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May 11, 2017

TDMC: Technical Difficulties May Cry

So I’m starting to get the distinct feeling that technology hates me.  Like, all of it.

My luck with gadgets and machines has not been great over the past few weeks.  Parts falling off; programs locking me out; games refusing to load; devices caught in endless reboot loops; internet access hamstrung; problems that I thought I fixed months ago resurfacing at literally the worst possible moments; the list is long, and diverse.  The good news is that, near as I can tell, I’ve managed to clear up a number of those problems and/or found ways to circumvent them.  The bad news is that doing so has consistently left me with my fair share of headaches (figurative and literal), largely because it means that I’m behind schedule with where I want to be.  As I’ve said, novels don’t write themselves -- and the fact that I’ve had to deal with so much tech garbage has left me in an unfortunate spot.

More pressingly?  I think the past month has served as an important signal.  It’s been on the back of my mind since the start of 2017, but April and this early section of May has basically clinched it: I seriously need to start thinking about getting a new computer.  I thought I could tough it out until the end of the year, but the difficulties I’ve faced -- where even Microsoft Word has seen issues and errors -- leads me to believe that the sooner I bite the bullet, the better off I’ll be.

I mean, what’s the average lifespan of computer hardware?  About five years?  I’d imagine that’s the case; my old laptop started seeing dips in performance and huge spikes in heat once it hit the five-year mark.  I’ve switched to my brother’s old PC and have been using it for years now, but now it’s at the five-year mark, too.  Believe me, I’ve noticed.  So I guess I need to start thinking about when I’m going to start the replacement process -- and more importantly, what I’m going to replace it with.  (Not sure if I’ll go for something entirely new, or if I can/should go for straight upgrades of what I already have.)  Then there’s the matter of making sure my files end up getting properly copied, stored, and ready for transfer.  Luckily I keep everything in relatively obvious locations, but the problem is that the folders containing them are…well, let’s say they’re “weighty” and leave it at that.

I guess this is something that’ll help me out in the long run, though.  I’d imagine that even a basic upgrade to a more recent machine will give me a computer that’s better at running modern games; given that I’m capped at 30fps and sub-optimal visuals whenever I play Overwatch, I’d say any upgrade is a good upgrade.  (Though to be fair, I’d be all right with 30fps as long as I could avoid this weird glitch where everybody on the map stays invisible for all but the last minute of a match.)  If and when I upgrade, I can start putting work into stuff that I haven’t been.  There are some PC games I need to tackle, but they don’t run as smoothly as they could.  Likewise, there are programs I need to work with, but I’m worried that my creative vision -- such as it is -- will make me create stuff that’s too stressful on my machine.  So we’ll see what happens on that front.

In the meantime, though?  Don’t worry.  I’ve got another post lined up and ready to go on Monday.  Nothing’s set in stone yet, but I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to get something up on Thursday as well.  It’s almost guaranteed that some upcoming posts will feature Persona 5 in some capacity, largely because I’ve been playing the hell out of it.  With that said, I reserve the right to make slightly shorter posts so that I can get back to novel stuff; with any luck, I can wrap that up within the next month or two…or at least clear the first draft and start whittling it down into something good.  Similarly, I reserve the right to make filler posts like this in the event that I face a complete disaster.  I’m panicking over the possibility that I could sit down to write one day, only to have my machine give me nothing but the blue screen of death.  That’d probably explain why I’m furiously trying to copy and save as much as I can elsewhere…and scrambling to find storage devices big enough to hold them all, for that matter.  (Don’t worry, I found some.)

So yeah, I guess that’s where I am.  If you don’t hear from me on this blog for whatever reason, then you’d be safe in assuming that it’s a technical difficulty and/or me being too pissed off to do anything substantial about it for the day or night.  I hope it doesn’t come to that, but…yeah, these things happen.  I hope my luck is good enough to avoid the worst case scenario, but I’m taking steps to dance around them as the days go by.

That’s about all I’ve got for this housekeeping post.  Till next time, then, take care.  And look forward to more stuff from me in the future.  Eventually.  Like something on this.  Eventually.


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