Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Okay, as if it wasn't bad enough that I tripped over my vacuum cleaner last night and slammed the handle right into my mouth - saw stars, heard the buzzing bees that always herald me fainting, and my mouth blew up like a pufferfish - but today brings a new and distressing element to My Craptacular Life: the LCD screen on my long-suffering Gateway laptop decided to die. Admittedly, by laptop standards, Old Paint is just that - old. I bought it in 2000 and it has been my constant companion at the coffee shop. This has been my tool for pounding out radio commentaries, blog entries, resumes, and just about everything else.

I've found some place in Texas that will ship a replacement screen for $300 + $22 shipping, but I'm just not sure. First, it would be months before I could have $300 saved up to buy it, but more than that -- is it worth it to invest $300+ on a new screen for a laptop this old, or does it make more sense to just run this into the ground (as long as possible and I have any screen I can see/use) and save up money very slowly to get a new laptop altogether?

I'm torn. And, frankly, buying new sneakers and underwear is a higher priority right now. (That was probably more information than you needed. Sorry.) It just means that, if the screen goes totally black, there's no more typing from the coffee shop until I can procure a new one.


Seriously, any realistic advice or recommendations will be gratefully accepted.

And, hey - honestly, there are much worse challenges to have in this life. All things considered, this is minor. It's a "first world problem" I should count myself lucky to have.

I can see through the big black spiderweb for now. It's as if my laptop is experiencing it's own vision crisis, mimicking my adventure in partial blindness.

Strangely, it makes me love the computer a little more.


Claire said...

Don't spend $322 for a replacement screen for a laptop from 2000.

You can get a no frills PC desktop for about that- under $400 certainly. And basic PC laptops aren't that bad (compared to a few years ago)- $500 or maybe less? Haven't paid close attention to sales flyers lately.

Also, check out

The program runs through 12/31/07. I don't know all the specs of the laptop, but it'd get you on the web to browse/blog for $399. You'd get one and a kid in a developing nation would get one. Pretty cool. I don't know if the low cost laptops will be/are available individually (which would be ~$200).

Also, you could hook up your laptop to a separate monitor, right (thus bypassing its screen issues)? Less portable, obviously, but you could probably find an old monitor for cheap on craig's list or some such.

Good luck!

Merujo said...

Thanks, Claire - appreciate the suggestions. =) I need the laptop to be mobile, but finding a cheap/free monitor on Craigslist is a good option for home, for sure.

The Laptop Giving Program is fantastic, and I hope it has generated a lot of computers for kids around the world. It's a brilliant idea for folks who have the cash during this holiday time (deadline is NYE) and were going to buy their kiddos a computer anyway.

The XO laptop has really been well designed to help young learning minds. I tell you, from having read their website last month, if I were a Brad Pitt or some other person with money to burn, I'd buy a sea of these for kids overseas.

Anonymous said...

I offered a myriad of ideas on LJ. I hope a good laptop finds a good home with you soon.

Chuck said...

I agree with can get a cheapie laptop with a warranty for only slightly more than the replacement screen would cost. Alternatively, you might look in a used computer store to see if they have a similar laptop model you could either cannibalize, or use as a replacement.

Sudiegirl said...

Yeah - what they all said.

Pawnshops might be an option too...or craigslist?

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone here - we bought a laptop to replace Kristen's long suffering Gateway (1999) this past September. I spent $600, but could have spent $400. Either way, $300 is too much to spend on a computer that will likely have something else happen to it.