Friday, May 30, 2014

The annual computer tax

UltraMar docks at Puerto Juarez
Oh that can't be good,” a friendly voice said, “I see that you've bought a new computer.”

You have no idea, Jeanette,” I sighed as I watched our purchases being loaded onto the Ultramar passenger ferry. “This is our sixth computer in six years. I guess it's the price of living in paradise.”

Six in six years!
We live on the windward side of Isla Mujeres, the east side – the salty side. A combination of humidity and salt blows into our house 24/7, 365 days a year. We thrive in this warm, moist environment, but the climate is hell on electronics. The previous computer lasted a grand total of seven months and we will hopefully get it repaired under warranty. The closest repair depot for a Samsung is Fort Worth Texas plus we are responsible for the cost of shipping there and back. There is also a repair depot in Mexico City, but we are having our challenges reaching them. Lawrie is working on it, and he is persistent, very persistent.

When we bought the Samsung seven months ago we decided that we should attempt to protect if from the salty winds. We shut it down every night, tucking it away in a drawer. As it turns out the was the absolutely worst thing we could do, locking in the daytime accumulation of moisture. Another friend suggested that we leave our computer running 24/7 to dry it out, thereby possibly extending it's operational time. He said he has several televisions located in the open air at his bar. They are never shut off and have lasted for years. Okay, it's worth a try. Any bets on how long this computer lasts?

English language & Spanish language keyboards
Besides replacing the computer, for a lot more money than we would have paid if we purchased it in the USA or Canada, we were now blessed with a keyboard designed for the Spanish language. Finding the @ sign for inputting our email addresses was a big challenge, necessitating a quick text to a friend asking for help. The new keyboard has upside down (to us) question marks, and exclamation marks, and two keys for the letter N. The extra key has the accent over the “ñ” putting ten letters on the middle row of keys instead of only nine. For a touch-typist, like me, it is disconcerting to have an additional key that my fingers have no memory of. Then Lawrie remembered we had a spare keyboard, designed for the English language, that we had bought a few years ago in Canada. We plugged it in, and are good to go. No more hunting for familiar symbols amongst the plethora of Spanish accents and characters.

I can always take more sunset photos
In the meantime we started the usual re-loading of programs, favourites, and files. I lost a few of my photographs as I hadn't backed up my files onto Goggle Drive for a couple of weeks, but other than that we are so accustomed to computer meltdowns it's not a big deal anymore. Just frustrating. I really need to learn how to do recovery backups but I keep procrastinating. Tomorrow, mañana, soon.

Pirate themed birthday at Barlito's at Marina Paraiso
Most of my recent photographs are replaceable; shots of sunrises, sunsets, local people and animals. A few were a one time event, like the over-the-top pirate theme birthday party at Marina Paraiso for a sweet little three-year-old. 

 The dessert tables were crammed with cupcakes, goodies, and cookies; everything in a pirate theme. The birthday cake had a skull and crossbones, underneath a treasure map made from sweet yummy icing. A number of the guests and their adult escorts were decked out in pirate outfits. Whoever planned this event did an amazing job.  Lucky for me Tiffany Yenawine Wareing had photographs of the party.

Now, I am hoping, that since we have paid our computer tax for 2014, maybe, just maybe, this one will last until, dare I say it? - 2016. Hah! Silly me.

Hasta Luego

Lynda & Lawrie

Beginning of Whale Shark tour season on Isla


Ann said...

I remember when we had to use a internet cafe on the island ( before wide spread wifi) and I always had a little cheat sheet on how to do @ and other things on a Mexican keyboard!

Lynda & Lawrie said...

Good morning Ann - I remember using the internet occasionally at Adrian's near the Super XPress. He helped me find things on the keyboard ..... but I have completely forgotten how to use the Spanish language keyboard. Fortunately we have this klunky old English language keyboard stashed in our storage area. It's all good. Cheers Lynda.

Unknown said...

Our son's last post was a 110 ft CG cutter and he said their computer systems were on 24/7. The things we learn. Lol

Lynda & Lawrie said...

It takes time but eventually I can be trained. Where was your son stationed?