You know how sometimes you accomplish something, and really it’s sort of dumb and lame but you are just tickled with yourself that you were able to do it?
I had one of those moments today. The CD burner in my computer died. This computer is, at least, six years old. It’s an HP that was bought on a whim to replace a Compaq that just up and died, but it has served us well. It started getting painfully slow a couple years ago, so last year we upped its memory from 256 mb to 1 gig and it’s pretty smooth now. The most taxing thing I do with it is edit pictures in Photoshop, so while I really WANT to get a new computer, I don’t really NEED to get a new computer, because this one was working fine.
Until my CD burner died. Normally this would be a who-cares sort of thing; we haven’t burned a music CD since getting iPods like three years ago, and we have external hard drives for our backing-up needs. Then I got my first paying portrait gig a couple months ago, and promised the lady paying the bill that I’d burn the photos to a CD for her. And the CD burner didn’t work.
So in the last two months, I’ve been stuck in a sort of analysis paralysis. Do I just replace the burner, and cross my fingers that I can still use this computer for a couple more years? Or do I use this as the excuse to throw in the towel and get a new computer?
Well, mostly in the spirit of thriftiness I decided to just get the burner, expecting Frank would do the upgrading. Newegg.com supplied a nice DVD burner drive for like $34, and UPS dropped it off today. I looked at the instructions to install it, and it seemed do-able. So rather than spend the next seven weeks nagging Frank to put the thing in for me, I decided to man up and do it myself.
And I did!! I took the computer case apart, dislodged the old drive, installed the new one, and put the computer back together and restarted it and it worked! But then it wasn’t recognizing the drive, and re-consulting the instructions I realized I overlooked a small but apparently very critical item, switching the drive from being a “slave” to being the “master”. So, I took the whole computer apart again, had to uninstall the whole DVD drive to get to this tiny little switch, I promoted the drive to master (and was tempted to draw on a dominatrix in black Sharpie but I resisted) , and got the whole shebang put back together, again. And this time, everything worked!! I even already burned the pictures to CD like I needed to do two months ago.
Yay me. 🙂