I don’t remember exactly when I purchased my Dell laptop, but it’s about as old as my son. Four may be a golden age for children, but it’s leaden for laptops. My programs were crashing all the time, I was having trouble with the Sleep and Hibernation modes (I’d wind up rebooting anyway), and most ominous of all, the hard drive was too quiet. Figuring a hard drive crash was just waiting to happen, I decided I’d better replace my laptop sooner instead of later. So I did a little research and bought a HP Pavilion from Best Buy. It has at least twice the RAM of my old laptop, over six times the hard drive space, and cost a lot less. If only everything else in life improved in quality and price over time like computers.
I remember the last time I bought a computer, I had to buy a special program to set up the new one. I had to hook up the two computers and let them sync up overnight to transfer my files. This time, the new laptop came with a Windows Easy Transfer program. I was able to transfer the bulk of my files in a couple of hours via my external hard drive. Some things didn’t survive the necessary program conversion/transfer, and I still need to see if I can import my e-mails from the old computer. But for the most part, the transition has been pretty easy.
So, what programs do you consider vital for a writer to have on her computer? I still have to upgrade the trial version of Word, but I do have Calibre, Dropbox, Overdrive, and a trial version of Photoshop Elements. What else do you recommend?