The new overheating laptop

My old laptop overheats.  Now, the new-to-me laptop appears to have the same problem, only worse.  I ran a diagnostic on both of its hard drives today, but I noticed that the fan never comes on.  That could be one of the main problems!  Wow!  By using cold packs, I was able to keep the laptop running long enough to complete the diagnostics.  The primary hard drive failed the scans, but the secondary hard drive appears to be ok.  As soon as my cold packs got warm, though…instant shut down.  I am still taking it in to be looked at, but I hope it’s as simple as a fan replacement.

Laptop situation

laptopbroken

Recently I wrote about my ancient, overheating laptop.  I was unsure about whether I should buy a full-sized, regular yet still portable laptop to replace my current 7-pounder, or whether I should just buy a netbook for now since it addresses several of my computing needs for a smaller price.  As it turns out, my sister had an old laptop that quit working correctly.  She never got it fixed, but I am going to take it to a local place to get an estimate.  If I can get it fixed for a decent price, I may have a new-to-me laptop!  It won’t be very portable (it has a 17″ widescreen!) but it will replace my 5.5 year old model.  Depending on how much it will cost to fix it, I may have enough money to buy a netbook!  On Monday, I will try to get an estimate.  Further updates to come!

Future Purchase: Laptop?

laptop

I may have to face the reality of a large purchase soon.  My laptop is over 5 and a half years old, and it overheats quite often.  I have been regularly backing up my important documents in case it decides to go kaput one day without warning because I learned the hard way about backing up  your hard drive.  The hard drive in my laptop is the second one I’ve had.  I’ve also upgraded the memory to its maximum (quite a while ago), so there’s really no improving it.

I’ve been eyeing several laptops to replace the one I have.  I don’t want one as large as the one I currently use.  When I bought it, I planned on watching movies and playing games on it in addition to school work.  Now, I would love to have a more portable laptop–possibly even a netbook.  I keep fantasizing about having a computer that would be easy to bring to class.  I would love to type my notes since I transfer them all to my computer anyways.  Also, I would have fewer excuses for not working on my thesis.  My most common current excuse is, “The house is too noisy so I have to shut the door to my workroom.  The room is too hot when I shut the door, so the computer overheats quickly.  When it overheats, it shuts down.  And transporting it to another location is annoying.”

Flimsy excuses aside, transporting my current laptop is more than a small pain in the neck.  It weighs 7.5 lbs and is 14″ x 10.5″ x 1.5″ big.  The touchpad no longer works, so I have to use a USB mouse.  The laptop has only one working USB port, so I have a 4-port hub hooked up to it so I can attach my mouse and use a USB drive.  In addition, since the darn thing overheats so easily, I have a cooling pad that sits underneath and blows fans on it constantly.  All of these extra accessories make it that much more cumbersome to transport, and the bag I carry everything in is bulky and heavy.  And as for using it on battery power?  Not possible.  I bought a backup battery when I bought the system, but they are both so old they drain quickly.

Wow, after outlining everything, I have almost convinced myself to buy a new laptop.  I know I will need one eventually, but do I really want to wait until this one dies unexpectedly?  It wouldn’t be the end of the world, because there are computers at school that I use all the time (thanks to my handy USB drive) and there is a slightly newer desktop computer at my house.

I hesitate because I know it will not be an inexpensive purchase.  I am not sure if I want a smaller regular laptop or a netbook.  I know that I will get extra memory and an extra battery if possible.  I am not sure what brand I want.  I do know that I do not want another 7.5-pounder!

Goal accomplished!

I am happy to report that I have reached one of my main financial goals!  I have now reached my goal amount for my emergency fund!

This will allow me to increase the amount I am putting towards opening a retirement account (my next major goal).  I am still contributing money towards my other financial goals, but reaching even a smaller goal is truly a motivation!  I now have only three goals to distribute to each paycheck instead of four (donating, debt, retirement).  I’ve already been thinking of goals to add for the future, but I’m going to wait until I reach another small goal.

Free e-reads!

harlequincelebrates

Harlequin is celebrating 60 years.  They are generously giving away $60 worth of e-books as a gift to their readers.  They are offering 16 books from all different genres.  There are historicals, suspense stories, an African-American romance, steamy stories, three different types of Christian novels, a paranormal, some tender romance, family stories, and yes, a Harlequin Presents title.  Go to their anniversary website and download something from your favorite genre.  Try a new genre for free.  Enjoy your books!

Lesson learned: Procrastination = Expensive!

I made a disastrous mistake.  My car’s headlight had burned out.  I was going to ask a friend of mine to change it for me after finding out the price (mostly labor!) at my usual shop.  Unfortunately, I don’t get to contact this friend often because he’s busy.  I should have just gotten the thing fixed, because my attempt to be frugal has bitten me in the checkbook.

headlight

I got a ticket for having one headlight.  The ticket costs only $10 less than the cost of the replacement quoted by my shop.  Plus, I still have to pay to get it fixed.  I’ve almost doubled my cost!  AAARRRGH!!

The only good (sort of) thing to come out of this is that the officer informed me (and didn’t write me a second ticket for it) that my license plate bulb isn’t illuminating from 100 feet away.  Though this is barely good news, since I now have to pay for that too.  Moral of the story is, I should have gotten the light replaced asap through one method or another.

Procrastination really is frugality’s enemy.

Debt status: January 09

Sadly, my debt has increased.  This trend will continue until I can get financial aid.  While it is discouraging to see the percentage paid off shrinking, I must remember that I have been keeping the interest accrued around zero.

jandebt