Yeah I know, but . . .
This really isn’t as reckless and frivolous as it may first appear. At least let me explain before you decide. Yesterday I had to take my Sexy Beast to computer hospital because of the fracture problem I told you about earlier. At the time I wondered how the hell I would manage without a computer at home for the month or so that SB would be gone, especially as Nog’s laptop had died awhile back. On the way home that day I stopped by the computer section of the store and saw this very basic Toshiba on special offer, and after that I went home and did some research…
Okay, justifications first. I don’t just use my computer to check my email, blog a bit and otherwise faff around on the internet. Yes, in a lot of ways it is my personal lifeline and connection to friends, but I actually LIVE on my computer almost all day long, doing all sorts of things. And, as some of you know, I’ve also been working very hard trying to set up a couple of websites so that I can start generating a bit of income, because the English classes just aren’t happening at the moment. So for me, having a computer at home is an invaluable work tool as well as my way of feeling connected to the rest of the world.
Next, this little Toshiba L300 (15″ screen, just over 2 kilos) has amazing specs for the price. It has 4GBs of RAM and a 250GB harddrive memory, as well as a built-in webcam and microphone. All this for 500 euros. Which is an amazing deal, especially when I had previously been considering getting one of these for the same price to use as a sort of mobile work station. Of course, back then I was also expecting to have more English classes and hadn’t expected a cancer recurrence so soon … but in a way that makes it even more necessary to start lining up work I can do from home. And all of that will require having a computer here.
And so last week I bit the bullet, dusted off my credit card and bought Shadow (charcoal grey and definitely a “he”). I know it was the right decision even though I don’t really know where next month’s rent is coming from. Because in fact, some of it might be coming from a recent idea I had to do half-hour conversation classes using Skype & webcam, for students who are too busy to go to regular classes but would still like to practice their English. I plan on setting this up next week and calling some of my “too busy” ex-students and ask if they want to give it a try. And raincoaster might also have some work for me soon doing on line blogging classes, which sound very interesting.
When SB gets home from hospital (hopefully repaired on warranty – the jury is still out on that one) she will resume her place in my little work corner and will also be hooked up to a flat screen monitor that Susan gave me awhile back when she was doing an office cleanout. I think it will be helpful having both screens to check photos before putting them up on Sevilla Tapas (or anywhere) as I don’t get much contrast on the laptop screen. She will probably become the “house computer” (that Nog will also use sometimes) and Shadow will be my mobile work station. Definitely a better solution than getting one of those eensy PCs. And as much putting such a big charge on my credit card at this time felt kind of scary (slippery slope and all that) it’s also a risk I felt was worth taking.
I guess if I had to I could always give up my yoga classes in order to make the monthly Visa payments, but I’m hoping that things are going to pick up in the next month or so. The thing is, since the recurrence I am now looking at having to totally restructure my life and, while I hope to have some nice long remissions in my future, the fact remains that I’m not always going to be able to work like I did before I got sick. Which is why I’m trying to find ways of working around my illness. Or rather, incorporating it into a new lifestyle that will become my new “normal”. And in this new life of mine, having a computer at home is no longer a luxury. Aside from all that, I must say that it’s quite a relief not to be left computerless right now.
~ azahar… goddess of tapas, snibbles and justifications
OK, this is a much better deal than the HP netbook you were looking at. I understand why you need it. (P.S. I drooled over that HP netbook with the peonies on it before I decided on the Google-phone, which I figured I would carry around more than a netbook.) Hope things go well, and you get some money coming in.
Sounds like a nice little computer. Enjoy!
“goddess of tapas, snibbles and justifications”
I love that.
And congrats on the new laptop! May he bring you many years of productivity and/or procrastination.
My friend has a Toshiba laptop which she has had for…. is it three years? She loves it and recommends the Toshiba highly as a great workhorse laptop.
I’ve never seen seen the Vivienne Tam netbook in person, Silverstar, but it looks very cute on line. Yeah, I think you chose best with the Google-phone too.
Sexy Beast is also a Toshiba, and when Susan recently bought a new laptop I recommended a Toshiba and she is very happy with it. I love them for both design and function. Even though Shadow is very basic in design the lines are still very pleasing to the eye, and I think the charcoal grey is kinda classy.
Took me about three days to get him set up with all the programmes I use, bookmarks, plus transferring all my photos, files, etc over from SB. This is why the internet cafe option wouldn’t have been useful. And anyhow, anything I could do at an internet cafe I can do on the iPhone.
Still getting used to Windows Vista. So far I much prefer XP.
So yeah, I admit I was a bit worried that some of you – and especially those who have sent me donations – would think I was being careless by suddenly spending such a big whack of money on an “extra” computer (though all recent donations have been tucked away to put towards next month’s living expenses). As this is on my credit card it will add another monthly expense, and there are ways I could cut back in order to make the minimum monthly payment. But even 2 of those on line conversation classes a week would cover it, so I hope I can convince a couple of people to try them out. I personally think they could be a lot of fun.
Nog said to me yesterday that maybe I shouldn’t tell you guys about Shadow, just in case it put me in a bad light. But after taking SB to hospital it was the obvious topic for the next blog post. Besides, not saying anything about him would have felt dishonest somehow, especially as I tend to tell you guys everything. And having Shadow is quite a big thing in my life right now.
Oh, that little classes by Skype idea sounds like a real winner to me. If for nothing more than that possibility, you MUST have a computer that works. Shadow doesn’t sound like an EXTRA computer to me at all. It is the computer that works when you need a computer working.
The amazing thing to me is how much smaller and lighter and more powerful all these electronic tools are getting, and yet they are getting less and less expensive at the same time. I grew up when transistor radios were the amazing new invention, and now I can’t even imagine how I would be able to keep in touch without the Internet and all that implies.
I’ll tell you this honestly. Once I give a donation to a person, I have let go of control of that item. As far as I am concerned, if what you need most is a computer, then you have every right to spend the money you have available on that. You go girl! And I’m so glad you are feeling so well that you have energy left to obsess about stuff like this.
You know, hmh, I was pretty sure that none of you would judge me harshly, but I do feel a serious moral obligation not to spend donation money lightly. It was given to help me make ends meet, and I appreciate it so much, but I guess I needed to explain just how necessary this latest purchase was.
The other day when Susan took me out for lunch I “confessed” to buying Shadow and she just looked at me and said … “Shawn, there is no way you could get by without a computer for a whole month, and it sounds like you did your research and got the best deal possible, so that’s that”.
Did you click on the link to the Skype class? I did that page this morning. And I also sent out an email to about eight of my “too busy” ex-students telling them about this new idea, and that they could try a sample class (15 min) for free. So I do hope some of them will try it.
I know what you mean about everything getting cheaper all the time. Two years ago SB cost 1000 euros and had only 1GB of RAM and a piddly 80GB hard drive memory. For half that price I am getting more than triple “the stuff” with Shadow. Okay, SB is way prettier and has a fabulous 17″ widescreen, but she also weighs a ton and isn’t particularly portable.
So yeah, I agree with you that Shadow isn’t an “extra” computer, especially now. But even once SB is back, he is going to fill a whole other purpose that is actually necessary.
The other day I was out with Nog having a tapa snack at a place I hadn’t been to for ages. Both the owner and bar manager greeted me like an old friend and said how pleased they were about their Sevilla Tapas page. I asked them if they had seen it recently (they hadn’t) so I was able to whip out my iPhone and show them the new theme and how much better it looked.
Imagine when I can take Shadow to tapa bars and show them on a nice 15″ widescreen how good their page looks … and then ask them if they’d like to be one of the two “Featured This Month” restaurants on the front page (for a fee, of course).
As for energy, I’ll be done taking the chemo pills on Wednesday and will be able to enjoy an almost normal week before the cycle starts all over again. As Susan pointed out, I’m just going to have to get really good at organising stuff so that it fits in with my chemo schedule. My new “normal”.
Sweet! You know you made the right decision, and so do all of us.
You need the Shadow, Shawn. Nuff said.
We must be on some kind of parallel plane. My laptop has been getting wonkier and wonkier the past couple of months, and crashing all the time. I’ve been researching new beasts, and was eyeing a Toshiba VERY similar to Shadow…
I hope your new meds are keeping you more rooted during this round of chemo. Snibbles and all that.
Oh I know, I know … hell, it’s almost a month since I sent SB to hospital and she still isn’t back home. I seriously could not have survived this long without a computer at home. And even though Nog got The Brick repaired a couple of weeks ago, it’s back in the shop for the second time since then because of this and that. First the wifi wasn’t working. Then there was no sound and the screen resolution was all fucked up.
So I know getting Shadow was the right decision, but I’m just barely making the monthly payments on it.
The interesting thing about Shadow is that when I looked up this model on the internet it was always shown as having 1 GB ram and some piddly amount of HD memory. And when I got the invoice for Shadow it showed the ram (4GB) and HD (250GB) as “extras”. So it looks like Toshiba sent this model back for upgrading and then put it back on the market with new specs … and for the same price.
Go for a Toshiba, SC. Which model were you looking at?
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