How My Business Was Saved By a 13-Year-Old Laptop Computer

February 26, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

How My Business Was Saved By a 13-Year-Old Laptop Computer

Epson 7600Epson 7600

I usually save major changes to my business until early in the year. It's after the holiday rush. I have plenty of time. There are usually only a few projects that need immediate attention. For all of these reasons I decided to migrate my two computers from Windows 7 to the upgraded Windows 10 operating system. The one piece of software that I cannot live without, Adobe Photoshop, was not going to offer updates to Windows 7 after mid-January so I really had no choice. What a great January project!

Sadly, the migration for my laptop was deceivingly simple and was accomplished with no issues in less than 12 hours. I knew the process for my workhorse of a desktop computer would be more complicated. After all, it runs two monitors, a Wacom tablet, two scanners, four printers, and a host of other doo-dads I can't seem to live without. I began the process one Sunday after church and the first roadblock occurred almost immediately. It seems there was a file that was left behind from an old Wi-Fi card that would crash the computer before Windows would even load. After messing with this for two days, I gave up and took the box to my local computer guy. The sucker fired right up just like it was supposed to. The computer guy tries to replicate the problem for the rest of the day without any luck. I pick up the box and head for home, optimistic that my problem is solved. Wrong!

After three more days of trying a variety of workarounds, I was finally able to get into the file system and delete the troublesome code. Windows 10 was able to load successfully. Now it was time to get the new operating system to recognize all of my devices. Most of these devices are older and proved to be massive challenges to get them to operate on a new operating system. I did, however, get all but one to work correctly after a few more days.

Unfortunately, the one device, my trusty Epson Stylus Pro 7600 in the photo above, just would not cooperate at all. Epson quit supporting drivers for this printer about 10 years ago and, after 4 days of Google searches and trials it looked like I was going to have to buy a new printer. Have I mentioned that 75% of my prints are made on this printer? But, here's the problem. My office is very small. The Epson 7600 only weighs 100 pounds. Two people can, with some difficulty, wrestle it into my office space. It's newer replacements weigh twice as much and are larger. Big problem.

At about 3 am, I awoke with an idea. I didn't need a new printer. I needed an old computer. After searching eBay, I found a 13-year-old Dell laptop running Windows 7 for $29 plus shipping. After some interesting time with the ancient laptop, I am happy to say that some really old technology has saved my business for a while. Maybe it's time to look for some newer doo-dads!


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Crested Butte, Colorado photographer, Dusty Demerson creates fine art photography displayed as prints and canvases and provides private photo tours in and around western Colorado.

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