Despite having a long weekend to go with the Thanksgiving holiday, I have gotten very little done in the past few days, at least in the way of writing or photo-editing. Early in the week, the cooling fan for my laptop decided to go on the fritz, and I’m afraid to do too much work on any of my files due to the warning messages I keep getting about the fan. I often run through hardware before my software becomes obsolete, but each time it happens, I always wonder if it’s worth getting repairs done or if I would be better served buying a new computer. (Once one thing goes bad, other things are sure to follow…)
There are people out there who will always be excited about getting new electronics, but if you’re like me, switching over to a new computer is a chore worse than the payoff of any system upgrades. Most creators have their favorite tools, instruments, workspaces, etc. You may not need these things for all of your creative endeavors, but knowing they’re available for another project or work session can be comforting. Having them yanked away, however, due to damage, can be worrisome. We spend a lot of time adjusting our tools and spaces to suit our comforts and working styles. Having to reset these things unexpectedly is not fun. And every time I find myself in need of a new laptop, this problem arises for me again.
The obvious solution to this problem would include having duplicates or backup systems. (For me, a second computer with all of the software I use on a regular basis.) When it comes to files, it’s common sense to have backup copies on another hard drive, on a storage device, or uploaded to the cloud. It’s not so obvious to think about things like specialty software or hardware. But even in having a backup workstation with favorite software, there will still be a tendency to have a primary workstation and a secondary workstation. (I used to keep both a desktop computer and a laptop, and the laptop became my primary workstation because of its portability.) Getting into the habit of using both equally may take some tedious discipline, but it’s certainly worth the ease of transitioning to replacements when something suffers a breakdown.
Unfortunately, it looks like I’ll be in the market for both a new laptop and possibly a new backup if I can’t find a way to repair my fan, and so I doubt I’ll be making much progress on any tech-based creativity in the next couple of weeks. Holidays can be a great time to find sales and all, but they also have a tendency to eliminate large chunks of my unscheduled free-time with social events.
Sorry this post hasn’t been more interesting or worth your while, but maybe it’s prompted you into adding a thing or two to your holiday wish lists that you may never have thought you needed before.