Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

I need my writing fix February 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:33 AM
Tags: , ,

ONE, TWO, THREE. Three days without a computer threw me into a state of angst. Ask my family how agitated I’d become by Sunday morning. I was not a pleasant person. I wanted to write. I cannot go three days without writing unless I am out of town and then I get my creative fix via photography.

What led to this downward spiral? Computer monitor failure.

Friday morning, after I published my daily post and logged onto my e-mail, my monitor failed. I should have taken seriously the flickering screen issues which first popped up a week earlier. But, in denial, I believed the problems would vanish without intervention. Foolish me.

Even more foolish was my belief that I could simply purchase a new monitor. Dear readers, it is not as easy as asking the guy in the electronics department if a $99 screen will work with an old computer. He will assure you that it will. And he would be wrong.

My in-house techie teen informed me that the graphics card in my 2004 computer would not support the monitor I’d just purchased.

So what then? I had to find a monitor. Without a screen, I can’t write. I can’t work.

My son has a laptop. But my files are not on his computer, nor do I know how to use his laptop. Yes, I could learn. But he needs his computer for school and I don’t want to fight vie with him for daily computer access.

I was desperate, trying to think of anyone or any business that might have a monitor compatible with my ancient computer.

My friends Tom and Deb came to the rescue, lending me a monitor until I figure out how to permanently resolve this situation. I know these older flat screen monitors are out there, sitting in spare bedrooms and closets, offices and basements. The hunt is on to find one. So…if you have an extra flat screen monitor compatible with my aging computer, this writer needs one. (And, yes, I have the specs.)

For now I’m OK. The anxiety is gone. I can write. I can work. I can input photos into my computer. All is good.

But I still need to make a decision. Should I upgrade now to a new computer while my son is still home to help me purchase, set-up and teach me how to use it? (Did I mention that I am not tech-savvy, or have you already figured that out?) He tells me I’m putting off the inevitable, that in two years or so I’ll be forced to update when Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP.

Or should my 17-year-old, who will start college next year to study computer engineering, get a new laptop and give his old one to me?

Decisions, decisions.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO? If I buy a new computer for myself, should I purchase a desktop or a laptop?

Have you had to handle time without a computer? If so, how did it affect you?

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


21 Responses to “I need my writing fix”

  1. I can’t imagine losing my computer for any period of time! When I’m on the road I feel the same anxious feeling where I need to check emails, get work done, or blog. I would recommend a laptop only because it can go where you go! I’ve gotten some great work done in coffee shops and cafes when my house was just too boring.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Sounds like we share the same love for writing, and the same anxiety when we can’t write. I’m torn between a desktop and a laptop. I’m really not on the go like you, with your business.

  2. Cosmos Says:

    Do you like typing on a laptop? It feels different. Would you plug a keyboard into a laptop? Do you want a portable computer? I love having a desktop, I prefer a traditional keyboard. I’ve had a laptop at work, and I love the portability.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      That’s one of the issues, the feel of the laptop keyboard. My fingers stumble all over the keys because the feel is so different. I can see the pros and cons of each.

  3. Amy Says:

    I do think you would like the portability of a laptop, but I think you would still prefer a desk top computer. I would have to agree with your son about attacking the inevitable while you still have someone home to show you the ropes!!

    I will email my parents and sister…one of them is bound to have an old monitor not in use! Blessings on your searches!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Oh, Amy, thanks for putting the call out for a monitor. I’m so thankful for the temporary loan of one so that I can continue writing.

      Yes, I think getting a new computer now would be wise. I can see the pros and cons of both.

  4. Michael Says:

    I’m about six months too late to help you. I traded computers from an older one with a tower and a flat screen to an all in one screen with the workings inside. My old one went to Good Will. You could check to find a Good Will store that takes electronics. Perhaps they will have one.
    I suspect you need to be backing up important info to another device.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I have a few leads on a monitor, Michael. I saw two at the Salvation Army on Saturday, but I was hesitant to buy one and thought the $40 cost a bit steep (although I could consider it a donation to a good cause).

      I have my photos and documents backed up on a portable, external hard drive. I can’t risk losing all of my writing and images.

  5. Jocelyn C. Says:

    I think we may have an older monitor, as well. I’ll ask Jason tonight.
    I use a laptop at work and home, but also have a separate keyboard and mouse for use a work. Laptops are so inexpensive these days, not sure about desktop prices as we weren’t interested.
    On a separate note, I took a trip to Stockholm, WI this weekend during a Girl’s Weekend in Lake City. Great little town and the pie at the pie shop was wonderful.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thanks, Joc, for the possible offer of a monitor. Let me know. I can get you the specs to make sure it is compatible with my computer.

      So glad you liked Stockholm. It’s the most charming little town. I must return to try that pie. What kind of pie did you have?

      • Jocelyn C. Says:

        I had the cherry with vanilla ice cream and brought home an apple dumpling for Jason. He even shared it with me last night – yum. Others is our group had apple caramel crunch, chocolate cream and peanut butter fudge. The apple caramel was delicious as well.

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        Ah, I remember the apple caramel crunch and thinking that would be my choice, had I been hungry. Good to hear that Jason shared his pie with you. He knows how to keep a pregnant woman happy.

  6. Mark RItchie Says:

    Take the laptop option – you will love it after 5 minutes!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thanks for your opinion. I’m really torn at this point. I’m checking with a photographer friend, to get his recommendation, since I’ll input a lot of pix into whatever computer I choose.

  7. Oy, yes, I’m like you – If I’m away from home, I’m ok without the computer, but at home…no way! I LOVE my lap top – I’m on my second one now, as the first died. Twice. I have a large screen, though – I can’t take those tiny lap tops. Too toy-like! BUT…traveling with a large screen one is HEAVY. But, at least it can come with me!

    I seriously would go the lap top route. And YOU get the new one. Your son keeps the old!!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Laptop. Desktop. Oh, the decision. I’ve certainly gotten some useful information to ponder. Thanks for giving your input.

      As for my son getting a new laptop, well, his is getting old, too, and he leaves for college next fall to study computer engineering. So, at some point soon, he’ll need a new computer.

  8. Cosmos Says:

    You could get a laptop and then get a docking station. You just snap the computer into the docking station and then you have a full sized monitor, mouse and normal keyboard. When you want to take the computer with you, it just snaps out again.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I’ve never heard of a docking station. This sounds like the ideal solution for me. I’ll check into it. Thank you.

  9. Sorry to hear about computer troubles- they are always hard. Hope it is resolved soon! Sounds like you are getting great advice from people who know what they are talking about. I have been sidelined by illness and am happy to be back in the world of blogs again, including yours! -kate

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, I have gotten some great input. My computer monitor is still lying in a heap on the floor. My son purchased parts to try and fix it. If not, a niece supposedly has a monitor I can have. Soon I’ll have my son help me order a new computer. So nice to have an in-house techie.

      I’ve been wondering why you haven’t been blogging or I haven’t heard from you. So sorry to hear that you’ve been ill. I’ll check out your blog shortly. Thanks, as always, for visiting mine.

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