I tried burning some photos into a CD recently when I realized that my laptop couldn't read my CD/DVD drive anymore. I tried going online to find out what the possible reasons were, but after trying out a few things, I figured that maybe the drive is already broken. I've had my personal laptop for almost 5 1/2 years now and it has definitely been used extensively in that period of time. In fact, my battery hasn't been working for a while now (so my laptop is more like a portable desktop because I can't use it unless I'm plugged into a power source lol). It's also really slow - I've defragged it multple times but it doesn't really speed up all that much - and on a few occasions, I have had difficulty starting it up.
Which means one thing: time for a new laptop! I'm glad I have some friends who are laptop experts and have given me some feedback on what I should be looking for. But I still have a lot to think about.
I need to be careful about my budget though because I also need to replace my mobile phone and my digital camera. I wrote about my need for a new mobile phone a few months ago. As for my digital camera, there seems to be some problem with the lens. Ever since July 2007, whenever I take a photo, there's this very visible smudgy thing that comes up on the upper left hand side. It used to come up only when I would take a photo of bright skies, but recently it has been coming up all the time. I can try to 'photoshop' it, but it's such a hassle to do that for every photo I take. Obviously, the smudge tends to ruin the pics I take. I've had it for 5 years and has been a constant companion in all my travels - I am sure I have taken several thousand photos with it already - so I guess it's time to replace it as well.
My need for a new laptop, mobile phone, and digicam will have a massive impact on my budget (bye bye 13th month pay!) so I'll need to plan for all these expenses carefully. Good luck to me.