Well… Summer hasn’t been very good to me. Weather has been pretty lousy, though I suppose I deserved that after complaining about how hot June was. I spent a lot of July and August sick… got a nasty cold, then an ear infection, and just as I recovered from that, I got another ear infection in the OTHER ear. Then I got another cold. I was pretty exhausted at the end… but I’m starting to feel better.

But my old computer Valeria is not feeling better. In fact, recently she decided that enough was enough and stopped functioning. And really, I can’t blame her. She was an old ASUS ROG from 2014 and nine years is a respectable age for a laptop… especially since she kept performing at ALMOST peak form for much longer than I had expected. Sure, there were a couple of issues, most notably the battery had been shot to hell and ol’ Val only worked when she was plugged in… and the keyboard had a few loose keys (though since I use a separate gaming keyboard with mechanical keys anyway, that was less of a problem)… but she faithfully ran every program, streamed movies and TV series in high definition up until the very end.

It was only the last few months I noticed that she was getting tired. Things were lagging just SLIGHTLY more, and the hard drive was getting clogged; even deep cleanings didn’t do much. I was pondering whether I’d have to get a new laptop soon, but hoped Val could hang in there until Christmas at least… She still ran all the programs smoothly with only a few minor hiccups, despite being the ripe old age of nine. I got an external 2TB harddrive to store pics, music and video files, I cleaned vents, I defragged what stations that could be defragged, and ran several cleaning programs.

But in the end, it was too much for Val. One Tuesday morn, she gave up. I could no longer get her to work. In the end, I had to face that the old ROG was no longer functioning and I needed to upgrade to a newer model.

It took some time to find one. I wanted at least something that was DECENT quality-wise, with a large enough screen at at least 1TB of storage space, even if I might not have the cash to spend that I’d had back when I gol ol’ Val. I was pondering another ROG, but as bad luck would have it, the ROGs I had my eyes on were either not in stock, or they were FUCKING EXPENSIVE.

I thought I had a decent candidate when I found an ASUS ROG Zephyrus at a pretty hefty discount, but I was just a little too late and it was sold out.

In the end, I found my new computer… an ASUS TUF A16.

It was a bit of a downgrade from the ol’ ROG; it was a 16-inch screen instead of the 17-inch I previously had, and the storage was 1TB instead of the 1.2TB of the ROG… but of course, with almost a decade of advancement in computers, the specs were better… and this new computer would run Windows 11, which Valerie had been too old to do. And the price was pretty reasonable, too. I checked out some reviews… the reviewers’ enthusiasm for the TUF 16 varied a little, but even the less enthusiastic reviewers said it was a decent gaming laptop. And the TUF 16 was in stock in computer stores near me, meaning I wouldn’t have to wait for ages for delivery….

And so, after having placed in a reservation for a Click&Collect at a computer store in town, I set out to fetch and collect my new computer. Which I then took home, and on the first boot-up decided to name “Amarys.”

I was very grateful for that 2TB external harddrive, because it meant I had a backup copy of most of my files… and the ones that weren’t on the harddrive were on OneDrive. So I ended up not really losing any content at all, though I needed to re-download a number of programs. It went ALMOST without a hitch. Even my passwords and log-ins, I managed to recover with no problem… it did help that my MobileStudio Pro was running Windows on the same account, and was more than willing to provide.

That’s not to say Amarys wasn’t a little hesitant to start cooperating at first. After the first startup and Windows setup, she wasn’t quite sure if she really liked her new surroundings, and responded with a few slow moments and program crashes, plus one rather baffling section where she insisted on showing all on-screen text (but not the pictures or videos) in grainy low resolution. Luckily, after a huge amount of Windows updates, a few restarts, and quite a bit of time spent tweaking Windows settings and screen calibrations, we managed to reach some kind of an understanding, and she began functioning properly.

Sure, she’s not quite as eager to get started as Valeria was; she takes a lot longer booting up, and recovering from sleep mode takes longer too, but once she’s up and running, she performs great. Programs are running, movies are streaming, graphics are sharp… even with the slightly smaller screen we still have some good media performances here. In the end, Amarys started to get what I really wanted from her, and began cooperating.

We celebrated the new partnership by watching Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake

So, going forward, I have a new computer. Hopefully this’ll pick me out of the slump I’ve been in. I’ll see you later!