17 January 2023

Hubba Hubba

Last year when I lost access to Photoshop because my personal laptop is so old (about 2016, I think), I was forced to upgrade to Windows 10, even though I did not want to (and wasn't entirely certain it would work). After the upgrade, which I still don't really like, I realized the day will come when I will be forced to buy a new laptop. Even if the old one still works just fine (albeit a bit slow...).

Not only did I lose access to Photoshop prior to my software upgrade, I also lost the ability to work from home via my personal laptop. I now have a work-issued laptop I can use at home exclusively for work. It won't run any of my other programs, and I don't spend work time working on personal stuff anyway...

We were at my in-law's for a week when a work crisis arose, and I wasn't able to help because my old computer was too old. My co-workers handled the situation with my verbal guidance (over the phone), but insecurity rooted. I've had enough internet outages at home to know the day will come when I cannot work from my personal laptop, even in a pinch. I can set up a personal hot spot on my phone and access the internet via my personal laptop when necessary, but I can't use my phone to get the work laptop online. If we lose internet during work hours (which happened five times last year), I have to hurriedly drive to downtown Denver to work in the office. This is not a fun task on a snowy day.

My mother-in-law wanted me to be able to continue working from home, so she helped me buy a new laptop last summer. I have now spent the last seven months trying to get that mini monster up and running.

Modern laptops these days don't come with adequate ports for you to plug in your keyboard (because the laptop's is SO tiny), your wireless mouse (because the touchpad is a pain in the everything!!!) and your full-size monitor (so you can actually see the documents you are working on without a magnifying glass). So you have to have a docking station.

External hard drives (still used by people like me who don't want to put all their personal stuff "in the cloud") won't run on inexpensive docking stations (that usually have only three ports anyway). You have to use a powered docking station.

New laptops don't come with CD drives (because who needs that when you are storing everything in the cloud???). External CD drives won't run on inexpensive docking stations. You have to use a powered docking station.


Not knowing half of the above details when I ordered the new computer, I ordered a cheap little hub from the same manufacturer that built the computer. Because the middle-of-the-line full-sized docking station runs more than $200. The computer alone was expensive enough! And I had to buy the external CD drive, too.

When I discovered I didn't have enough ports and couldn't run my external hard drive and CD drive via the mini hub, one of the IT guys from the office gave me, for free, a full-size hub by the same manufacturer he had "just laying around." I gave him a dozen cookies. He seemed very happy.

As of January 1, 2023, my 2016 laptop could be determined as not compatible with Photoshop, Windows, Citrix or any host of other programs or peripherals at any time, quite possibly without a moment's notice. So I decided I should get serious about getting that new laptop running by the beginning of the year.

It took me three weeks!!!

Turned out the mini hub I'd purchased was defective. Turned out the donated docking station was defective. Turned out I had to buy a new docking station, which didn't have enough ports for what I needed. Which meant I had to buy yet another docking station.

And now, after all this, finally, my new personal laptop is up and running. I still prefer the old one. And I still hate Windows 10. I hate Microsoft more than ever. But my new personal laptop works, and I can work from home with it in a bind. I am, officially, connected.


  1. I feel your pain. (Also share your feelings for Microsoft and Windows 10. Ugh!) Hope the new laptop will work smoothly from here on out!

  2. How were we able to live without computer? ;What did we do with all that spare time? Weren't we bored?


    When I was about 32 years old, after a lot of thinking about the issue, standing in my kitchen cooking dinner, one boy on my hip and the others gathered around the kitchen table, I decided I would never need/use a computer ...

    I've never been more wrong ...


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