Off to Nelspruit to purchase a laptop…A frustrating 24 hours…I admit it, clumsy me!…

It was yesterday morning, about this time, that I turned on my screen-damaged laptop to discover an error message warning that it was about to crash. It suggested I run a backup and a subsequent system restore.

The problem was that I couldn’t get a live screen that would allow either to occur. (I won’t bore you with the details on performing either of those, which many of you know and some do not).

After several hours of trying to reboot over and over, I finally got in and was able to backup all my valuable Outlook email, photos, and all files to our two terabytes external hard-drive. However, the system restore utility wouldn’t work. By 5:00 pm, all of my data was on the external hard drive after a stressful day.

During the lengthy “waiting” periods for the system to reboot, I used Tom’s computer to search for possible online resources in order to purchase either a tablet or a laptop locally. The reasons for the necessity of purchasing locally is explained in yesterday’s post.

Louise and Danie each stopped by during this period, offering suggestions that were helpful, saving a considerable amount of more time trying to shop online, which proved to be pointless. Without my own South Africa ID# on one of the two possible sites, I wasn’t able to place an order. The other site indicated a 10 day shipping period after it left their facility for another three to five days. We could be gone by the time it would arrive.

Louise suggested I call the location in Nelspruit, Incredible Connection, the largest digital equipment store in the area, order and pay over the phone and she’d sent a courier to pick it up who charges a minimal cost. I was hopeful after hearing this.

After she left, I called the store to discover phone orders are simply not a possibility, due to the risk of fraud from stolen credit and debit cards. I get this, but was further frustrated. My only option was to go to Nelspruit, an all-day outing, certainly not my choice while we’re so enjoying our continuing time at Khaya Umdani. So it goes.

As for the iPad concept or tablet concept many of you may suggest for me: With all the travel and financial documents and spreadsheets that we have saved on the external hard drive using both Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook, there is no way I’d want to spend the time to make this available in an Apple or other non-MS Windows-based product. I love these products, have used them for years and at this point, don’t want to change. 

On many occasions, I’ve sent a Microsoft based document to others using an iPad or other tablets only to discover they are unable to open them. We’ve found that family members are also unable to use Skype with an adequate connection using an iPad or tablet.

During last night’s fitful sleep, I made the decision that I must purchase a new laptop. Undoubtedly, based on research online at the website, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll have the most current models. Computers are not manufactured here in South Africa. Everything is imported, requiring import fees and VAT taxes (value-added tax).

This may not be an uncommon dilemma for the business traveler with this same predicament; a broken or stolen laptop or tablet. What do they do? Most likely, what I’m doing today, traveling to the big city to make a new purchase.

Right now, I’m using Tom’s laptop which he uses throughout the day checking on financial matters, communicating with family and friends, and updating his favorite hobby, I didn’t feel it was fair to use his computer for too long.

Last night, we watched a movie on his laptop after I’d downloaded all the saved TV shows and movies onto the external hard drive. With the loss of only a few apps that are nagging at me, I can now live with the fact that this morning, my almost totally defunct laptop will not let me access anything at all. It’s OK. I can now say goodbye.

On the return drive from Nelspruit with Okee Dokee (Tom is not going with us), I’ll stop at the little house and retrieve the disks for the above Microsoft products. 

We expect to return by 5:00 or 6:00 pm. I’ll make dinner and then begin the process of reinstalling all the apps I need and transferring only the necessary data I need to function. There’s no need to use up many gigs of storage with our 1000’s of photos. They can remain in both Dropbox and on the hard drive for double security.  Perhaps, I’ll even load all the files on whatever cloud comes with the laptop that I purchase.

Hopefully, when I write tomorrow and post some amazing awaiting photos, I’ll feel at ease knowing this is behind me. In the past year, I’ve dropped both my new expensive smartphone and a laptop, breaking them both. What’s the deal? Clumsy perhaps? Or simply, too preoccupied to pay enough attention to things in my hands? Most likely, both of these. 

After all, isn’t clumsiness, just not paying attention? I suppose it is. Can I train myself to pay more attention as to what is in my hands? I don’t drop dishes, glasses, or other items. Just expensive digital equipment. I’m certainly motivated to change after these two harrowing experiences.

I always justify the breaking of these two pieces of vital equipment, by saying, “It could be worse.” And, without a doubt, we’re grateful that it wasn’t. Very grateful.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back into our usual routine of taking photos, posting online, and cheerfully going about our remaining 23 days in Marloth Park. The time is flying!