Laptop Trouble
Monday, March 21st 2016

When preparing for this trip I had the ability to bring an additional spare laptop with me on this trip. Thinking that surely my macbook air would not die I did not take the bulky Windows laptop with me, but instead I installed a virtual machine that is running Windows 10.

Sadly, the laptop lasted for 3 weeks until suddenly it did not boot up immediately. After trying to boot it up for a few hours it finally started working again. I thought that was the end of it and was a slight malfunction that I should not worry about.

I was wrong again, on the next few days the problem persisted and the laptop failed to start up multiple times. Thinking that it was simply the power supply I tried to keep it plugged in until it regained a battery charge, this worked once but in subsequent tries this method failed me.

After wasting a whole morning trying to get the macbook to boot up I alerted the local school and the folks at Howest. MMU started looking for a replacement right away, during the wait one of the teachers became upset that he was not able to get his and that the laptop he would teach on would be taken away.

Due to this reason I started to look for a replacement that I could buy here, a sufficiently powerful laptop that could last me until one of the Howest staff arrived on the 21st of March. Bukenya had an acquaintance that could sell me one for a fair price so we went to him in the afternoon. The price was 1.4 million, which comes down to about 370 euro for a i7 with 6GB RAM and about 500GB in hard drive space. Trying it out it seemed like a good deal.

I consulted Abid on the price and he suggested that I instead buy one from Kampala. Abid went to the market to look one for me, I asked for a refurbished one and we settled on an i3 with 4GB RAM for about 850k. Peter was driving there soon and he would take the money with him. There would be an additional commission of 100k. Being able to save about 100 euro I settled for this laptop.

Abid arrived together with the laptop the next day and I was able to have it prepared for work for the next day. I went to the technicians at the school and they prepared my laptop with the required software such as Photoshop CS6 and Microsoft Office 2007.

The macbook I had I decided to have repaired in Belgium as it might be covered by my warranty. Having it repaired here would make me relinquish the warranty and the possibility of having it repaired properly here without Apple stores or sufficiently skilled experts would be tricky.

I bought Crashplan a few weeks before I left for Uganda and had it make a full backup of all the important files. I did not lose any data and with Crashplan I was able to backup to my external hard drive so I did not have to spend money on internet for it.

Sadly, I did not backup daily so some files for my static blog were missing. In the frustration I decided to move my complete blog to my personal website at This took a few days and therefor I had to miss a few deadlines. The transition didn't go smoothly so there was a delay.

Wannes was not able to bring my spare from Belgium because my roommate was too late in bringing it in to the school. So I'm now stuck with this one for the next few months. To be honest, this will be enough.

All in all, I've learned not to be lax with the main tool that I'm using in my professional career so next time I'm definitely bringing a spare with me. Or at least a laptop that can easily be repaired by locals or one that is cheap enough that being set back a few hundreds of euros won't hurt too much.

HowestMet de steun van Provincie West-Vlaanderen