Tuesday, April 03, 2007

We Interrupt This Story....

Yesterday my laptop crashed.

It's 3 years old, and has been acting up a little - trouble booting up, takes a couple of starts before it goes all the way some days.

Before I went to Hong Kong I did a (hopefully) complete back up of files just in case. Yesterday, I get to Starbucks, do some brain work to prepare myself to write the scene... really get into it to the point that ideas are bouncing around my head like popcorn in Jiffy Pop foil. Pull out the laptop and...

It starts up right away. No problems today!

Then... it freezes up about 5 minutes into my work. Maybe 10 minutes. Enough time to really get going.

So, I try a litte of everything, and nothing works. Can't even shut it down. It's frozen. I de-power it, try to start it again... and get a message: it ain't gonna start again. I can't even start it up in Safe Mode. Won't work.

Now, I could take it to a repair place and wait... but I have scenes to write and a tip to put up. Plus, last time I took this very laptop in for a repair, they wiped the hard drive - and I lost everyrthing. This was to repair a broken plastic hinge. Oh, and I didn't have the laptop for about 6 months because the repair place also lost it. That was a nightmare.

Now, here's the thing: Sunday I was actually going to by a new laptop... but they were all out of the HP I was looking at. Everyone was. I spent the whole ay looking for a laptop and came home with nothing. Not a big deal, because there was no rush to buy one - I could wait until they had the one I wanted in stock (Maybe Thursday according to the guy at Best Buy).

Now I couldn't wait that long. I needed one *today*.

So I closed up the dead laptop and zoomed all over town until I found, not what I was looking for... but the closest thing to it. You know, probably just like you - my computer is my whole life. Everything important I have is on it. I spend more time with my computer than I spend with my friends and family. I can't live without it.

Now, I have a desk top that still runs Win98 and I hardly ever use. It's, like, 2 gigs total. Bought ot when that was an amazing amount of space. Since then, I've just been buying new laptops and hardly ever working on the desktop. The final death knell for the desktop was when I pulled the plug on Compuserve and now have no dial up or DSL... I'm all wifi, baby! The desktop has all kinds of expensive to replace programs that may not make it to XP... so they just sit on that machine. I *could* have used the desktop to work on the script - but who wants to be trapped at home on warm, beautiful LA days?

Anyway, the new laptop has Vista, and when I slap in my MMScreenplay disk and load it... it doesn't run. I get a message on the new computer that the progam needs to be "elevated". So, I hold up the laptop a bit above table level and try again... still doesn't work. How elevated does this need to be? Should I get in an elevator? So I ended last night by putting up a scipt tip... but afraid that I wouldn't be able to work on my script even after spending a thousand or so on a new laptop. Swell!

Okay - this morning I go to the MMS website where they have a link to "what to do if you have Vista"... and the danged thing works perfect now. Relieved - I can sleep... didn't do enough of that last night. But it's 9am, so instead I'm going to get some work done.

I can't wait to see what other programs don't work on Vista... haven't tried to install my printer drivers, yet.

- Bill


Anonymous said...

HI Bill,

I hope your backup's have worked this time!

Computing is my day job and I have to be uptodate on new tech which is why I will not be touching Vista (except with a very long pole!)for at least a year. Thats the sensible thing to do with any new Micrsoft product, let other people make the mistakes first!
Did you know a lot of MS's own products don't work with Vista!

If its not too late I'd advise you to go back to the shop and demand XP I've got a new laptop this week (for video editing) Its got XP on.

Also get yourself a good desktop pc for home if nothing else there great for backups!
If you need any more I.T. advice please let me know its getting a bit like watching a train wreck in Slow Mo from here!

Anonymous said...

Let me SECOND Janet's comment. Vista is just way too BIG BROTHER for me... I've gone so far as to purchase a few more XP installs so as I have to purchase more laptops, I can keep running XP on them.

Good luck with it!


Anonymous said...

Bill, I'm sure I'm not the first writer to tell you this--a Macintosh laptop is your best friend! I don't do spreadsheets, web design, desktop publishing or anything else on my iMac desktop model (gonna get a laptop soon). And I don't work for Apple, either. I just write; I love my mac, better yet, and it loves me back.
Good luck!

Unknown said...

Oh, what adventurous days do we screenwriters lead.

The emotional highlight of my day was buying a new set of headphones for my ancient MP3 player.

Anonymous said...

Best Buy never has anything you actually look for, always have to settle... I have bought all my stuff at Circuit City

Mystery Man said...

Let me Second Janet's and Unk's comments. Hope you're doing well, Bill.


Roger Alford said...

Bill, go to the Apple Store, my friend. Use the real thing. Your troubles will be over.

rorybaldwin said...

My dell laptop will be reaching the end of its life soon too, so glad I found out that there might be a few "issues" with Vista. Wonder if Final Draft works with Vista?

Anonymous said...

Took me a few paragraphs to realize you were back in the US. ;)

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