19 April 2009

Computer Crash Test Dummy

Recently, a comment I left somewhere was labeled as sarcasm. I wanted to comment back that it wasn't. It was just regular, generic humor. Okay maybe it was absurdist or hyperbolic; certainly meant in fun (surely, I jest wanna have fun). At it's worst, the comment could be pegged as containing a grain of schadenfreude. But just a grain.

But then it finally happened: I knew that my computer was nearing it's D-Day. For some time I felt like I was driving 75, uphill, in a Chevette, pulling a horse trailer loaded with clydesdales. Thursday night, I threw a rod, blew a gasket and broke a CV joint.

After trying every option on the system recovery except the last one, which warned it would erase all programs and files, I closed the lid and went to bed. I lay awake for quite a while thinking: "What am I going to lose." As far as my novel-in-progress, I had printed all but the most recent 3 pages, which I could mostly recreate from memory. There were several poems that I would have to go back to rough drafts in my journal to rework. Several random bits and pieces of ideas for other books and plays. Hundreds of photographs, some of which are posted on Facebook and MySpace and therefore could be retrieved. And about 60 cd's worth of music.

I would also lose the programs I use to maintain my website (which is almost a month late for its monthly update), the program I use to record and engineer my radio show, and the program I use to maintain my genealogy addiction.

Oddly, I fell asleep thinking that it might be a good thing to have it all wiped clean and start fresh. Maybe I would go back to using my old Underwood or Remington Streamliner, if I can find ribbons for them anymore (older folks, please explain typewriter ribbon to the young'uns. Thanks). Maybe I would write my books long-hand and have my wife type them out like Melville; or since I don't have a wife, my sister like Roethke. Maybe I would memorize everything like the people at the end of Fahrenheit 451 or everybody in pre-literate societies.

Or maybe I'd take my computer to a whiz-kid in town and have him fix it for me.

Which is, of course, what I did. And now it's back, better than ever. Still an overloaded Chevette, but at least now with mag wheels and a spoiler. Turns out, the Norton security crap that I paid $60 for was the cause of all the trouble. I read online that one of the problems I had been having was caused by Norton, but when I went to them for help, they told me the problem was Windows, not them. Thanks Norton. Thanks for your great product and great service. I'm sure I'll be sending you much more of my money soon.

Now that was sarcasm.

No comments: