Lately I seem not to have a lot of luck with computers. After all the trouble with my Apple Powerbook last month I bought a BenQ that had to be exchanged for a new one after two weeks because of defects. The new one worked fine for a while, but suddenly got extremley slow. First I thought of a virus, but that was not the case. The harddisk was also not almost full, and a restart did not make much of a difference. Starting up took 10 minutes, and Outlook did not work at all anymore. I wasn’t sure if it was hardware or software problem, and decided to give it to one of the IT guys at Toodou. He quickly found that the store had forgotten to install two files that are quite important for Microsoft Office, and that caused everything. It also turned out that the store had installed an illegal version of both Windows and Office (but I guess that is standard in China). So now I need to buy a new Microsoft Office – not difficult I thought, except for the fact that most places only have the Chinese version.
So I started using my Apple again. Sunday morning I did a automatic software upgrade, and was asked to do a restart. I did so and what happened? The laptop got itself into a loop and did not want to start up anymore. I tried a start-up from my recovery CD’s, but that did not work either, because I only had 1 GB of hard disk space left for a new installation. Copying files to my external hard drive was impossible because the OS did not load. So I was stuck. I called the Apple repair guy, and he was there within an hour (that’s great about China, even on Sunday people come right away – try that in Europe!). He managed to get the laptop working again, but found many problems with the hard drive. I was surprised, because I got a new hard drive just a month ago, because the old one failed. Well, the end of the story is that he took my laptop away, and that I am once again without a computer – and without many files that I did not back-up over the last week. So I am using Qi’s old Vaio now to get my work done (my old Vaio’s battery collapsed), luckily we have so many laptops at home.