It turns out my "software problem" was, in fact, a motherboard problem.
Yeeeeah. Might as well buy a new tower than invest that kind of money into a 6-year-old computer (I checked my receipts: I bought my computer in fall of 1999
If it was a software problem, I could fix it. A hardware problem? Not so much. Throw in that HP is going to stop any and all support for my particular model within the next year or two (at least according to Tech Support), there's really no point in buying a new motherboard and paying someone to install it. That's assuming you could even get a new motherboard to work with it.
So, my home computer is now a paperweight. *headdesk* I can't even donate it.
The good news? All the important stuff (stories; mp3 files) are still on the external drive. All my stories are also backed up CD. So I didn't lose anything at all. Thank heavens.
The bad news? My computer now has to be replaced two years sooner than I wanted. *cries*
I had kinda hoped to hold off for two years so I could actually make a choice between a MAC or Windoze system. Given the size of my savings account, my budget, and what I actually use the computer for, I'm stuck with buying a Windoze tower whether I want to or not. I could pull off the MAC mini, financially speaking. However, I cannot afford to buy all new software to go with it so I can run everything else. If I do that? I might as well buy a top-of-the-line computer bundle.
Which is not going to happen. (See under: If I can't pay cash for it, it's too expensive and I don't need it.)
My monitor, printer, and peripherals work just fine. I don't need
that stuff. I also don't need a top-of-the-line tower for what is essentially a word processor, jukebox, occassional icon-maker, and Web browsing machine. As I explained to some techie folks last night: I'm a high-volume user, but not a high-power user.
The first place to say, "Well, chances are, these lower-priced boxes will work just fine for you because you don't need a Sony for stuff like that" won my business. FYI, that place, of all places, was Staples
. So, I'll be sniffing around there this week looking for a tower. If I work it, I might be able to get away with paying approximately $650 for a new tower (which would include tower, 3-year in-service, and memory upgrade).
Needless to say, this journal is going "dark" fic-wise because I'll be tired up in reconnecting the homebase.
Apologies to everyone for the wait on everything. But the paperweight at home has to be replaced and then I have to destroy its harddrive so no one will ever be able to retrieve data off it. I will hopefully be back on line by Friday.
Thanks for your patience!