Jul 232007
 

Oh Boy! On the roadWe are on the road! After staying in and around South Florida since November 2006, we’re back on the road and headed for Oregon. I love the fact that traveling makes me ‘clean the house’ every day. I never was very good at ‘a place for everything and everything in it’s place’, but I’ve had to get good at it in order to live in a motorhome!

Computers, especially, need their own place, at least desktop computers do. It took us a while to realize that our desktop computer did *not* like being jostled about. After about 6 months on the road, it developed severe problems. I would get the ‘blue screen of death’ when I turned it on at our destination, and Jim would have to work his magic to bring it back to life. We suspected that vibrations of the road were causing problems with the hard drive – and maybe other components as well. So, we rigged up a nice ‘bed’ for it. A thick piece of foam rubber in a box just the right size for laying my computer on it’s side. We haven’t had any more trouble with it, and that’s been a couple years now! Laptops don’t need this level of care, they were built to withstand a certain amount of bumps and bruises. Desktop computers weren’t. They expect to be used on a desktop, in an office, on solid ground!

One other thing to know about traveling with any kind of computer is that you need your original CDs with you. I remember meeting ‘Tom’ in an RV park in Kansas. His Dell computer had crashed. He couldn’t get it to turn on regardless of his efforts. He found out that Jim is a computer tech and asked if he could help. Sure! The first thing Jim needs is the original installation CDs so he can boot the computer and restore the operating system. “Uhhh,” Tom says, “you mean those CDs that I keep in a box in my office …. in Michigan?”

Yep, those would be the ones! Lucky for Tom, Jim is a Microsoft partner and has quite a collection of CDs for every operating system they make. We also had an Internet connection because of our satellite dish, so Jim could go to Dell’s website and download the drivers needed. He was able to get the computer back up and running, but without his accounting software, or his photo software, because that was all back in Michigan too. He did have his navigation (Streets and Trips) software with him, so he was able to find his way back to Michigan!

Many people have told us, ‘But, my computer didn’t come with any CDs.’ Well, yes, that may be true. But those that came without the CDs *did* come with instructions on how to make your own recovery CDs. It’s a pain, but that should be the first thing you do when you buy a new computer.

Christine Guld

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