Sunday, January 18, 2009

Coming To You Live (Writer) From Beautiful St. Charles

I seem to be back after an unintentional absence. Thank you to those who sent a private message or email for your concern. Despite the tone of some of my recent “poetry,” it was my laptop that was self-destructive, not me. At this point comes the decision between the long version or the short version. I’ll choose the short story for now, but don’t be surprised if there are further elaborations in future posts.

Nearly three weeks ago the laptop decided, for no apparent reason, not to boot up past a few of the drivers. I poked, tricked, and swore at everything I could think of, but none of my vast store of computer knowledge, foul language, or behavioral psychology produced a desirable result. A few days later the “Rent-a-Geek” I called did the same, but more thoroughly and knowledgeably. He said he had never seen one do that before, and I believed him because he was also talking about his quintuple boot computer (98SE, XP Pro, Vista, OS7, and Linux) as he ran the diagnostics. Alas, poor Leonard had to go back to “the shop.” I sent Max, his backup pal and sidekick, along to keep him company.

The older (30-something) and wiser owner of the business took over Leonard’s resuscitation and care. He promised to take Leonard out for walks over the weekend so he wouldn’t feel neglected (really – he said that.) After numerous phone calls and about two years later, he called back to tell me the operation had been a success. It really did seem like two years. From that and my withdrawal symptoms, I have concluded that internet addiction is quite real and that I don’t like it. When I received the good news, there was a brief moment of elation and wild celebration and then I did something stupid. This is a normal behavioral pattern for me. I asked if he would install a simple wired network when he returned the laptop. Of course he agreed, and of course I had not anticipated that that it would take another year for the router and cables to be delivered to him. The good news is that I now have a working network. When the network was in, and Leonard was once again in touch with his server and computer buds, I wrote a check for a considerable sum of money and forgot to use my $25 coupon. I was happy anyway. It was only when I found that I could not turn Leonard off that I again became concerned. We’ll leave that topic relatively unexplained other than to state that I have found a distinctly unusual way of shutting the laptop off, involving tricking the Roxio burner suite into believing that I want to use it and then shutting down.

During the haze of the withdrawal period, I became so desperate for an internet fix that I did the unthinkable. I installed Vista on the project computer before it was ready to have the XP Pro installed on another partition or drive. For a refurbished PC, it looked totally unused internally and externally. I installed another 4GB of heat sink finned RAM into the appropriate slots and turned the beast on. It lit up, whirred, and the DVD tray would operate. That’s all. Just the electromechanical stuff. The OS refused to even consider installing itself. After due consideration, I decided to undo my improvements, and re-installed the original RAM. This resulted in a success experience, if one considers the installation of Vista on a perfectly good PC a success. I now have the two computers networked and operating, even though Leonard remains a bit eccentric.

I continue to hate Vista, but will list only three reasons that irked me the most during my initial skirmishes with it. 1.) It questions everything I want it to do to the point that I forget what it was that I wanted it to do. 2.) It works funny. 3.) It cheats at solitaire and doesn’t even reward you with the traditional bouncing cards when you win, but asks which of three actions you would like to take while humiliating you with the statistics of your past wins and losses.

Peace, Doc

Copyright © 2009, Thomas A. Blood, Ph.D.

"It's practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry." - Joe Moore

Technorati tags: computer, repair, frustration, eccentric, Internet addiction


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Blogger Kathryn Magendie said...

Doc! I just found you!!!! :-) grinning!

January 30, 2009 6:39 PM  

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