It’s always something, isn’t it? First, I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped over my week of vacation. Now, my computer is on the fritz.

That’s right, my beloved iBook G4 laptop is dying. When I went to plug it in after work last night, the power cord wouldn’t go into the computer. Turns out, the little prong in the center of the cord broke off in my computer.

Paranoid about not draining the battery when I had no way to charge it back up, I turned on the computer for a few minutes to make a panicked tweet and Facebook posting. Then I shut it down and tried to do some longhand writing.

I managed a few pages by hand, but couldn’t get into the groove. I ended up going to bed early and got up this morning with one thought: How can I fix my computer? (I guess it’s a good thing to be obsessed with writing. After so many lazy years, I can stand to put in a little overtime.)

I tucked my laptop into my giant purse and headed to Best Buy. The guy at the Geek Squad counter confirmed that the center prong was, indeed, the problem. He also said it could cost up to $400 to repair.

Spending that much to repair an 8-year-old computer (or older) doesn’t seem smart — not when I can save up a few hundred more and get myself a brand new one.

I spent some time at Best Buy, playing with the MacBook on display there. I also checked out the iPad. There’s a voice-recognition software app that tempted me to get one … I could dictate my novel while on the road. (I get a lot of great ideas during the 45-minute drive to the Boyfriend’s house.)

Again, I figured if I’m going to spend $600 on a mid-memory-level iPad (and end up buying a keyboard/dock for it), I might as well spend a little more and get a real laptop.

I thought I’d averted disaster when my roommate’s husband managed to get the broken piece out of my computer. I thought, “All I need now is a new power cord!” Unfortunately, I tried that. It still wouldn’t charge with a not-broken power cord.

So it looks like I’ll be starting a new computer fund. A writer friend who got a new MacBook a few months ago is loaning me her G4 for a while, and I’m looking into buying a spare battery and wall battery charger so I can continue to use mine while I save up for a shiny, new MacBook.

After all, my laptop is still perfectly good. At least  it would be if I could charge it.

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