What do you do when your computer dies on a trip?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Punki, Mar 18, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    Yesterday our laptop bit the dust. Well I suspect it will be fine once I get it back to my IT guy and he reloads Windows and does his other magical stuff.

    Right now, however, we are stuck with our iPhones. :(. This happened to us once in 2003 in Chicago and we just went and bought a new one. Now we are in a small mountain village in Switzerland that doesn't even have vehicles and most certainly doesn't have a computer store.

    If there were an Apple store, I think I would own an iPad. ;)

    During the day I can use our host's computer if I really need it, but I can hardly wake him up in the middle of the night because I want to post on MP.

    ;)
     
  2. HiIslands
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    HiIslands Silver Member

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    This happened to me in a small town in Mexico. I went to the local internet cafe, searched out the resident geek and asked him if he could help me. Within three hours, I had my laptop back, functioning just fine. The cost was a more than reasonable. I realize there are certain risks with this approach, so a measure of judiciousness is in order. I would moderate my approach based on what I had on my laptop in non-password protected files, but in my case it was just an older notebook computer that I use for travel, so there was little risk. Good luck!
     
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  3. pjoalfa
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    pjoalfa Silver Member

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    I'd cry. Happened to me ages ago in Amsterdam. Had to find a shop. Royal PITA.
     
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  4. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    It is not so bad since we have our iPhones, and I am pretty sure that there aren't any locl fix-it options anyway. I am way too lazy to go out in the snow and take the train(s) to town to get it fixed.

    Maybe God is trying to tell something about my vacation. :)
     
  5. 2lovelife
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    2lovelife Silver Member

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    On the road:
    I am finishing my university program... I need my computer, which is a small Acer. I keep all my documents in a micro SD card that slips in the side. I actually travel with a brand new, unused model, just in case something happens like that. The original computer was $279+tax, the replacement is a newer model with a lower price $199.

    A few months ago, in KUL airport on the way back to North America, I cracked the screen of the laptop while getting ready for boarding. I was happy to just be able to pull out the replacement and continue my work. Within hours of being home, I had a new replacement.

    At home:
    Another thing I did is called Acer to have original recovery disks shipped out. I did the same thing with MS Office. Occasionally, the system gets slow and I get worried about the stability. I hook up my external dvd drive, and re-install windows myself... The computer comes out of this process exactly as if it was new. I download all my drivers, modems, re-install browsers and Office, etc, and I'm good to go.

    I like the new Apple laptops. But I would never consider an ipad as a replacement for a real computer (it looks like a great youtube viewer). But at $199 per unit, the mini laptops cannot be beat. I've bought over half a dozen over the years.
     
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  6. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Enjoy Switzerland, that's what I would do.

    You could (if really desperate) shop online and see if there is a one-day delivery for an iPAD.

    I understand your compulsion (I am typing this while on vacation). In the past, when my computer needed something, I have gone out to buy a new battery, a new power adaptor, and was sorely tempted to buy a new laptop when my screen died.
     
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  7. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    It happened to me on a business trip in Russia. Disaster. I threw away the brand new IBM Thinkpad switched to Apple and have been happy ever since. That was my 3rd Windows catastrophic failure.
     
  8. Gargoyle
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    Did you try the blue Thinkvantage recovery button?
    Thinkpads are extremely hard to kill, although since you were in Russia, I suspect the former KGB hacked in and murdered it. (seriously, if you were logging in at hotels or cafes, it's pretty likely someone slipped past your firewalls and messed with it)

    What are the data rates for logging into MP with an iPhone? Make sure you don't get home to a $4,500 AT&T bill.
     
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  9. jason8612
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    jason8612 Gold Member

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    cry.
    But I know a bit on computers so I will attempt to fix it myself.
    Once it did happen to me. I went to bestbuy and bought some new parts (fixed it myself - wasn't planning to pay a arm for them to do it) and was up and working a few hours later.
     
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  10. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    RIP computer.
     
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  11. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    The hard drive failed and messed up the power supply also. To my dismay, no evidence of KGB involvement. My Russian client thought it was funny, but he did loan me 'one of his' in the meantime. That was when I discovered the joys of Apple.

    I had a team of several IBMers working for me at the time and they could nto help. They did get me a refund though, so I was happy. Now IBMers look on with jealousy as I show up with my slick gear.:p
     
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  12. eightblack
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    eightblack Silver Member

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    Macs don't die....:) (they just cease forward motion).
     
  13. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    This is the first thing you do, then get a new computer. :)
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. scoow
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    scoow Silver Member

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    I would try getting the new computer first... and salvage any data I can off the old one.
    Though your suggestion is much more cathartic.
     
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  15. Cholula
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    The millisecond my relatively new laptop bites the dust I'm going to buy an iPad as its replacement. I don't need the computing power of a laptop to play a few games, check e-mail and post on the Internet.

    And, Punki, accessing the Internet from Europe via an iPhone is pretty pricey in my experience. I realize you guys are both wealthy beyond belief but I'm hoping you've bought some kind of reasonably priced data package.
     
  16. Concerto
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    Concerto Gold Member

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    If Punki is staying at a hotel that has WiFi, then using the iPhone to surf the net will cost nothing. I just shut off roaming and use mine that way all the time...
     
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  17. Ant
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    Ant Silver Member

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    At least you've got iPhones! Just imagine if you had normal phones!!

    So that I've always got access to my documents, I automatically sync my most important files with Dropbox. For a bit of extra redundancy, files also sync to my iPhone as well. But, so long as I have internet access I can always access these files from any computer. So, if a failure ever happened, I'd hope that I'm well covered.

    I use Macs, and I have files synced between a few desktops, laptop and iPhone. This is by far the best solution. Any sensitive documents are also further encrypted, for that extra security.
     
  18. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    Carry Two (2) Laptops, when you travel, and a couple 2 to 4Gb Flashdrives. Its easier to work (Multitask) with two machines anyway.
     
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  19. Merlin
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    Merlin Gold Member

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    I suspect you know Murphy's Law: If anything can go wrong, it will.
    There is also the Murphy's Constant: Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.
    Don't tell me, the laptop was a Toshiba? :D

    I agree with Gargoyle, the Lenovo ThinkPads are almost bull proof. His suggestion to jbcarioca is not valid for his IBM ThinkPad since it's an old pre the blue ThinkVantage button ThinkPad. I think the IT policy of the company I work for is brilliant (I'm heading the IT department you see ;)) with only Lenovo ThinkPads X201 and T410s in the line up these days. All our new laptops have since May last year only had solid state hard drives. Another important policy decision for us is: the laptops only stays 3 years in our service. The third important decision we made almost five years ago was to throw out all OEM installations and start with a clean laptop and install MVL Windows/Office, only necessary drivers and other goodies to speed up the TP. We have never experienced hard disk crashes on any of our ThinkPads since that, only having heat sink problems on two specific models (both are now out of service) and the usual battery change halfway through its lifetime.

    Punki, did you get the crime novels you talked about? Enjoy your holidays without PC - I can recommend the local kirsch and both the raclette and foundue isn't bad either.
     
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  20. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    I always have my ipad as back up since it usually serves as my glorified ipod on a trip.
     
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  21. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    What happened to my response to Cholula? Have they gone and given that man an MP magic button? Maybe I shouldn't call him "sweetheart" in public.

    We are staying in a private home that features an excellent wifi network. On our way home, we will spend the night at the FRA Sheraton, which will give us free wifi. They will also give us a code in the first- class departure lounge in FRA, so we are covered.

    We did, Merlin, have an excellent fondue with kirsh, and raclette is on the menu for tonight. Tomorrow I want a huge salad. I am missing my salads.
     
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  22. Merlin
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    Merlin Gold Member

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    Salads are overrated :)
     
  23. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    Yes, it was a Toshiba and in the end it was the hard drive that had crashed. My IT guy got a new one--160 meg--at RePC for $75.00.

    Of course we lost everything, but there wasn't really anything on that one to lose except some photos and I believe they're backed up at the office.
     
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  24. I would get over it and get on with my holiday....
     
  25. Lalala
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    Lalala Silver Member

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    I can do nearly anything with my iphone, including logging into our pesky mail server to get my work mail. I also visit the apple store and steal wifi and a larger screen if necessary.
     

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