Shiny, happy things

… And the story of the new laptop.

As you may have gathered, had you been reading other posts of mine, I have been in the market for a new laptop for a good long while. My wonderful Fujitsu Siemens had been with me for over seven years, but it was getting to the point where it would crash if more than two programmes were running – and definitely more than a few tabs in a browser.

I had a very strict budget for my laptop, which sort of made things easier in terms of shopping for one. My dear brother Sean toughed it out with me at one of Cape Town’s most horridly gigantic malls – Canal Walk – in search of a laptop. I had almost settled on one – not as good as I would have liked, but well in my price range – when, on a whim, Sean suggested another store. We were browsing, requested a price on a laptop. The saleswoman looked it up for us, before saying “Hang on a minute, I have something better. On special.”

The magic words. It took all of fifteen seconds for me to fall in love with the laptop – as the woman continued to rattle off specs and features (“It’s okay,” my brother said. “You’ve already sold it.” “I’m not selling,” she replied. “I’m bragging.”) The laptop – the last in the shop (hidden in the stockroom, in fact) – had been kept for a friend of the manager’s, who hadn’t picked it up when he was meant to. So I left my brother in the shop (“As collateral,” I said – though I did instruct him to guard the laptop with his life) while I did a quick sprint to the bank.

And, behold. My new laptop. An Acer Aspire 5750G. Intel Core i502419M 2.3GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M (and Intel HD3000 graphics), 6GB of DDR3 memory, a 750GB HDD and webcam (hooray for Skype dates with long-lost American friends) and a 15.6″ HD screen. I know, I can’t help it.

Meet Arya: (Yes, I named my laptop after a character in A Song of Ice and Fire. Deal.)

Meet Arya.

I actually have a few posts I need to get around to writing but haven’t just yet. To follow: Game of Thrones-inspired cake pops and a third round of egg donation.

But, for now… Shiny, happy things.


Bad Blogger. Bad.

So I had this whole awesome plan figured out. I was going to set aside three days a week to blog. And no matter what it I blogged, there would be a regular post.

You know me by now, it takes me a while to get things going. Part of it is that I don’t feel comfortable blogging at work. Even though I could technically blog during my lunch break a) I don’t really take a lunch break and b) I’m not a big fan really of having people being able to lurk over my shoulder and see what I’m doing.


So that leaves blogging from home, but I’ve been so knackered lately that I’ve barely been able to cook dinner in the evenings, never mind string together any coherent thoughts. Add to that my poor laptop, which is so far on its way out that if somebody gtalks me my whole laptop has an existential crisis for a few minutes before remembering how to open windows and switch tabs and things. So trying to do anything vaguely hardcore like blog, browse flickr or watch YouTube videos kinda tanks things.

But, if the Budget Gods are good, I should have a new one at the end of May/early June. I’ll be sad to let Jean-Pierre go (So what, he has a name. He also had a gay lover in university, his name was Giovanni. It’s a long story involving LAN cables, a philosophy essay and far too little sleep) but perhaps I should donate him to charity. After all, he’s not totally written off.

I wonder what my dad would have thought of that, seeing as he sacrificed so much to give me this one.

I miss him.

A brief catch-up – and the Tale of the Wandering Laptop

The last few weeks have been pretty insane, I’ll give you that. Awards Season is finally done – and hey, look! My 100% prediction rate still stands! – I started doing a part-time course entitled “Applying Social Media to Business Challenges” and my mom flew down for a weekend for my brother’s 21st. (Yes, he’s 21, and I have NO idea how that happened).

I’ve been reading a lot of “mommy bloggers” recently, partly because there are some amazing, amazing mommy bloggers (both locally and internationally) and partly because I like the way that they balance the public and the personal.

I’ve also started to tinker around with the idea of getting a new camera and a new laptop. My camera died about a year ago and I haven’t got round to replacing it (I could always just get a decent phone with a decent camera at some point. Two birds, one stone, etc) and my laptop – which I got in late 2005 – is on its way out.

It’s a bit sad, my poor laptop. My dad sold his bike (he bought it when we first moved to Botswana) to buy my brother and I each a laptop – I wanted one so I didn’t have to walk to and from the computer labs at night – and my brother and I were positively thrilled, as you can imagine. My laptop got stolen out from my house – and from the bed that my then-boyfriend was sleeping in – in 2007 while I was at a birthday party. Somebody opened the front door, walked in, unplugged the laptop (left the cable) and wandered off. I was heartbroken and reported it stolen, assuming that I’d seen the last  of it. It was during the year that my father was in his coma, and so it was even more heartbreaking at the time. All of my photographs of my dad were on there, the speech I’d been working on for his funeral (a bit macabre, I know, but I needed to be prepared) and all of my music and work assignments.

A few weeks later, I got a call from the police station. Somebody had bought a laptop on the side of the road in Grahamstown, and when they took it home (assuming it was second-hand) and booted it up, they saw that it was password-protected, realised it was stolen, and handed it in. My silly little Windows-startup password, setup more so that the girls in res couldn’t get in while I wasn’t in my room, saved the day.

I booted up – everything was still there and not a single thing had been deleted or wiped. Only one thing was different.

The thieves had cleaned the laptop before selling it.