Archive for December 2, 2009

Sometimes things work out better than they might…

December 2, 2009 3 comments

I’ve been stuck using my laptop for a while since my desktop PC’s hard drive is failing, but I couldn’t afford a new one.  (Or so I thought.  If I’d gone ahead and invested $50-60 in a hard drive a few months ago — or invested $40 in an updated antivirus program for my laptop — I wouldn’t have had to spend over three times that much getting my laptop de-malwared.   And then my laptop’s screen died and needed replacing.  So now I really couldn’t afford a new hard drive.)  But when my father moved last week, he happened to mention that he was getting rid of his old computer in favor of the laptop he just bought.  I’d thought the laptop was a supplement, not a replacement.  Having learned otherwise, it occurred to me that if he wasn’t using his old PC anymore, maybe I could get its hard drive.

So he talked to one of the people with the service that helped him move (a group that handles such matters for older people), whose husband was recycling his old computer for him.  The guy called me, and basically he agreed to set aside the hard drive for me.  Today he called to arrange for me to come pick it up.  The options were for him to leave it with my father, who now lives four times farther away than he did, or to come pick it up at the guy’s place, which was a little farther even than that. Either way, I was resigned to a longish drive.  He told me apologetically that his wife was already on her way to my father’s old apartment to finish clearing out, and I’d just missed her.

But she came back in while we were talking; she’d forgotten her phone or something.  So the guy said he’d give the hard drive to her, she’d call me when she got to my father’s former place, and then I could drive over and pick up the hard drive — and finally get rid of my own old PC that’s been taking up space in my apartment for a couple of years because I didn’t just want to throw it out.

So I waited the allotted half-hour before she was supposed to get there, and more.  No call.  I debated between continuing to await the call and just heading over to the apartment and meeting her there.  Eventually I decided on the latter.  The timing was lousy, since it was just after dark and it was raining — conditions I have little experience or comfort driving in.  Luckily, I managed to get there safely, but nobody was there!  I called my home phone to check for messages, and there were none.  So I got out of my car and looked around the place, which seemed dark.

A former neighbor of my father’s came out to walk her bulldog, and I asked her if there’d been any activity in that apartment.  She said there’d just been some people there clearing out stuff, but I’d just missed them by minutes.  She let me inside the building to check if they’d left anything in his apartment for me, but the door was locked and I turned in the keys on Monday.  So it was starting to look like I’d made that whole trip in the dark and the rain for nothing.

But just as I was heading back out to my car, another car pulled up and the driver waved to me.  She said something about having to park far away, I’m not sure what happened there, but I was just relieved she showed up.  We made the exchange and I came home with a good hard drive and without an old, bulky, defunct PC.

So I guess everything worked out okay despite some rocky bits.  Although I have yet to find out if I’m competent to install the drive and all the software on my own.  I may come to regret turning down the man’s offer to just give me my father’s computer intact.  But I just got this PC a couple of years ago,  and I like it that it’s a “small form factor” computer, about the size of two stacked laptops and not taking up too much space.  (Well, it does get pretty hot, so I have it stacked on a wire rack for cooling, and that takes up more space, but it gives me a nice neat place to put the power strips and cords.)

So we’ll see.  Hopefully the reinstallation will work out as well as today did, and hopefully the road there will be smoother.

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