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Blogger Confidential: When the Tools of Ignorance Go Down

A funny thing happened on the way to my next blog: my beloved Dell Studio 1558 laptop lost its brakes, careened out of control and punched through several cloud storage containers before finally smashing into a virtual stone wall.

No lives were lost but all of a sudden I couldn't write, feed myself, or get dressed. I called Dell technical support and talked to a number of really nice and helpful people (I may need Dell's help later). 

We came this > close to fixing my laptop issues before all hell broke loose. My hard drive unexpectedly went into DEFCON 1 shutdown and the deflector shields went up before I could react.

Another desperate call to Dell central and I was told my laptop would have to be placed into a box and sent to Texas. Dell would provide the box and Texas. I would provide the dinero to cover the exorbitant costs involved.

After our recent Presidential election I had read that many people had signed petitions demanding the state of Texas be allowed to secede from the Union. Turns out, a great number of those signatures were from states bordering Texas, but no matter. Not only was my laptop down, if I didn't act quickly the repairs would be outsourced to a foreign country and no telling what the tariffs might end up costing.

The box came the next day and I held my Dell 1558 over the foam lined interior with fear in my heart and a growing wariness. It was like taking a beloved pet to the pound for you-know-what. Now that I think of it, it's probably only a matter of time before dog and cat pounds go out of business and we'll have to also send our pets to Texas.

As I waved goodbye to my laptop, I realized I would have to find a replacement device capable of allowing me to write, to email, search for the meaning of life, and download quality pornography. Pronto.

Thankfully I had an alternative. I retrieved the old desktop computer that my Dell laptop had replaced several years ago. For reasons unknown I kept the box and keyboard tucked under my desk, gathering toxic amounts of dust and (no doubt) hepavirus. My best recollection is that I purchased that old PC during a going-out-of-business sale at a non-franchised 7-11 Store along Interstate 5. Somewhere near Buttonwillow I believe.

I excitedly fired that ancient puppy up and stood back. It sputtered, coughed, and revved up like one of those cars built in an East European iron curtain country during the 1950s. I had forgotten that many older computers were steam-powered and required a handcrank to boot up.

Once it got going I discovered the hard drive was apparently over-loaded with massive amounts of ancient programs, megabytes of blurry photos, and the contents of what appeared to be several expired foreign language encylopedias.

No problem, I'll just delete all that crap and upload some PC tune-up software to get this thing back on duty. That little dream went up in smoke when I pressed the "start" button and it took ten (10) minutes to bring up my old home page. It had a screensaver showing President Eisenhower delivering his second innaugural address.   

You may ask, was my dusty, out-of-date PC slow? No, you can't say it's "slow". Or even "tedious". Tedious is officially defined as listening to Tim McCarver explaining the infield fly rule (or anything else). My replacement PC would have to increase its speed by about 100% before it reached "tedious" and then double that to approach the outer boundries of "slow".

So I have been able to continue to write, exchange emails, and conduct my business. Kind of. The image that sticks with me as I work with this interesting device is trying to push 100 gallons of free-flowing molasses up a steep hill. At night. But I press on and am breaking through various new frontiers, like finally posting again on Bloguin.

But the effort of working at a pace any independent observer would likely describe as "going backwards" has been tough. And, yes, there have been tears and excessive drinking. There, I said it.     

This morning my phone rang at 7:30 AM and a pre-recorded voice told me my laptop was "fixed" and had been mailed back to me from Texas. I would receive it next Tuesday. I immediately sat up in bed and yelled "Yippee-ki-yay motherf–kers!" in the general direction of the new country of Texas.

Then I lay back down and dreamt of going Apple and living happily ever after.

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