No operating system: What now?

The plan was to start a new series for the month of September. I woke up, though, powered up my netbook computer, and it didn’t turn on. Or actually, it turned on but only to the point of saying, “Operating system not found.” That’s not a friendly sight on a Saturday morning.

I restarted it a number of times before switching to another computer to find out if there’s anything else I could try. Forums didn’t look too promising. I tried a few of the fixes they suggested, but none of them helped. No operating system found.

Assuming I’m not going to run into some amazing hack for getting my content back, I lost the almost-finished drafts of the book I was supposed to send to print last month, a hundred or so photos from Asia, and two videos I’d been working to produce over the past month and half. Bummer.

I guess I lost a bunch of other stuff too: school work, writing, old files from previous computers. I don’t care so much about that stuff. Thankfully, I’ve been working primarily in the Cloud for a while now, so I didn’t lose anything crazy important. Still a bummer.

Now I need to figure out what to buy next. I’d been thinking I might need to pick something up before Saudi Arabia. I was hoping I could wait until right before leaving, though, so I could take advantage of any after-holiday deals that might show up.

I don’t need much:

  • Something small and light but with decent battery life
  • Something that can access the Internet quickly: Google, Gmail, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, blogs
  • Something I can use to write
  • Something I can use to skype
  • Something I can use to upload photos (I don’t need to edit anything, just move them from my camera to Facebook or Picasa)
  • Something inexpensive but reliable

Getting another netbook sounds like the obvious choice of course, but while I’m at it, and since Google’s advertizing their Nexus 7 like crazy, I’m also looking into tablets that might work tethered to a keyboard. We’ll see. I never picked up a Kindle, so I might try to combine those two ideas into one: a tablet for reading with a keyboard for writing.