posting this.

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