Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Greenery

Not the greenery as in decorations; I’ve already done that. No, I went to the store today and bought more CFL light bulbs so now all the lights in the house, including the ones in the garage, are energy-efficient. And lest you worry about hazardous waste in the landfill, Miami-Dade County has a program for getting rid of the used CFL’s because they contain mercury.

And in another energy-saving direction, I took my computer in and got it scrubbed. You may recall that back in July I had a hard-drive crash. I sent the laptop to H-P for a replacement (under warranty) and when I got it back, I tried to restore all the old files. But for some reason known only to the Sky Faerie that oversees such things, the restoration ended up scattered all over my C-drive instead of neatly back where it all should have been. Not once, but twice, and also in another place called “Windows Easy Transfer” (yeah, right). This mess was taking up about two-thirds of my hard drive, and after an unsuccessful “attempt” by Geek Squad to purge it, I was left with a cumbersome mess. (I say “attempt” by Geek Squad because it is my considered opinion — now backed up by testimony from someone who once worked there — that they looked at it, decided it was too much of a hassle, kept it for a week, then gave it back to me untouched and charged me $100 for the trouble.)

But thanks to the help of The Old Professor, I found an outfit called National Tech Express. It sounds like a huge operation, but it’s three guys in an office about two miles from my house, and in less than three hours they had cleaned out the files and made it run like a champ. They had no qualms about tackling the task, and they knew their stuff. So if you’re in South Florida and need computer support, forget about Geek Squad and give these guys a call. (And no, I’m not getting a discount for posting this. They earned every penny, and it was a very reasonable price, too.)

The green element is that now that my computer is cleaned up, perhaps it will run more efficiently and use less energy. Certainly I won’t expend more worrying about it.