Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tufted Titmouse's dilemma


Okay, so it's not Mr. Titmouse's dilemma really, but he is concerned. As you know, my computer crashed and I am crying over my lost bird photos. Even Bob the Mourning Dove is crying. My hubby's cousin is going to try to recover them but the computer is not repairable. If you had the choice of the following, which would you choose?

  1. The least costly option of having the hard drive replaced in the computer - it will cost around $200. It's less money than buying a new laptop - but somehow this computer now seems tainted to me. Yes, I know it sounds silly.
  2. Get a brand new laptop which will run 3 times the cost of the above option. I will then need to wait on the purchase of this Sigma 150-500mm Lens with an optical stabilizer I have in layaway at a camera shop. I stick to a strict budget in our household - so if I get the new laptop - I'll probably need to wait till April to get the lens.
Thank you in advance for your input. Now excuse me while I go get some kleenex.....


Jessica said...

Boy, that's a hard one. Computers and cameras are both a necessity to us bird loves and blog lovers. April isn't that far away really if you need the new computer now, but on the other hand.... that lens sounds awesome! I wasn't much help, was I?

Richard said...

What I would do probably won't help you much but here it goes anyway.

I would fix the old one and also get an external hard drive to back up all me photos in or get one of the outline services that backs up everything in your computer.

Mildred said...

I would get the new computer and delay the lens for a while. So sorry for your losses.

jalynn01 said... goes. I would feel the same way about the computer and I don't know how old it is, but we know after about 3 years a computer needs to be replaced anyway. With that said I would get a new computer and wait on the lens....And I would also heed Richard's advice and back up the photos! But....(isn't there always a but) R U planning any trips before April that you would NEED the lens? Something else to consider. Always decisions... I know you will figure it out and it all will be fine.

Oh! By the way that Titmouse if you look closely has a tear in his eye. Looks to me like you have done well with beautiful pictures thus far without the lens...

Bird Girl said...

There is a lot to consider here. The same thing happened to me last February. This is what I did. I had a nice red Sony Vaio laptop (which I LOVED). The hard drive fried. I bought another hard drive for about $70.oo - put it in myself (quite easy - but a little scary - I was proud). I put the laptop on ebay and sold it for $800.00 Paid about 1500.00 when it was new. I put the money on a new computer.
My advice to you whatever you decide...invest in a photo place to store your photos. And not just one that keeps your reduced size photos - one that allows you to upload an unlimited amount of ORIGINAL photographs. I belong to Smugmug and all my original photos go there straight from Picasa (with a plug-in). It's like having an insurance policy! I also back up to an external drive. Smugmug is about 50.00 per year. Good luck! Love that little titmouse picture!!!

Kallen305 said...

I am so sorry to hear you lost all of your gorgeous photos. At least you still have the ones on your blog though. It is a true bummer to say the least.

I would buy the new lap top and put off buying the lense. I would be nervous using that computer after what happened.

Hang in there Shelley

wendy said...

As you know, I am in the exact same predicament as you are. My un-professional opinion is not to try to rebuild your old one but just get a new one and also have them recover your stuff from the old hard drive.
That's it for what its worth.

2sweetnsaxy said...

For now, I would opt for the $200 option. I don't have much confidence in Vista yet. Before making your decision you might look into what software you're using that might have conflicting problems with Vista. I live with PhotoShop and I hear some people can't use their program with Vista which means a need to also buy new software because they're not planning to fix those problems. A new computer might cost you more than just the computer, so beware.

I sure hope you can get your photos. I'm going to stop now and back-up mine which are on an external drive.

2sweetnsaxy said...

P.S. I forgot to say how much I love this photo! :-)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh what a dilemma you must be in, Shelley. We can ALL give you all kinds of wonderful advice, but you need to do what you want to do --in that order.

If it were me, I'd get the old computer fixed and buy the lens. But--that's just me!!!

Have a great day.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Boo-Hoo,that is terrible.A new lens sounds like a lot more fun,but you also need to have a computer.

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

I would go for the new laptop! It will cost you less in the long run. You'll be back to stress-free bird watching rather than worrying about Mr. Computer breaking down again. I know, easy for me to say. But I really believe it, even if you have to scrimp somewhere else! Gorgeous Tufted Tit Mouse!

FIONA said...

Oh, I'm crying for you and the loss of your photos.

For what it's worth, here's my idea:

1) get the computer fixed

2) religiously back up EVERYTHING, either with an external HD, or an online system. I have one that automatically backs up every night, but I have a mac.

3)Aggressively market your new photos to pay for the lens. You have so much talent that you'll have a new lens and a new laptop sooner than you think.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Hi Shelly,
I have a question for you.Do you have experience with other Sigma lenses?I have a 120-400 and am very unhappy with most of the pictures.Please reply to me personally if possible.Thank-you.
Blessings ,Ruth
P.S.What kind of camera are you using?

Eve said...

Get the hard drive!! It'll be just fine! Then just get an inexpensive external storage to put your photos on. I just put my latest photos on after I read of your tragedy.
I hope you get your pictures back!!

Art and Poetry said...

Lovely photo! his eye looks so big and he seems to be look straighy into the camera. said...

After my crash, I bought a hard drive just for my photos. It's a OneClick drive and simple to use. I also upload all my photos to Smugmug to keep them online. I don't know what to tell you about which option to choose..I am so sorry about this. Great titmouse photo...

Sandy said...

Yes, get a new one! But can you retrieve all your old photos, that's the problem. If you repair the other one,then you would have them, right?

NCmountainwoman said...

Lovely Titmouse!

For what it's worth...several times in the past (and especially the past week or so), my anti-virus software (PC cillin) has considered this site and your Cabin blog infected and warned me not to open it and close my browser immediately. I don't know if that has anything to do with your recent problems.

I would buy a new laptop and delay the new lens. You obviously are doing extemely well with your current equipment. And April will be soon enough to capture most of the migrating birds.

You didn't mention the age of your laptop, but that would obviously be a consideration as well.

Good luck!

Heather said...

Having to decide between a computer and lens must be hard (I'm in the market for a new lens myself!). Personally, I would recommend going with a new laptop. I got myself one less than a year ago, and I don't know what I would do without it! (Oh wait, I know: hubby and I would be fighting over computer time if I didn't have this lappy!) I haven't had any problems with Vista (yet!), but I don't use Photoshop like your other commenter, so I can't speak to that. I wish you the best in your decision-making - I know it's tough.
Oh, and I second the advice about the external hard drive for backing up whatever machine you end up with.

Knatolee said...

Me, I'd get a new computer because I'd have the same feeling about it being tainted. I'm a Mac user so I can't advise you much beyond that! (Except to say, buy a Mac! ;) )

Shelley, Birds & BLooms has a photo contest on:

I know you just lost a ton of photos, but I hope somewhere you have one you can enter!!!

I'm still crossing my fingers that they can retrieve your photos for you. :(

Leedra said...

I learned a long time ago not to get between a husband and wife when they are making a decision. This sounds like one of those times. Go with your gut!

I understand what you mean about the lens. I want a stronger one, so bad.

Leedra’s Photos For Fun
Leedra’s Greeting Cards

Knatolee said...

Oh,and I should have said that I LOVE this photo!!

Leedra said...

I forgot all about the beautiful Titmouse photo, and he is so deserving a comment. Looks like you are currently doing better with closeups than I am. Think I would be happy with the lens you currently have. Not sure what that is. The best I have is a 75-300. I really need more zoom!

Love the beautiful Titmouse.

Leedra’s Photos For Fun
Leedra’s Greeting Cards

Deborah Godin said...

Difficult for sure. But if you wait til April, you'll still have the lens in time (esp. if it's early April) for the spring migration...does that help??

kjpweb said...

Great shot!
$200 to switch a Hard Drive?

You should pay about $80 for about 250gB and changing it is a snap.
So I would go for that. (Aside - I want you to get the Lens... ;) )

Cheers, Klaus

Mary said...

Well, Mike always makes the computer decisions in this household, so I would say "do whatever you think is best, dear." If the computer was adequate in every other way and you liked it, I would probably opt to fix it. I hate waste and throwing stuff out.

Tina said...

Wow, I just read all your responses..good advice all of them. I am like Claus, tho, I want you to get that lens..your pictures are already amazing...I can't imagine what you would capture with a better lens! selfish me..
My husband's 1 yr old dell just crashed last Wed. and dell just replaced the hard drive. Now, hubby is in that not trusting phase..not sure what made it crash and hoping it doesn't crash again. tough one.. I am sure you will make the right decision. Good luck.

Your pic of the titmouse is very nice and he really does look concerned for you!!

Shellmo said...

Jessica - I think I can wait till April... :)

Richard - I do have the external drive - now I just need to use it more!

Mildred - thank you!

Jalynn - no immediate trip plans but good thing to consider! thanks!

Birdgirl - I'm going to check out that smugmug - thanks so much!!@

Kallen - I am nervous about the computer - glad you understand!

Wendy - cross your fingers I can get the photos recovered!thanks!

2Sweet - Thank you for your input on Vista. I did have it on the crashed computer and it is touchy about security.

Betsy - I guess I'm looking for justification for my choice - LOL!

Ruth - both have become indespensible to me! :)

Coralee - less stressed sounds nice to me!! thanks!

Fiona - you are so kind! Thank you!! Appreciate your feedback!

Eve - glad you backed up your photos - I would hate to think of anyone else going thru this loss!!

Art & Poetry - the titmouse is a naturally curious fellow - I love them!

Rambling - thanks for your weigh-in! You're the 2nd person to mention smugmug so I definitely will ck it out.

Sandy - right now there are no guarantees they can recover the photos. Ugh!

NC - I asked my hubby's cousin who works for microsoft about your warning message - he said since my blog is hosted by google - there should be no security issues. But your security could be rejecting my feedjit gadget that I have that tracks the traffic.

Heather - thank you for your input too! An external hard drive will now be my best friend! :-)

Knatolee - thanks for the heads up on Birds & Blooms! I was so excited to see you there!!

Leedra - I've been dreaming about this lens for so long...but I'm careful about splurging. I like living my life on a budget so I could probably wait a little longer....

Deborah - you're right about the migration! I'm especially hoping to capture the Loons return to my lake...

KJ - thank you for educating me on the real cost of the hard drive - I wasn't sure!

Mary - I asked my hubby and he is so easygoing - he'll go along w/ either decision.

Tina - so sorry to hear about your husbands dell! WIsh me luck!

Sit A Spell said...

That is an awful situation you're's an entire box of Puffs! Mr. Tuffy looks concerned too ; )

Ok...I think I would get a new computer and wait on the lens...April will be here soon.

Shell from sit a spell

KathyB. said...

After reading your post I am encouraged to get a back up solution and get a bit smarter, computer wise.I love your photography and posts and am glad you continue on .

Jayne said...

Shelley, I am in the "get another computer and wait on the lens a bit" camp. If you already had this much of a problem, it may be that putting $200 in it, will not "fix" everything, and then that's $200 you are out. You take such exquisite photos with the set up you have now. :c) Hugs!

Cathy Clementz said...

Imagine my surprise when I saw your "SHELLMO" on another blog! You and I have corresponded before (but for some reason I was thinking you are in a "neighboring town"...not to far from us).

Sorry to hear about your crash and the loss of photos. That makes me sick for you. I have finally gotten in the habit of making a "gift CD" for myself from my Picassa program and also have my webalbum that I upload my fave photos to.

When you get a chance, drop me a line...I THINK you know where to find me! I have some birding and computer questions for ya. Your Newberry friend...

troutbirder said...

Ouch! On the more positive side that a great Titmouse picture.

Olde Tyme Marketplace said...

Hey Shelley!
Because you can't do any of this without the computer....get the new computer! April is just around the corner and the new lense is something to look forward too! I love the picture as always!! Is there anyway that some of us could right click on any of your photos, save them and resend back to you??

fishing guy said...

Shelly: What a neat photo of the titmouse. I hope all goes well with the computer decision.

John said...

I would decide between those options based on the computer's overall performance. If the problem was simply a defective hard drive, but the computer runs well otherwise, it might make more sense to replace the hard drive. But if the computer's chip and memory are inadequate for your near-term needs, it might make more sense to replace the whole computer.

Whichever option you choose, definitely purchase an external hard drive and back up any important files regularly.

Miranda Bell said...

I've just discovered your blog and know what it is to loose the contents from a computer - your photos are fabulous - this little bird is SO beautiful - the types of birds around you are quite different to here... will be back to look at more of your blog again soon... Miranda

Daisy said...

Mr. Titmouse does look concerned. I'm so sorry about your lost photos and computer troubles, Shelley. :(

Denise said...

Hi Shelley, I am so sorry to hear about your crash. The same thing happened to me and I lost a lot of photos but recovered most. I back up everything now. One reason I started my blog was to have a back-up of my back-up. I also put them on flickr so I have a back-up of the back-up of the back-up. If it were me I would buy the new computer and wait a little longer for the lens. It's a hard one to choose between I know that. Good luck! I just love your blog.