As those following along here know, my much-beloved Acer Aspire One ZG5 netbook died a couple of weeks back in the middle of a sentence in the middle of a book review over at the 24-hour Starbucks at North & Wells. I had often opined that the ZG5 was the best piece of technology I'd ever gotten, and it was pretty much the only thing I was able to write book reviews on (too many distractions at my desk ... a review that should take 1-2 hours might drag out to 4-5 hours!). Since it died, I've built up a back-log of 7 books awaiting review, not a pretty sight.
Of course, things had been not all roses with my old blue ZG5 ... at first there was the unfortunate "dropping" incident soon after getting the (bigger, much heavier) 9-cell battery pack. That created a situation where the system would boot up, load in windows, and be populating the desktop when POOF! it would be off. Oddly, I found that if I quickly opened up a text file on the desktop, the system would attempt to close that and finish loading everything else in and then work just fine. This work-around lasted for the better part of a year.
Then, last fall, when I was out in Salem, it had developed a strange random BSOD habit ... and became unusable for the duration of my trip. However, after getting back home, I found that going through a couple of safe-mode start-ups and a defrag or two got it back to the text-file state.
However, the most recent situation had it not being able to find the Hard Drive (although there were no messages along those lines), it would start to boot, go to the "closed unexpectedly" screen with the various boot options, but would do NOTHING no matter what was selected. I figured "third time's the charm" (in this case, the "hex"?) and started to look for a replacement.
There have been dozens of ZG5s on eBay over the past few weeks, and I've bid on a few, but they've always gone for more than I was interested in paying for them. In the course of looking at (and following) these auctions, I began to notice that there was a certain variability in the specs, especially in the HD, which ranged from an paltry 8gb solid state drive to an 80gb hard drive, to a 160gb hard drive ... and memory from a half to a full gig ... needless to say, I wanted the biggest on both of those. I'd been following units in my price range (I really wanted to spend under $100) for weeks, and checking every now and again to see if things had "slipped in" ... this was one of those, which hadn't been listed two days ago but was there today, so it might well have been "under the radar" of a lot of folks (which I anticipate it was, being it only had 4 bids on it when I got to it, as opposed to a dozen or more on units that had been listed for a long time). That's a pic from the eBay listing ...
Since I'd been out-bid several times previously, and had only seen one ZG5 end up going for under $100, I decided that I'd set a higher limit for myself (with shipping) and wait for the last moment to bid. I put in my bid with about 00:15 left on the clock, and nobody even countered, and I ended up getting it for a small fraction more than the hundred bucks I'd been hoping to pay. I later found that the unit had been listed as a "buy it now" with a price nearly fifty bucks more than I ended up paying for it ... so I'm anticipating that the seller isn't going to be a particularly happy camper. I just hope he lives up to his description of the unit ("mint condition") and doesn't do anything passive-aggressive in the shipping department!
Anyway, I, obviously, don't need to be spending this money right now, but not having a laptop/netbook was "seriously cramping my style" (and work habits), so I'm thrilled to have been able to replace the busted unit with a purportedly "mint" unit. I may still force myself to crank out a couple of book reviews from my desk (like the post from the wee small hours of this morning), but I'm looking forward to being able to take the new ZG5 out to a cafe and churn out reviews in full-concentration mode! Go me.