For the past few days, I’ve been trying to get my electronic self in order–the aftermath of my laptop falling apart. It’s hard to get 500GB of stuff organized on a computer that has less than half that space. I have my external hard drive hooked up, but I have to copy the files onto the computer to use them, I can’t just work directly from the back up drive. To make matters more complicated, this computer doesn’t have all of the programs that my laptop does.

I can work around it for the most part. I’d already switched to Gimp on the laptop (albeit I’m not great at using it yet), and this computer has Microsoft Office on it, in addition to iWork, which is kind of nice. I did forget something, however–This computer, because of the space issue, has never had adobe installed on it.

Back in college, when they had us taking graphic design courses as freshmen, I used it as an excuse to get the student edition of the Adobe suite. Photoshop, Indesign–all the fancy programs a student could want and that I never really learned to use properly because my brain does not work well in digital formats. I am much better with a pencil, paper, and a few pens or markers than I am with a wacom tablet and trying to figure out layers and effects.

But, anyway, because it was a student edition, it came with three installs only–and the laptop was my last one. Which means that in addition to loosing a bunch of very fancy programs I never really used, I lost one that I really need: Acrobat.

Sure, I could go buy it again.

For $199.

Right, like that is happening any time soon. *snort*

A quick search pointed me in the direction of OpenOffice. Ten minutes later it was downloaded and I was attempting to convert a file to try out the PDF option. An hour later my formatting was completely screwy, and it was easier to start from scratch with a new file, retype everything, and PDF-ify that. I spent most of Sunday night fighting playing with it, and it kind of reminds me of a bare bones version of Microsoft Works, which we had back in 2000. It might be clunkier, I’m not sure. Works was plenty clunky on it’s own.

What this means is that all of my knitting patterns have to be rewritten or converted to work in OO. Which means I loose all of my formatting, my decorative elements, my graphics…it’s a pain. I have to rework everything, and it is seriously encroaching on my knitting/designing time. I’m taking a break form it now to complain blog about the experience, just so I don’t throw my computer out the window. Or break down crying at the thought of all the time I spent getting those patterns worked up. I might have to chance opening the laptop, just for a little while, to do the final versions of two patterns just so that they’re done, and I can start from scratch in OO for the next one.

Hopefully, this is only a temporary measure. I just have to make it until either I win the lottery or my tax return comes next year (probably February or March, since I usually do my taxes early), and then I can get George repaired (yes, I named my laptop. And my typewriter. So sue me) and go back to my old system and come up with another plan.

And maybe $199.