How I Spent $2,000…When I Only Needed to Spend $28

I arrived home from a meeting on Tuesday to discover that my laptop would NOT get online. It showed numerous DNS errors. I could connect to our router and modem, but not to any websites. I’d had a similar experience the previous week, but turning the router and modem off and one had worked.

No such luck this week. I tried several tricks, and even worked in DOS (which I haven’t done in years) but, still, nothing. It was clear that my internal wifi card was fried. So, I invited Mason to join me for an excursion to Best Buy (which is a 14-year-old boy’s toy store). Even when it’s not our busy season at BookLocker (everybody wants their book published by Christmas), I don’t have time to wait hours or days for Geek Squad or anyone else to fix my computer.

The good news is I am an avid backer-upper. All I needed was a new laptop. Then, I’d need to load my programs on it, and transfer my files. That usually takes about a day. I wasn’t looking forward to that monstrous project (nor in getting a day behind on my work) but it couldn’t be avoided.

The young man at Best Buy was very helpful. I told him in no uncertain non-technical terms that I needed the “biggest, baddest laptop you have.” He showed me something that I knew wasn’t as powerful as I needed so I asked him, “Why are you under-selling me? Upsell! Upsell!!”

He finally took me around a corner, and showed me their most powerful laptop and I said, “Sold!”

I also bought a cord to connect laptop to another for ease of file transfer. And, I needed a USB/Ethernet adaptor because my old laptop didn’t have an Ethernet hole. No kidding! It also doesn’t have a CD drive but I already had an external one of those.

Finally, I bought THIS $29 GIZMO, which is basically an external wifi card.

I checked out, found Mason (who was ogling the video games, while mentally preparing his Christmas list), and we drove home. I immediately loaded the program for the $29 gizmo (using my external drive), plugged it into one of my USB holes, and VOILA! I was back online.

I’m keeping the new laptop. It’s only a matter of time before my current one crashes. My laptops get quite a beating since I used them seven days a week, and work on huge files for publishing. I’ve had this one for about 18 months so I expect it to croak sometime early next year. And, this way I’ll have plenty of time to load programs onto the new one…when I have some spare time, which only happens here the week after Christmas. πŸ™‚


Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of, the President and CEO of and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

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2 Responses to "How I Spent $2,000…When I Only Needed to Spend $28"

  1. Susan A Moger  October 16, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    Hi Angela,
    Love the laptop story! Curious what the biggest and baddest laptop is–are you bound to secrecy? Too personal question?
    Just curious, I guess and will be in the market soon–but with less demands on my computer than you have!
    Be well,