First word of advice. Well, a few.
Back up your really REALLY (I mean a dozen really's) important work on your computer. Including pictures. Including your iTunes library. Everything.
I've been offline, and not too happy about it, for the past week or so. My laptop crashed. I just got it in October. Less than six months ago.
Now, some of you might be asking, just like all my friends did... Well, what did you do? Were you looking at dirty websites/pictures? (Answer is no... and why is that the FIRST question your friends always ask when you have computer problems?) Did you download anything online? (Nothing except the upgrade to my virus/spam protection subscription). Did I spill anything? (No... just my tears as I saw the proverbial blue screen, with a bunch of writing about stuff I know nothing about.)
Called the tech staff of my computer company... which was probably half-way around the world... and spent two hours (about 45 minutes waiting for a tech staff) trying all these last-minute efforts to save my computer. Nothing worked. Yeah, a few blips and the desktop came on for a second. Then nothing. Blue with a bunch of writing. Part of me wants to believe there's hope, and I insisted on mailing it back to the company for a repair/replacement. The realist tells me that it's done. My October laptop baby.
Thank God I keep all my manuscripts-in-progress on a flash drive, and I email to myself everyday what I'm working on. But... what I'm really worried about... is my iTunes library. Superficial me. I don't want it gone. That's SOOOOOOOOOOOO much work downloading all those freaking CDs. iPod still works fine, and everything is stored on it.
Still. Lesson. Writers. Back up your data. Until I get my laptop back, I've only got my office computer during the day... oh, and the 6-year-old laptop I retired last October. Gonna dust it off for the next week or so. Thank God I'm not on an urgent deadline, though I am in the middle of novel three and hoping to finish this spring.
Funny thing. That 6-year-old dinosaur never gave me one problem. It was just S-L-O-W. And getting slower by the day.