About half the time, this laptop was pulling the same trick as the one I returned: after being turned off and back on, it wouldn't access the Internet. This was a dead giveaway that the problem was not with the computer, but with the person at the keyboard... that would be me.
I found out that if I'd unplug the cable connecting laptop to modem and plug it back in, I'd have Internet again, although not always on the first try. Remembering a conversation I'd had with a cable company tech, I mentioned to my daughter that he'd said ethernet is more reliable than USB for connecting to the modem, and she thought that sounded right. So, I'm now using ethernet. The only reason I wasn't using it before was that USB was all I'd known. I'll let you know if this is the end of my problem.
While Rachel was fooling around with my computer stuff, and as long as my regular PC is at the geek kid's house, she suggested we sort out all the wiring mess behind the computer desk. It was worse than a Chinese puzzle, trying to find what wire went where. Part of the problem was that Cliff, in his zeal to make things neater, had put twist-ties and even metal thingies to hold all the wires in a neat bundle and route them along the edge of the desk. That's fine, until you get rid of something, or need to trace down a problem. There were wires there leading nowhere, having once run to computer accesseries I no longer own, or have replaced.
We also unhooked the webcam and microphone, because I haven't used either in years. I used to make wavs of myself with the mic, but it's been so long I've forgotten how. If I ever decide to use them again, they're here.
Now, if only my computer comes home working like it ought to, things will be great.
I laughed recently when a friend told me that, although she has a newer computer, she uses her eight-year-old model, just because she "likes it". I understand now, because even if I had all my pictures and documents off my 3 1/2-year-old PC, I'd rather have it than a brand new one. The only reason is that "I like it". This is a first for me, because I love configuring and buying new computers.
I intend to get an external hard drive now, for sure. Enough of this business of wondering if every picture I took in the past year is lost for good.
Oh, our cow, Lucy, had a bull calf yesterday.