Across Continents

Ken's Blog


May 21st, 2011

At least two hundred bucks to fix explained Nate. Technical whiz in Bargara. Introduced to him by Simon, with whom I’d been staying. Despite a brief revival in Mackay, my original netbook had finally given up the ghost. Worn out. Not just the keys. The hard drive.

Quickly totting up what I’d already spent on the earlier fix. A short lived respite as the drive began to fail explained Nate. Concluding my little computer was now beyond economic repair. Replacement a reluctant but unavoidable necessity. Nate suggested a national electrical retail chain in nearby Bundaberg.

Few hours later the owner of the latest model of Acer Aspire One netbook I’ve been using. Essentially a known quantity. Confident it will do the job. Pretty much the same size as the original. So fits snuggly in the bag. Much longer battery life. Handy. And the cheapest machine in the shop. Even before the discount I negotiated for purchasing the display model.



Laptop man

May 3rd, 2011


Actually there were three. Aaron. Mitchell. And the mysterious Jason. Got the impression he might be a bit of a "Max Headroom" character. Existing only in cyberspace. His only link with reality a small business card emblazoned with his name. Well, you never know…

Mitchell had won the prize. Fixing my now defunct netbook. Suspecting he’d been out to lunch when I’d popped into the shop. The little computer hadn’t done badly. Well-travelled. Through the snows of eastern Europe. Across the Kazakh steppe. The Gobi desert. Tropical rainforests. Worn keys.

But plenty of tender loving care. Living snuggly in a padded case. Inside a small dry bag. A waterproof rucksack liner. And a heavy duty pannier. Belts. Braces. And shoe laces.

Partition problem apparently. Sounded like the root cause of much of the ethnic strife in the former Soviet Central Asian nations. But much more importantly, it was fixable. Back in business.



Cost of doing business

April 27th, 2011

"Sorry" I said. "Let me get this right. You’re short staffed. So rather than seventy bucks an hour, it’ll be a hundred? I pay thirty dollars more because you’ve got a personnel issue". I was bewildered. They bemused. Computer shop. Bowen. Second one.


First shop had been very helpful. But there’d be a five day wait before they could take a look at my now defunct netbook computer. Died unexpectedly. Fortunately, just after I’d brought the blog up to date. Uploaded all the latest photos and videos.

I left the shop without the usual courtesies. On the road within the hour. Southbound to Proserpine, fifty or so miles down the coast. Small place so unlikely to get the problem fixed. But a few more days would see me in the much larger town of Mackay. Hopeful I’d get things resolved there.



Tropical technical troubles

April 16th, 2011

As ever, I’m a little ahead of the blog – now over a third of the way down the east coast of Australia. Queensland’s Capital Brisbane firmly in my sights. Unfortunately, my little netbook computer has died – twice now – and I fear it may soon be cast off to the big byte shop in the sky. As ever, I’m on the case. Have a plan. But there is likely to be a short intermission before further posts, videos and photos appear. So please be patient. Normal service will be restored as soon as possible…

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