Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

The Saga of Homer III

The Saga of Homer III actually begins a couple weeks prior to November’s beginning. With the old computer, which I’d dubbed Homer II, as it was, like it’s predecessor, a desktop pc and thus restricted to my home. When Windows 10 became available for Homer II, I downloaded the program and installed it. Windows 10 ran well for about 3 or 4 weeks on Homer II, then started freezing. Through research, most of which was done by my mother after I switched to Rover II (my laptop computer, which I also had downloaded Windows 10 onto), we learned that Windows 10 was not designed to work on a 32-bit system at all—when we hadn’t even been aware Homer II was a 32-bit system. See, I got Homer II shortly after mom purchased her “new” computer, and she was absolutely certain it had the exact same specs as her computer when she pointed me at it.

But even before then, I’d been having minor issues with Homer II. It was slow. I don’t run many graphics-heavy programs, but the music player software I had on it wasn’t functioning like it needed to. Startup and shutdown took long, long minutes. It took hours to run the quick virus scan on Homer II most of the time, and if I had too many programs (many of them writing-related, so I need them handy) open at once, Homer II was slow to switch between them and open up the windows.

I ran, on any given day, music software, Tweetdeck, Open Office, Aeon Timeline, Scapple (a relatively new brainstorming/plotting software), Scrivener, Yahoo Instant Messenger, and had at least 3 tabs open on IE (and now at least one tab open on Edge in addition). This was simply too much work for my old system to do all at once. I’d saved up a bit of money for purchasing a new computer (what I didn’t spend in trying to repair Homer II for various reasons), and ultimately gave up on the system after Windows 10 on that 32-bit system started freezing and having issues with startup.

Aware the US holiday shopping blitz was on the way, I deliberately did not rush to buy the new computer. Rover II, a serviceable 64-bit system which adopted Windows 10 with no problem, served me well for the duration of Nano in November. This, however, was not the computer I wanted to continue using. Rover’s old, and though it ran Windows 10 without much problem, I did notice the RAM frequently ran high on it. It wasn’t slow or glitchy like Homer II became, but it is a rather old laptop that’s definitely past its prime (I bought it before I got Homer II—right after Windows 7 rolled out).

So, on Thanksgiving week this November, Mom and I researched computers until she found a Black Friday deal on Best Buy. There were actually two options. The tower (a smaller one that takes up less space on the desk) alone for $329.98 before taxes, or a package deal of the tower with a monitor for $429.98. We discussed and debated the virtues of the options available and finally decided, on Thanksgiving day, to get the package set. Mom purchased an e-giftcard for me to use as my Christmas gift from her (she usually gives me and my sister’s family money for the holidays), and I applied my savings to the remainder.

And the Best Buy site wouldn’t accept my card. I entered the number and security code on the back numerous times. Checked the billing address more than once. Finally called Customer Service and was assisted by this gentleman with a lovely pronounced Southern drawl. I entered everything one more time so I could tell him precisely what the error messages I kept getting were then we removed the gift card from the purchase and he applied it and my own card to the purchase on his end. I’d selected the free shipping option, which would have had my computer arriving around the 16th, iirc, which didn’t bother me, but his lovely Southern drawl announced I’d be receiving my new computer by the 4th of December. Without charging me.

The tower arrived by Tuesday; then Wednesday, the monitor came in. I had them delivered to Mom’s, because we didn’t know what carrier Best But was going to use, and one of them doesn’t deliver to my building any more. There were few reviews on the computer when I purchased it, and one of them regarded the absence of the DVD drive. So, concerned that this was an issue, I told Mom to go ahead and open the tower box and look for the DVD drive.

To be clear, I was still on my laptop, and I had, on more than one occasion, though many moons ago, used the DVD drive more than once.

Mom went so far as to plug the new tower in and eject the DVD drive. She’d never seen a laptop’s DVD drive, so didn’t realize they have to be habitually pulled out after popping out only about an inch. I had forgotten this fact. When she reported to me her experience, she also mentioned that there was a metal plate in the drive. Now, because I’d forgotten that laptop DVD drives have a metal plate in them where the laser eye goes, I thought she meant there was just this random piece of loose metal in place of the DVD tray, and that the tray’s place had been closed behind a door, as on average desktop pc towers.

Again, we discussed and debated, and ultimately decided that we’d see if Best Buy’s Geek Squad would/could fix it, and if not, we’d return the entire package and look for something else, though, given the specs on the new one and the price, we knew we’d be paying over $500.00 just for the tower. Mom happens to live right down the road from a Best Buy and took the tower in at their behest (she asked if she needed to take the entire package in just to be sure, and all they wanted was the shipping receipt and tower for a repair). They plugged the tower in, ejected the drawer, got from my mom what she thought was wrong, and explained to her that the DVD drive is the same type that goes into laptops.

We both then felt like idiots.

I’ve had my new computer since the 4th, when Mom brought it to me (she was really anxious to deliver it, and I’ll admit to being anxious to have it), and it functions beautifully. My computer desk has a small upper shelf above the monitor, and the new monitor is so wide it doesn’t fit between the shelf’s supports, but I don’t care. It’s a Lenovo system, and the monitor’s base is solid metal and was easy to attach. I have the tower on its side, which I like because I’m able to lay my wiry USB hub on the file drawer top in front of it, instead of having the hub hanging down like it did on my old Homer. The system is very quiet, too. Only thing is that this computer needs speakers (I was using a small TV monitor for Homer II), which I’ll be getting today from Mom.

1 Comment

  1. Yay for Homer III being set up and working!!!

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