ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Monday, June 10, 2013

SPLAT! My Laptop Commits Suicide in Afghanistan!

So there I was, early morning, ready to put some serious words down on the page and I noticed that my screen was frozen.

Frozen? I have a top of the line HP Envy. How the hell can it be frozen? It cost more than my all-in-one HP desktop. It cost as much as a used car. In fact, with what it cost, I could feed an Afghan family of six or a year. But I needed it. Or at least I thought I did. After all, I was going to be doing all of this stuff in Afghanistan with it. Skyping, watching movies, listening to music, writing, etc. As it turned out, my wife and I use Facetime in my iPhone and we never even used Skype. So I use my expensive laptop for the other things.

Still, I thought it would be faster. After all, I suped it up. Here's what I had (yes, notice the past tense):

*dv6t Quad*
o Windows 8 64
o System Recovery DVD with Windows 8 64
o 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3630QM Processor (2.4GHz, 6MB L3 Cache)
o NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GT 630M Graphics with 2GB of dedicated video
o 12GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
o 750GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
o NO mSSD Hard Drive Acceleration Cache
o 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
o 15.6-inch diagonal Full HD Anti-glare LED-backlit Display (1920 x 1080)
o Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner
o HP TrueVision HD Webcam with integrated dual array digital microphone
o Intel 802.11b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth(R)
o Backlit Keyboard

I mean, hell! This was the HP Snizzle Version. Yes, you did see that it said 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3630QM Processor. It's essentially the Lamborgini of processors. If last year's computer was a javelin, this is a fucking bottle rocket with a warp drive second stage system, but for the life of me, I couldn't tell the difference. It still had the classic PC lag.

AND with all the bells and whistles it had WINDOWS 8?  Seriously? I paid $4.99 to get rid of Windows 8 just so I could go back to the classic look. Windows 8 Blows!

This is not really my computer,
but it might as well be
But it doesn't matter now.

After my computer froze, I turned it off, and it's never come back on again. It recognizes that it has a problem. It gives me a frowny face like it's being operated by a 12 year old girl and tells me it's going to analyze and correct the disk, but then it hangs fooooooorrrrrrrrreeeeeeevvvvvvveeeeeeerrrrrr, or at least six hours before I tried to restart the process again.

I even tried the boot disks, but the computer won't recognize the CD drive. So what are the boot disks good for then, other than to throw out the window next time a sketchy man on a scooter gets too close to our uparmored SUV?

News at Eleven: Soldier Decapitates Taliban Bomber with HP Boot Disk.

As unlikely as it sounds, it could happen. I mean, if this product of the Tennessee education system can publish more than a dozen novels, then seriously! ANYTHING. CAN. HAPPEN.

So what am I to do. I have a novel deadline with Solaris Books that I will not miss. Thankfully, I was using Drop Box, so my work in progress has been saved and is complete. I lost several other stories and articles I'd started and left under documents, but I can live with that. Ha. Listen to me. I can live with that, he says. I have to live with it because I was the douche canoe who didn't save them in Drop Box.

So now here I am in Afghanistan, without a computer, with only a Kindle Fire and an iPhone and all this writing to do. I can't tell you the last time I was anywhere where I didn't have a keyboard and the ability to type something.

Two things are certain:

  • I'm going to have a fight on my hands with HP.
  • I'm going to need a replacement system sooner than later.

Stay tuned, I suppose, so we can see how I make it out of this mess.

If nothing else, come back for the drama.


Weston Ochse
Currently in

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