My poor little computer is on its last legs.
A few months ago, I tried some tricks to make it run faster. It worked... for a little bit. Unfortunately, it has since reverted to its slow-as-molasses ways, and I finally got fed up a few weeks ago. I decided to do something about it.
I figured it didn't help that I had lots of music and pictures saved on my computer, so I decided to move all those to my external hard drive and then wipe the computer clean and start over. I reinstalled my operating system using the discs that came with the computer aaaaaaaaaaaaand... made it 100x worse.
I conveniently forgot that the discs that came with my computer back in 2007 were the oldest operating system ever (10.4, I believe?). The operating system was so old that I couldn't open half the websites I'm accustomed to using (gmail & twitter, for example) because my browser was so old. So I tried to update the browsers to something like Firefox. But oh! Surprise! I couldn't update the browser because the operating system was so old. Uhhhh... that's gonna be a problem.
[the reason my computer wasn't that bad before I rebooted it was because I'd been given a free copy of the slightly newer operating system by a very nice Apple employee about a year ago. Since they did it kinda under the table and fo' free, I didn't get the backup CDs so I couldn't reinstall that version. I had to reinstall the super old version. Bummer!]
So I conned Mike into installing Linux Ubuntu to see if that would work. We he once again wiped the computer clean and installed Linux as the sole operating system. This process took awhile (uhh try like over 2 hours? yikes. Thanks Mike!) and made some stuff kind of wonky but overall worked way better than the old-as-dirt Mac OS.
Until it didn't. The originally wonky things started getting worse. The track pad was SUPER sensitive and jumpy so I had to do all my work at my desk plugged into a mouse. Not the end of the world, but not ideal.
I couldn't download iTunes so I couldn't connect my phone to my computer.
A random black screen of death (example above) occasionally appeared while doing important things, like writing blog posts-- ooh good reminder, hold on a sec while I save this post!-- and the only way to get the screen to go away was to shut down the computer. Annoying.
Also, lots of programs that I'm accustomed to using didn't work. Namely, I couldn't download Evernote (love that program!) and I couldn't attend webinars that were hosted through Go To Meeting because that program doesn't have a Linux option. Skype was also a little wonky and wouldn't pick up on my computer's microphone when I tried to call people.
So I threw in the towel. It was time for a new computer. I set my budget around $400 and set out to see some computers this past weekend.
Uh... that was a big fail. Where on earth are the normal computers? Everything I saw this weekend was either REALLY HUGE or reeeeally teeny tiny. Nothing in the middle. What da heck? I know this sounds silly but I do not want a keyboard with a separate number pad. That instantly makes the computer quite a few inches bigger, and it's not even something that I want! I'm also not a fan of the tiny netbooks. I need a computer that I can comfortably use for 8+ hours a day; a small little screen is not gonna work for that.
We saw some very pretty (and not ginormous) laptops at Best Buy, but they were all super expen$iveDepressing.
Thankfully I'm dating a very smart and rational human being, and he suggested that I take my Mac to the Apple store and ask what they can do to help me. Oh, brilliant!
So this morning I have an appointment at the Apple store. I'll show them the computer and ask what on earth they can do to make it run faster. I'm thinking they will suggest a new hard drive and new operating system. My absolute max budget for this fix-up is $150. I'm not up for spending any more than that just to revamp the computer. If it's going to cost more than $150, it makes sense just to get a brand new one! Cross your fingers that they can work some magic for cheap ;)
UPDATE: Appointment went well. They were surprised I had such an old operating system- 3 employees were crowded around my computer admiring the age. Almost like I had brought in an ancient artifact or something, ha! They suggested that I upgrade the RAM (going from 1 to 2 GB [MB? I don't know what it's measured in...]) and upgrade the operating system. Since the computer is so old, they can't do either of those things so I have to order both online and install (!!!!) the RAM myself. This should be interesting ;) The new OS should be about $20 and the RAM about $30. $50 is not too shabby- let's hope these updates help!