Laptops, money and property, oh my.


Yeah, so I should have been posting Weeks 33/34 of Project 365, but on.. Thursday night? my laptop decided to die.

This is the 2nd Compaq V2402AU laptop I’ve had that has died a sad and sudden death. Sure, my brother and I bought them together in 2006, so they’re old. But the fault? a power issue.
It’s pretty well-established that laptops are just rubbish on battery power. So after 4 years with me (a serial AC-power user), the batteries in both laptops no longer keep the PC going for more than say a half-hour. I’ve had no problem keeping the laptop plugged in to use it. But there is a serious problem with the soldering on the power supply, which apparently can be fixed by someone who has some sort of decent experience in that, or if you send it away to HP and pay something in the area of £250.
I doubt the laptop is even worth that.
So I’ve used my blessed new overdraft from Smile/Co-operative Bank (after being seriously impressed with their customer service) to order a new MSI Wind Netbook. Sure, it’s small and not really equipped to deal with heavy usage, but what do I use my laptop for these days? watching TV shows on my 1TB external HDD. Looking up bits and pieces on the internet. Playing highly exciting games like Theme Hospital or The Sims 2. (Yes, The Sims 2. I play The Sims 3 as well, but on Dave’s computer, and besides, it doesn’t let me have pets!).
So a 10″ Netbook will do just fine. It has approximately 6 hours of battery life, so if we decide to take a train/plane trip, it’ll help keep us entertained. It’s very light, blue and comes with a wee carry case. And because I’m ordering it from my brother in London, I also have a RAM upgrade and external DVD drive being thrown in. Hurrah.
But yes, as all this is going on, I only have the internet at work or on my iPhone. I can use D’s PC when he’s at cricket on Tuesday and Thursday nights, and during the day on Saturday (but only for one more week!), but I haven’t pulled my HDD out of the most recent laptop failure yet, so I still don’t have any of my shots to share. And I barely can be bothered to use his, to be honest, as my iPhone has my email, and I don’t really want to setup a bunch of software in the meantime.
I know I’m cursed when it comes to technology, but come on, really? This whole thing just makes me want to sigh.
In other news, we are house-hunting. Which is terrifying. Why am I trying to buy a flat in a foreign country? We’re not seriously looking/mortgage-ing ourselves until September/October at the earliest, but we’ve started the online search to get more of an idea. Well, I’ve started the online search. Dave just sorta nods at me and goes along with it. Which I guess is okay!
Requirements are:
* 1 bedroom and a boxroom, or 2 bedrooms. Don’t know what a boxroom is? it’s a bedroom that legally has to be classified as a boxroom if it has no windows to the outside, and no heating. Often boxrooms have windows at the top of the walls that bring light in from other rooms, but they are usually just used for storage or as a study, anyway, so it’s not really necessary. We want that extra room for my piano/equip, Dave’s PC, possibly a bookcase. It also makes it easier to sell if it has this extra space.
* A bath. I don’t care if the bathroom is neon yellow, it needs to have a bath. I miss having a bath more than I ever thought I would, especially in winter. Brilliant way to warm up and/or get relaxed before bed. Perfect during Dave’s football-watching periods.
* Decent-sized kitchen. Not a massive IKEA-fest, though that would be fab. Just bigger than a walk-in cupboard, which is kinda what we have now. If you make dinner, you need to clean up pretty much straight-away, or there is no counter space. And Dave loves experimenting and trying new things, and I think he feels a bit stifled in such a small space. The ventilation is also limiting, so any dishes with intense smells/spices will make anything in the living room smell, and may lead to poor Dave choking with his t-shirt over his nose/mouth.
* Area. I’m not a snob. Okay, okay, I am. I don’t necessarily want a fancy place or to live in the rich part of town. I just want out of the area we’re in. It’s hardly a ghetto, but it used to be a rough part of town, and while it has cleaned up and is a fairly good location close to town, a lot of the neighbours and local population are unfortunately still a bit… interesting. It actually hasn’t happened in a wee while, but the fights in the stair were annoying in the middle of the night. We also live in the same street as the football ground, and while this makes for a fun atmosphere and the sound really doesn’t bother me at all, getting in and out of Gorgie sometimes can be a bit of a mission. I’ve realised in the past year or two that I’m really very much a homebody, and love being at home or in my own neighbourhood, so I think I’d be quite comfortable living in an area with families/old ladies. Tragic, but true. So we’ll see how we go.
We won’t move until February, so I’m trying not to stress about it just yet. It just seems far too adult to own property. Especially in the UK, which I’ve never considered to be a long-term home. But for a year or two, it’s a cheaper (surprisingly! but we have a large deposit) and more comfortable option.

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