Tout va bien se passer (French for Everything's Gonna be OK!)
To Cope in French + Waking up in France to an attempted coup d'état back home

Rendre l'Ame: My Laptop Died + Christmas lights in the Old Port of La Ciotat

Christmas lights wooden boat pointu
Read to the end of the story for a helpful relationship tip ♥.

Today's Word: rendre l'âme

    1. to breathe one's last breath (person)
    2. to stop working forever, to give up the ghost (object)

Click here to listen to the following sentence in French
Mon ordinateur portable HP a soudainement rendu l'âme.
My laptop suddenly gave up the ghost.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

My computer died the day after Christmas. Thankfully I had finished composing my blog post, and as the next billet was due in a week, I could remain (somewhat) calm in time to trouver une solution!

Mais tout d'abord, why had my laptop suddenly gone kaput? Had the foot of my chair crushed the cord? Had the grid finally shut down (a government-issued "blackout" as rumored by les complotistes... It sure began to seem so when a day later my iPad a rendu l'âme! Rest assured, I am not a conspiracy theorist (not unless, as someone once said, there is a conspiracy!)

Thinking it over, I recalled a string of unusual activity beginning when my husband bought me the HP (this, after my PC died). The new laptop never did work properly. After several glitches, I began to suspect there was some sort of magouille behind it all. Had the revendeur sold us the computer equivalent of a lemon?

To begin with, the laptop took at least  20 minutes to start up. Early on, I had to work around this issue. I'd fire up the machine in the morning, then go downstairs and pull some weeds, feed the chickens, make some tea and hopefully return to a ready screen. By then any writing I had composed in my head was lost. To say this loss was not unpainful is, to put it frenchly, une litote!

(une litote = an understatement)

In the next two years, as I updated my blog, typed up our memoir, and wrote articles for a bi-monthly magazine...the clavier began to disfunction, making it more and more "challenging" (litote! litote!) to write.    

--les guillemets ont laché (the quotes key no longer worked)
--pareille pour l'arobase (same for the @ symbol)
--et le pavé tactile ne marchait plus (and the touchpad stopped working). I resorted, instead, to a very old souris. At least it worked!

Then, this past week the numbers pad began to act up, and a few chiffres were now unavailable. Just as for the quote key and the arobase, in order to write (especially dialogue, which called for quotes) I had to copy and paste certain characters from another document, which entailed googling the letter or number, (i.e. writing the words "italics" or "arobase") and then manually transferring (copy-paste) the needed character. I also memorized several Alt combinations that would produce the needed punctuation (again, the most often needed were those " " and @, or Alt 34 , Alt64).  Imagine working this way! All the while trying to focus on the story you are trying to write. What is the definition of insanity?:

La folie, c'est de faire toujours la même chose et de s'attendre à un résultat différent. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. --Albert Einstein

I did try to solve the problem, spending time in online forums or googling "mes guillemets ne fonctionnent plus!" But none of the tips to recover the keys worked for me or my (contreband?) HP. After periodic efforts to solve the issue, I gave up, and because I am a pathetic fencesitter and will suffer obstacles rather than remove them, it took a complete computer breakdown to resolve this worsening situation.

As bad as it was to have a laptop gone kaput, it forced a change of circumstances. 

It was time to find a new ordinateur portable but just which one? L'embarras du choix! There began two days of torture for me and for my husband. Jean-Marc tried to help and in no time at all had narrowed things down to a Huawei Matebook d15, but I had my doubts as to how he came to this ultra-rapid decision. Price? The fact I could use my Paypal to purchase it? or did he simply choose the first thing he found?!!!

When I accused him of this much, let's just say he didn't take it well (litote! litote! litote!)!

It really wasn't fair to expect him to help me only to criticize his help (we've run into this issue before in our 26-year marriage: If left to do so, my husband is willing to make choices for me--where to eat, where to vacation, what color to paint the bathroom) as long as I do not complain about those choices! I finally understand his side, now that I am in a similar situation with another family member. Just like Jean-Marc, I find myself reminding my loved one:

I will help, but don't complain about my choices for you if you won't make your own! 

It was time to make my own choices. So why the resistance? Why not get a MacBook?! After all, writing has been my full-time job for 18 years. (Why the need to justify?) A high-end computer was certainly justifiable--as it was the main investment needed for my business. Now, on the other hand, looking at my husband's business...his beloved wine seemed he needed thousands of items and art on his walls!

Tu fais comme tu veux! my husband reminded me. You do as you want (and leave me to do what I want!)  

So, after a short-lived fight, the two of us swallowed our pride and went to DARTY--France's popular electronics store. As complicated as I could make this computer-choosing quest, and in desperation to get back to work ASAP, I pared things all the way down to the essential. I needed:

--un bon clavier (a good keyboard)
--un grand écran (a large screen)
--quelque chose performant et fluide (something efficient and rapid)
...or whatever was in stock! 

And we had 19.5 minutes in which to choose if I was to take my husband up on his offer to shop with me! (He needed to be at work by 10.) I walked out with a Lenovo ideapad L340, a laptop that may be better suited for video gamers, but the salesman assured me, c'est vite! Hopefully it would be quick enough to catch the Muse, or Inspiration, before she flew off once again!

Later, when I got home, my son pointed out the bright electric blue backlighting beneath the keyboard... Oh well, the fluorescent lumière adds a bit of disco to my writing routine. And my fingers have certainly danced across this keyboard while writing today's missive. Yippee, and thanks to my husband or I might still be on the fence instead of back in the saddle.

As for "what is the best computer for a writer journalist novelist" (a phrase I typed into google several times during my laptop search), let me give you the answer from my personal experience: the best computer is the one you use, whether or not all of the keys work! 

In the comments, I would love to know what computer you use and if you would recommend it. Also, have you made the transition to a MacBook and was the learning curve ok? I see Google has come out with a laptop, any thoughts? What about Dell? Finally, do you have those special computer glasses? Because, even with this big screen, my eyes are blurring. See any mistakes in this post? I thank you for your edits.

rendre l'âme = to give up the ghost, to die
le billet = column, blog post, missive
trouver une solution = to find a solution
mais tout d'abord = but first off
un complotiste = conspiracy theorist
la magouille = scheming
le revendeur = reseller
une litote = understatement
la souris = computer mouse
le chiffre = number
lâcher =  give up
les guillemets = quotes, quotation marks
l'embarras du choix = so many choices
My new computer le vin sobre
From Darty, I headed to Le Vin Sobre, Jean-Marc's wine shop, where he offered to help me set up my new laptop. Notice those disco keys on the clavier! (Also, that's one of Mom's paintings in the background)

Christmas wooden  boat pointu
That evening, computer problems now behind us, we had a relaxing and romantic stroll at the Old Port here in La Ciotat. 

City lights christmas la ciotat port
All's well that ends well. Tout est bien qui finit bien.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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Lynn at Southern Fried French

A beautiful stroll, and a funny story. Those marital issues are familiar, and a good reminder! In the computer department, it's Macbook Air all the way for me. I switched from a PC a decade ago and will never go back, so much nore intuitive to use. The screen is smaller than maybe you would like, but now my whole house and terrace are my office, it's so easy to cart around, and I don't miss the big screen I had before. As for the blue light-blocking glasses, I use them when I read in bed at night. Do they work? No clue. But I do it just in case.

Cheryl in StL

Argh!! I just typed a response and my laptop made it disappear! I hope that's not a preview of things to come! I really dislike computer shopping and I never ask my husband to help! He knows lots less about them than I do. Anyway, I'm glad you got help from DARTY and that you're up and running now, complete with @, numbers, and guillemets! Plus a fancy back lit keyboard!

Bonne année!

Allen Laskin

In the sentence with "DARTY", you PARED things down, not PAIRED.

GwenEllyn Anderson

Congratulations on your new computer! I've used Macs since Day One and recommend them for their ease of use. And which Mac? As you state, there are many choices. one consideration is whether you will be taking it with you and want a lighter version. Otherwise, as you also state - any computer works for the basics.

Thanks for your story, its candidness and the vocabulary.

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks for catching that one, Allen. So helpful. I will update the post at the next chance.

John talbott

For my blog I use a Lenovo at my desk but most of the day use my iPad sitting in a comfy chair. Be well, john.


Congratulations on your new laptop - That must have been very frustrating to work on the old one. You more than deserve an excellent tool for your writing. thank you for the beautiful pictures of the harbor and Happy New Year!!

Cynthia GS

Kristi, I just bought my 3rd MacBook and would never buy anything else. You more than anyone I know NEED and DESERVE this brilliant machine! Congratulate yourself each day — and think of all the frustration you’ll miss!

Maryann New York

For your sake, I hope that Lenovo has improved it's battery placement. I didn't discover this until I needed to replace the battery on my Lenovo 310. In order to change the battery it is necessary to disconnect multiple connections from it to the motherboard among other connections. Serious work not possible for the average user. Even the Geek Squad told me that they would need an overnight to replace the battery. It is absurd. Every other computer that I have ever owned required simply slipping out the battery. Here is a link to a Youtube instructional as to how to replace it.

Roseann Milao

I have a MackBookPro. It's what I originally bought since everyone in every film production office was using the MacBook - so I went with it. I've never looked back.
Anyone who has used both say they are equal and it's not hard to pick up one when you know 'the other'.
I've always used my own laptop so I've never had to learn anything about a PC.
Have you thought of hanging my painting in Jean-Luc's Vin Sobre? I would be honored....


I vote for the MacBook. Husband is a PC guy, I’m Apple all the way. The products are just sexier than anything else out there and that’s reason enough for me! Tu vois?

Alice Freeman

I didn’t even bother with PCs , due to advice from my brother, a computer expert whose business was inventing programs for computers. He told me not to bother with PCs. Since then it’s been Mac all the way, from my first Mac SE in the late ‘80s to the present;
I use a MacBook Air and can Zoom in every part of the house, word process, stream movies, etc. Repairs few or none, easy to use.


I just recently bought these anti-Blu Ray clip ons:

They are so clear it's easy to misplace them. But I love them and I do believe that I am sleeping better. You should try them

Cindy O'Brien

In case of emergency, keep your pad and stylo BIC on hand! I'm new to your blog and do enjoy it, as I have enjoyed your book, Words in a French Life. What a gentle and amusing way to revisit a language I studied in college over 50 years ago! Thanks!

Linda H.

Congratulations on your newly flying fingers! I'm sure you will enjoy the speed with which you can catch your creative thoughts. I just bought a Dell Inspiron and am pretty pleased with it, except for the fact that it has no slot for my SD card, which is HUGE! But having a new, up-to-date machine is splendid. Here's to many happy years to you two.


Bonjour, Kristi,
Mac, Mac Mac! Très facile à apprendre!

Janet M.

I think/hope you'll like the Lenovo. I had Lenovos for many years. Now I have a Dell laptop (handed down from my husband, who no longer takes responsibility for it -- litote!). It's sleek and has that blue backlit keyboard, but I liked my old Lenovos better. Bonne chance!

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi,
I have always had MAC and I just got a new MacBook Pro from Santa! It is so much faster than my old computer!
Have a wonderful New Year!

Judy Feldman

Kristin, loved this blog! Learned a few cool new words! I understand how difficult it can be to make these big decisions. But, you deserve the best! Your computer is the vehicle you use to express yourself, so you should feel super comfortable with it. (Like good art supplies!) Since I’m not writing as much anymore, I seem to use my iPad all the time. It has a keyboard attached, and I can use it anywhere, which is wonderful. I hope you like your new purchase - the keyboard could be inspiring! Btw, my granddaughter does use computer non-glare glasses and says that it eases eye strain.


I’ve used Apple products since 1985 when I got the first portable Macintosh that used little square floppy disks and had a tiny amount of memory. While a MacBook Pro is more expensive, it will function twice or thrice as long as other laptops and it won’t get viruses, even without antivirus software on the computer. That being said, the blue backlit keyboard on your new laptop is super cool.


After retiring from teaching computer classes for many years, I decided to switch to a MacBook. A few new things to learn, but easy to do. No problems, no viruses, and no crashes. Many graphic artists use Apple products. With your extensive photo collection, a Mac would be a good choice.

Robert Wildau

Love the new vocabulaire and how you used "litote." Agrée with your other followers re Mac v PC. So nice not to have even to think about anti-virus programs, firewalls, etc. And the almost ubiquitous multilingual telephone helpdesk is invaluable to your whole experience. Cheers, Robaire in Aix

Robert Wildau

Love the new vocabulaire and how you used "litote." Agrée with your other followers re Mac v PC. So nice not to have even to think about anti-virus programs, firewalls, etc. And the almost ubiquitous multilingual telephone helpdesk is invaluable to your whole experience. Cheers, Robaire in Aix

Kanika Marshall

J’utilisait un Mac chez moi depuis 1988, mais c’est trop chèr, me pense.

Gary McClelland

Who cares about computers. I want more strolls with beautiful photos of the lighted boats in La Ciotat! I was reminded of a phrase related to what you said about using the computer, "The best camera is the one you have with you."

Oh, OK. I'm 100% Mac. MacBook Pro for my laptop and an iMac with a second monitor for more heavy-duty use. All my Apple products (iPhone, Watch, Apple TV) play nicely with each other. After Lou retired from an office that required PCs, she tried to make the switch to a Mac Airbook but retreated to her PCs. It is our family issue. There is no doubt that she has more computer problems with her PCs and she expects me to solve them. Doesn't like when I whisper, "with a Mac you wouldn't have this problem..." But our marriage services!


Le Ciotat looks so pretty.

I am PC all the way. I have a Dell desktop computer with two large screens and an Asus laptop. The laptop is a small one because it's mainly as a backup and for travel, if we can ever do the latter again. I've always had Dells, and I've always had a laptop as well because I had a business before I retired (I was a writer too) and you can't risk being without a computer if the main one goes down. Years ago I set up a small business account at Dell. By the way, you can do that even if you aren't a small business; just call yourself LASTNAME Consulting or something similar, Dell doesn't care.

The benefit of doing this is that you can buy from the business side of the Dell website, not the consumer side where there's all sorts of bloatware and crapware and games already installed on the computers and you spend ages cleaning it all off. On the business side of the site the computers have only the operating system and you configure the computer yourself with the storage, RAM, and only any software you want.

I replace my main computer every three years or so and since I am not a hundred percent confident that I make the right choices, I do the configuration then before hitting "Submit order" I call Dell customer service and have them look it over to see if I've forgotten anything or done something stupid. Last time, the rep suggested a couple of changes: one addition and one removal. He ended up saving me money. The good think about dealing as a business is they don't push you into buying stuff you don't need and they don't let you under- or over-buy.

I hope the new computer works out for you, Kristi. Lenovo is a good brand.
Bonne année.



I have only owned Mac products. When I taught, I used a PC. I had more problems with the PC. My "MacTop", as I call it, is at least 10 yrs old and still plugging along like new.

Donele Monte

I switched from a Dell PC to an Asus Laptop all to be replaced by my MacBook Air and have never looked back or regretted it a bit. The learning curve to The MacBook was pretty non existence. They are very intuitive. You should treat yourself when you next need a new laptop! You’ll never go back to anything else.
Love your story too! Why do we do that? Ask for advice and then are not so sure we want it! Human nature, so guess!

julie camp

My computers since retirement (20 years ago) have been PC laptops: 3 Toshiba, one HP and recently a Dell Inspiron 15 3000. Regarding Toshiba, each was better than the previous...and then there were none. The HP was a loser from start to finish, slow at best. Gave out after 2 years. (I did get a total refund!) The new Dell has been excellent, easy installations and quick start ups and searches. PCs deliver all I need.

Diane Heinecke

Glad it all got sorted out because my life would not be the same without French Word a Day! You probably weren't looking to spend big bucks right after Christmas, but emergencies happen at the worst times. I have a Dell laptop with a big screen and I use Microsoft Word, Excel, etc. Lenovo is a very good brand too, so you're all set to have your fingers dance over those blue disco keys. Bonne année!

Gail Accuardi

How beautiful the lights on the boats. Your photographs are as beautiful as your thoughts.
Wishing you and your family a sweet season and hope and happiness in the New Year.

Jerry Wood

des a two edged sword...cannot live with or without them.
Several years ago I finally gave up on PCs and bought a MacBook .
Now everything I own is an Apple product. Everything just works...every time.
The mystery is why did I struggle with the PC rubbish for so long?

Phyllis e Morton

Hi. I am using my third Dell. I have had this for at least 8 years. When I took it last spring to the Microsoft store in Dallas to have them see if they could install Windows 10, the young man was dubious. But they did, and when I picked it up he was most impressed with the way it still functioned and complimented me on its care. (?) I am now having trouble with the screen and ordered a new monitor, still in its box as old one is now working well. Normal-like making a doctors appointment, and by the time you get there the problem has cured itself. I use an IPad with MAC software, but like my windows PC. I have lots of memory as I sometimes do Photoshop projects.
As for glasses. I had prescription glasses. Then two years ago cataract surgery. I recently, after ZOOM classes and long periods looking at screen, with my ophthalmologists blessing, bought 100 reading glasses on line, and this works very well. less expensive than prescription. They are advertised on Amazon as computer also.
Long message sorry to be so wordy!

Judith Dunn

...Kristi.. We have been a Mac family since 1990! We had a boxy old Mac desktop when we lived in Paris for three years and got hooked. We even brought it back to the states and bought a transformer so our son could continue using it! I have a 27" IMAC desktop and a MacBook Pro, and Gerry has my old 24" IMAC for himself and we share an IPAD. We really are the poster family for APPLE! I love MCS for easy use and they just do so much more then a PC. I use mind for my photography and creative digital watercolors. As they say, 'once you try MAC , you never go back'. I do know people who enjoy their Lenovo very much and I think you will too. My Macbook Pro has a special retinal display so your eyes are never tired. The lights are so lovely on the boats! Bonne Annee a tous! Judi from Tallahassee


Here's what I think, Kristi: Anyone who has a career that depends on a machine needs a tech guy they can call on when problems occur, as they inevitably will.

My husband also does a lot for me, but I have a terrific tech guy (who sometimes helps him, too) who can fix a lot of things remotely (using go-to-meeeting type software) and charges very little for that. For more serious problems, he comes over. Last spring, he got me a new hard drive after determining mine went bad. It's a big terrabyte SSD, meaning its super-capacious and super-fast. It's essentially a new computer. He fixes problems large and small.

I don't know about France, but in the U.S., you can deduct IT help from your taxes if it's for your business.

I found my tech guy by searching online for someone in my area. I forget the search terms I used. Maybe "IT help" or "computer help" and my zip code. It doesn't always work. Before him, we had a guy with a dinky shop and a bad attitude. He was horrible. But then I switched to Dave, and I know I can count on him.

In our old neighborhood in Seattle, I did the same thing to find tech help and was very happy with the guy I found. Or maybe it was my husband who found him. But it was through an online search.

Like me, you have a writing business. You owe it to yourself to establish support for the equipment that supports YOU!

Agnes Rambeck

I lived in France until I was 21 and I never ran across the word "litote" Thank you for allowing me to learn something new!


I've had a Macbook Pro for personal use for about four years and I love it. I work on a Lenovo (don't know if it's the exact same model as yours) for my job and it's also great. I really don't have any problem going from one to the other which I do every day. I guess if I had to choose, the Mac would win out, though! I do have two pairs of glasses since I stare at a computer so many hours a day and the "reading glasses" are a blessing! Otherwise it gets blurry pretty fast! And finally, I'd almost rather go to the dentist than shop for a computer, so félicitations on your success!

Donald James

I’ve had a MacBook Pro for years and if you never had a problem with it.

Donald James

I meant to say I have never had a problem with it.

Gail Jolley

I have used both Macs and PCs. I prefer the PCs. I bought a MacBook Pro and resisted using it because it wasn't as easy as my PC laptop. Plus on the MacBook Pro I only had Pages software for composing text, and it wasn't as friendly as Word. I also needed other software like QuickBooks and Excel, and those work better on a PC. So I sold my MacBook Pro and stayed with my PC laptop. I have used different brands, but I like Hewlett-Packard the best.

Jnine Cortell

I bought a Lenovo laptop this year and love it. It is quick and so easy to use. Best computer ever. I think you will be happy with yours. Bonne année. Janine

Linda Roll

My husband got me a MacBook Pro2 because my old one did not have enough memory or storage any more. Apple Service told him not to bother downloading updates to the old laptop. I like my new laptop; it's faster and a little easier to use than my old one.
I used to have a Dell, which went Kaput. At that point, my husband gave me his, a MacBook Pro. It was supposed to be a loan, but I appropriated it right away.

Christine Cuccia

Apple since 1986. Always and forever. Intuitive and beautifully designed.

Anne Umphrey

Kristi, I switched for PC to Apple a number of years ago.after a very short learning time I was completely up to speed and happy. It is easy to use, intuitive, and I have never had a glitch. I put Microsoft Office for Macs on it. It has Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access. I do a fair amount of writing and I use it for my photo work. Macs are great platforms for processing photos. For that I use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. I’ve had desktop Macs, MacBook Air and now use MacBook Pro. They are seamlessly compatible with your iPad and IPhone if that is what you use. As a writer and photographer I would never go back to a PC.
Happy New Year to you, JeanMarc and your whole family.

Lin George

I purchased a Lenov Ideapad 330 two years ago and have been very happy with it. Best Wishes!

Laura F Collins

Only a Mac! Bite the bullet and splurge. Very easy to learn. Amazingly versatile. Maybe on my 5th Mac. Never a repair needed. So many apps. Ditto with iPhone. Haven't heard regrets for Apple.

Anita in Seattle

Hi Kristi - You have a lot of advice here from your readers and I only jump on the bandwagon to add a little technical detail. I've worked in technology for many, many years and have almost always had both a Mac and a Windows machine because my role required it. My strong personal preference (as with most of you commenters) is for the Mac. Working with a Mac is easier because the operating system and user interface are more fully integrated and built around the experience - the file search engine is powerful, you don't have to know how a file tree structure works to find your files, and you don't have to edit a .config (dot config file) to resolve problems. I root strongly for Windows as Microsoft is my hometown team (I live in Seattle) but sadly, because Microsoft doesn't own the majority of the hardware its operating system runs on (except for the Surface line of computers), the integration between the hardware and operating system is awkward and prone to issues. It seems you've already bought your computer but I think you'd find the Mac experience smooth, elegant, and time-saving. Take good care and Happy New Year! --

Mary Eichbauer

Hi, Kristi, Your computer troubles sound hellish, especially for a writer. I went through several "lemon" computers, including a Dell, among one or two others. I finally switched to Mac and never looked back. Yes, they're expensive, but they work! (In my opinion and experience, of course.) Good luck with your new machine. It must feel like a luxury to have a working keyboard.

Teri Browne

I have a MacBook Pro- 15 inch screen. I have been an Apple user all along although I did work on a PC when I did technical support for a software company.

You deserve the BEST that money can buy. My gosh, think of all the books you have written, awards you are getting and readers who have followed you and want to continue to follow your writings. Put yourself FIRST and get an Apple. Your need surpasses anything needed for the wine store. It looks very well stocked.

Apple products are more expensive but once you get used to the interface (it isn't hard), you will never look back.

Karen Cafarella

I love Jules painting in the wine shop. Such a talent.

I only use Apple products. Yes they cost so much more but my experience has been great and they last a very long time. The learning curve was nothing to me.

Happy that you found a computer you liked and can continue to share with us your stories.

Carol W Wayne

MacBook Air...worth every penny...very easy to learn and use, fabulous customer service!! I have had mine since 2014 and not a speck of trouble.

Happy New Year!

Lynne Schweitzer

I agree with Lynn. I made the same switch from PC (Dell) to MacBook Air. Also, switched my phone to an iPhone and bought an iPad. They are all very intuitive to use and they communicate well with each other. AND I have not had a virus or other malfunctions since. I wouldn’t consider switching back. You adjust very easily and quickly to the new operating system and it all seems so much more stable than the Microsoft operating systems!

Dana Ivey

I've been a Apple/Mac person always. I have a desktop computer, a laptop, an iPad, and an iPhone. I love Macs! I love that they integrate with each other so well. I'm sorry you didn't go Mac! I think you would have found it very easy to use.

Cerelle Bolon

Brava, Kristi! I have a beautiful big Lenovo desktop and I love it. I hope you have all good luck with your laptop. I think if one starts with an Apple product one uses it for life, and almost by necessity since PC things aren't very compatible, but the same is true for those of us who started with a PC. So, for me, a PC user, I just love my Lenovo. Best of luck to you! And Merry Christmas from Sunny Arizona.


Our dear Kristi,
I absolutely applaud you for doing something about your computer instead of just procrastinating.(which is a great deal easier)
That takes courage and! YOU DID IT!!!
Wishing you all bon chance and all the best with your new Lenovo.
It looks beautiful and inviting!
I tried Sony,DEll,and,finally,an HP laptop which I love and fulfills all my needs.
I did use computer glasses,but now just use my reading glasses instead.The computer glasses got to be a nuisance because if I changed my position or the distance between me and the computer,things went blurry and I'd have to keep adjusting.
What a wonderful post today,Kristi.As always filled with warmth and honesty.
Also such wonderful pictures.
Thank you!
Bonne annee !
Natalia XO

Janet M

Passante, Thanks for all of the wonderful information! --Janet

Nancy Rial

I've had two Mac book PRO's- and they've been fabulous! The first one, I did the rather complicated program for all the visual design on my book, Alan;s Letters. Now, I appreciate a good computer still, where the photos and visuals are still so easy to use. I can't believe you put up with the computer as you described the arduous round-about you you got your masterpeice published every week!

I notice men often buy themselves the best and latest toys/tools for their "work". and women need to understand that we are worth having appropriate tools also for our work, also.

I sympathize with you about the need to want support making decisions- but most men I know make a large buying decision as you described Jean-Marc- did- in 20 minutes! But YOU are the one living with the decision made. I do a lot of scouting around first (I know, you had less than a week), then ask friends who might have some expertise-and that may- or may not- be the man in your life- although it is fun to share the actual purchase with him.

Thomas O. Mann


We switched from Windows operating system PCs about 16 years ago and our entire extended family from us to our kids and grandkids use Apple devices except for office and school provided computers required for work and school. iPhones, iPads and Macs. There is some learning curve required but Apple operating systems are pretty intuitive. But to be a complete IT geek, you need to know Apple, Microsoft, Google and Android operating systems. Android is pretty intuitive too, and I read books on a Kindle Fire but I’m writing this on an iPhone.

You, Jean Marc, and the kids have a bonne année in 2021. We’ve been in Cairanne since August but we’ll eventually resume our bicoastal pattern when it’s safer to move around the planet. Meilleur voeux à vous tous.

Tom and Beth

Christine Webb-Curtis

Your tale reminds me of my childhood when we used a pair of pliers to turn the channel on the TV. We do adapt, don't we? I use a SurfacePro and really like it. Enjoy your new machine. May it do right by you for a long time.

Happy New Year to you.



MAC all the way! Always have ,always will—It was definitely time for a new laptop ! I have have MAC book Pro. Good luck with your new one!

Robert Powell

I have been a MAC user for a long time, previous with Microsoft. Love Apple and will never go back. The transition was not difficult, especially for word processing. Apple machines are well made and work well. Yes, you pay a premium price but, isn’t that the case for most things good.

Leslie NYC

I love the lights in the port.
Do you still have your little boat?
Bonne année nouvelle!


I'm like GwenEllyn--I've always used an Apple product, right from the beginning. I have a Mac desktop and an iPad, plus my iPhone which I use as much as my Mac. I've had the desktop and iPad for over 5 years and they are still going strong.

Gail S

I have a Lenovo Ideapad 5 and like it very much. Several years ago I had an HP that was a real lemon. The screen would suddenly die, go black. The support from HP was dismal. It's a long story but I eventually got my money back from HP. In researching the problem, I found out that this was a common problem and the support from HP was terrible for all the others.

Andrea Hughes

I have had the same Mac Pro since 2009, and it's still going strong! I also have an iPhone and love their compatibility with each other. The photos that I take with the iPhone are automatically linked to my photo album on my laptop. So user-friendly!

Bonne Annee a tout le monde!!

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks, Leslie. Yes, we still have our little wooden boat, and love it.


I recently came across an advert for this thing called Xtra-PC which fits into a USB port and apparently brings an old laptop back to life.

Suzanne in NJ

I agree the best laptop is the one you use and are comfortable with. I used Lenovo’s for years. Then the law school switched to Surface for those of who worked while commuting... light weight and almost a cross between a laptop and a tablet. Locked into a docking station at work, I had a very large screen and terrific keyboard. When I retired, I bought a Surface Pro, docking station and very large Dell screen which is touch screen but also can be used with a mouse. Love it! I can pop off the connection to the docking station and take it anywhere to use as a light weight laptop or tablet. Recently got a stand to use for WebEx virtual dog training sessions.

Love the photos of the Old Port and I see JM is selling truffes! I like Jules’ painting. Give her a hug.


bonjour, Kristi: I so admire your determination & stick-to-it-iveness when writing your book(s) or blogs! It is that drive that makes your articles so interesante! Merci beaucoup por tout. So, the only thing I use this Dell laptop for is to research & e-mail. Otherwise, I am not computer savvy. I have a dear friend who is very technically sharp & he is my go-to person. This laptop is about 9 years old; sometimes, the keys stick, but, until the lights go out, we won't buy another.

Bon annee!! We can only hope that 2021 is going to be a healthier, happier, more peaceful year! Fondly, Ann


HI Kristi
My computer quit this month also, and right before I had to host a big zoom meeting! I tried everything, even re-formating it to it's original state. No use. I settled on a basic LG laptop from costco. Only $800 and it's great. Hope you love yours, too! I agree. The best is the one you use!!

Jan in Edmonton, Canada

I was so interested to hear that "litote" means understatement in French. I taught High School English for years, and a "litotes" (from Greek) is a type of understatement. It uses a negative to ironic effect. For example, "It was not the best decision I've ever made" means "It was a disaster!"

Happy New Year!

Patricia Sands

Kristi, I've been a dedicated MacBookPro user since I began writing 13 years ago and I love it. Non-techie that I am, I find a real sense of comfort knowing AppleCare is just a chat or phone call away if I have a question. I hope you are happy with your new acquisition for many years to come. Bonne année à toute la famille! (SVP, dis à Jules que le peinture semble fabuleux dans la boutique!)

Mary Morris

I don’t know about the glasses for the color of the light. My iPad has a nighttime setting that changes the light it emits to a yellower color. A neuroscientist I heard speak at a conference claimed that helped her sleep better. Does it really work? I “believe”it does.
I do, though, have special glasses for when I know I’m going to be working at the computer for more than a few minutes. My regular, walking-around-living-daily-life glasses have progressive lenses. And I found myself with an aching neck after a long stretch at the computer because I was tilting my head back to match the screen distance to the focal point of the lenses. A pair of glasses with a prescription matched to typical screen distance has solved that particular pain.

Deb Mansfield

J’aime my MacBook Pro. It’s in its 11th year, with upgraded operating system and RAM. I almost never have to research an issue as I had to do regularly with my last PC. Macs just work. Its long life has lessened the initial expense. Once you know that clicking the X on a window closes that window but not the program, and that the bar at the bottom of the screen is the Dock, the transition is relatively smooth.
Bonne Année!


I also am with Lynn! I've used apple products since 1994 and could never go back. I use a MacBook Air (and an iPad as well) and it's so light I can take it anywhere. It's very intuitive to use, no worries about viruses, plus Apple customer service has always been wonderful. And, like Lynn, I don't think I could ever go back.

As for the glasses, I do have the blue light-locking glasses; I can tell a difference but not a huge one.

Merle Minda

After millions of years w a desktop PC, I have moved to a tiny new space and had to get a laptop. After all the PC years I did not feel I could move to a Mac format and I too ended up with a Lenovo Thinkbook. Mostly I really like it and am getting used to it. Lots of power. Great display etc. not great battery life but I don’t use that much. So good luck with yours. It is a great advantage for a writer to have an all powerful and dependable computer.


Hi, Kristi! I'm a little behind in your posts & just catching up. You asked about the computer glasses. I wear glasses & keep getting talked into the latest coatings every time. This last time was the blue-blocking coating that is supposed to help with computer work. I go to the optometry college for all my check ups, etc. They have students who are just about ready to graduate do the exams & then their work is checked by the optometrists on duty. In the room where you select your frames they also have students working & then their measurements are double checked before your order for glasses are submitted.

When they were talking to me about the blue-blocking coating, they admitted it didn't really seem to make a big difference, but "the purple glint" in the lenses when the light hits them just right is "really cool". I decided to give them a try & I must say I would not get the coating again. It might have that purple tinge to them when the light hits them, but from the point of the wearer, it makes things have a yellowish tinge, which is most notable when you are working on a white screen & then take your glasses off, the screen gets really white! :) But, most importantly, I do not notice any benefit to wearing them while working on my computer. My eyes do not feel any better at all. I find myself actually taking my glasses off when reading/working on computer. My eyes feel better that way.

The important thing is that 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 mins, look away from your screen for at least 20 seconds, looking at something at least 20 feet away. It gives your eyes the break they need.

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