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Beyond the Lone Islands

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Back in the Study

One thing Santa (kind of) brought, is that I have at last been able to "reclaim" my Study!

After the hard drive crash on my desktop computer in November, it felt like the whole study basically turned into a sepulchral chamber /slash/ store room... Since the old computer screen was too heavy for me to move, and it was not possible to connect it to the laptop, it has just been sitting there, on top of the computer table, looking blank and ominous... Besides being of absolutely no use on its own, it has also been in the way of setting up the laptop properly, connecting that to other appliances etc.

Using the laptop on top of a table of ordinary height, like the writing desk in the study, or on the kitchen table, just doesn't work well for me (for any length of time), because of my neck/shoulder/arm problems. The alternative has been sitting in bed or in my recliner chair in the living room. To be able to do that sometimes was of course why I got the laptop in the first place (three years ago); but it does not work equally well with all kinds of "jobs"...

At Christmas, finally, I got help from my brother to move the old screen aside (onto a tea trolley on wheels until we've decided on its final destiny).

What a relief! It really felt like getting the whole room back.

Now the laptop sits on top of the computer table, from where not only can it be connected to the printer/scanner, but also to the rollermouse* wrist-support and the wireless keyboard on the lower shelf, at the proper height for me! Moreover, this way the laptop screen is also at the right height, and I find the whole solution works better than I thought it would. I hardly even miss the bigger screen now. I shall have to reconsider again whether it is really a new desktop computer I want... The main problem with the current laptop is really that it has very little storage space left (+ I would like to update from Vista to Windows 7). But an alternative to buying a new desktop might be a new and better laptop instead...(Living alone, there really is a considerable advantage in keeping as far as possible to machines that one can actually manage to lift and move about without help!)

Anyway - having had a few "indoors" days after Christmas, I've started (re-)organizing my photos; renaming catalogs by dates to begin with, to be able to find things more easily. And taking care to make back-up copies! ;) This being one kind of job that I find I do better in upright position at the computer table, rather than leaning back in a recliner chair...

Next Year (!) I'm also looking forward to trying out the Photoshop Elements software that "Santa Dan" was kind enough to send me... (Hoping there will be enough space left on the hard drive for it.)

*A rollermouse is a technical aid which is basically a wrist-support with a built-in mouse.



GB said...

I'm glad that things are returning to 'normal' for you in the study. Like you I use my study - both here and in Scotland - as my main refuge from the world.

In New Zealand I do not have a PC only a laptop (and Samantha, my trusty notebook, of course). As you say there are limitations on hard drive space. My music alone now takes up about 160 Gb. So I use external hard drives a lot. All my main photographs and music are held on a 1Tb hard drive which is my principal storage unit.

All my others (4 WD Passport drives and a ED MyBook) store backups and data copies for carrying around with me.

When my PC needs replacing I'm not sure that I'd get another despite their superior computing power and speed. After all I do without it for 6 months of the year and the majority of the work most of us bloggers do is connect to the internet and manipulate photos. For the rest who need superior computing power a PC is a significant consideration. I find that my 15 inch laptop screen is more than adequate most of the time and I rarely miss the 19 inch screen which I use in Scotland.

The only thing I think is a must for a laptop (and which I understand can extend its life too) is a cooler for it to sit on. It also makes it easier to use on one's knee or in bed because there is no chance of obstructing the cooling fan inlets.

DawnTreader said...

Thanks for the additional viewpoints Graham. I actually never have the laptop directly on my knee but use a separate wireless keyboard (with the laptop on a reading table on wheels or on a bedtray)


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