Tuesday, June 12, 2007

eternal sunshine of the spotless computer ...

this clunky craptastic 20 pounds of inadequate technology has left me without an option. it behaves like a petulant former captain of the proctor danceline. it turns itself off when it wants. i'm bombarded with error messages, like i walked through a patch of post-it notes barefoot.

cranking it up takes a host of tricks reminiscent of long car rides with your family when you were 11 and had to hold your walkman at a weird angle to catch casey kasem's top 40 countdown. and there you are, contorting yourself in the backseat with one hand cocked near the window and your other hand on your face, trying to use your braces as a conductor. i have to: turn it on. quickly press "enter," then wait 15 minutes for it to stop spinning and thinking.

the whole thing whirrs as loudly as a helicopter, and though i keep it plugged in overnight in an entirely different room, sometimes the sound keeps me awake.

"i thought someone was weed-whacking," chucks says. "but it was just your laptop."
"someone is weed-whacking," i say.
"oh," he says.

honest mistake.

a friend of mine is an IT sort. months ago, he had me log into his company's network to see if he could figure out what was wrong with my computer. 45 minutes later, he had laughed himself into an evil villianous coma and basically told me i'm screwed.

this laptop is more diseased than the bathroom doorknob in a kindergarten classroom.

a few months ago i subscribed to emusic.com. 30 downloads a month. unfortunately, i am unable to download anything.
a few days ago i wrote something as a word document. when i went to retrieve it later, the page contained a list from 2006 of things i'd eaten that week and miles i'd run.
i'm unable to move photos from my digital camera onto my computer.

and i guess, if you want to look at the positives, i can still get online and sometimes this computer does not eat my words before i've published. thank you, inspiron. you keep my glass half full.

my brother gave me an external drive for christmas and last week i tried to move files from my computer to that drive for safe keeping. my dell refused to acknowledge this extra appendage.

at some point in the next 24 hours, i'm going to wipe out everything on this laptop. i'm going to do something involving something called operating systems. i'm givin gthis laptop a radical form of treatment that will leave it less-than half the computer it used to be, but 100 percent better than the computer it is today.

and as long as i don't think about it too hard, i'm not concerned about losing 50-some bookmarks, dream journals, workout regimines, short stories, one and a half nanowrimo projects, or the 2000-some songs that came with this computer. i'm not exactly stoked that i'm losing two or three years of digital photos of 21-year-old boys sucking down beer bongs, and an array of unflattering self portraits, or the documentation of the time i wore a homemade t'shirt that said "i lost mine in the backseat of a camaro" and had a gross -- and very visible -- pucker of beer gut gushing pregnantly over my jeans.

i have been known to throw away garbage bags filled with my past without looking inside. there are journals upon journals upon journals in my parent's basement that i never need to see again. i'm not one of those pack-ratty sorts and i'm definitely not a scrapbooker or anything else that involves scissors, doilies and glitter pens.

i'm sure i'll miss some of the things i am about to erase. but really, the only thing i can think of at this time is the song "no ordinary love" by sade.


whiskeymarie said...

I lived through my own "great computer purge of 2006" thanks in no small part to therapy and random bursts of anger.
I felt like I lost a minor body part- like an ear or my pinky finger. Not entirely necessary, but I knew something was missing...
Many, many files died on that day.

viciousrumours said...

We made the sad sad mistake of purchasing an E-Machine. I have had to reformat not once, but three times. I know back things up to disc once a week and keep them locked tightly in a fire safe box under the bed where the hideous beast that is my computer can not eat them. I feel for you.

Anonymous said...

What if you tried taking it to the Geek Squad? Sometimes they're pretty magic.

Clare said...

When I tried to purge my crappy old computer before donating it to a homeless shelter, all I succeeded in doing was changing the background and icons on my desktop. All my music and documents were still there, and I had to go in and delete them manually. Stupid computer. I'm glad it's now frustrating homeless people.

christina said...

the geek squad would stand around, laugh, and try to sell this laptop to an antique shop.

nanners said...

the geek squad is "magic" if you consider "magic" to be retardation. they made me stay on hold for 15 minutes while i was at work yesterday because they couldn't find my laptop in their computer lair. then they took my name down, while someone was calling my cell phone about my laptop at the same time completely oblivious to the fact that people were looking for it.