Ponder this:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Job

The old laptop began dying last Thursday evening when a tablespoon (perhaps two) of water dripped from above onto the keyboard. For years the old Dell recovered from such mishaps. It worked fine after a similar incident with coffee. It held up after I tripped over the power cord and caused its rapid descent to the floor. It was unaffected by Marly's 2003 use of its corner as a doggy chew toy. It's possible that there were too many such mishaps in its long, long life, or more likely, it had reached far beyond its expected span of days.

After Thursday's water event, I worked with the dysfunctional keyboard for a couple of days, living in hope that it would heal itself, learning to substitute m for n and contorting my right hand so as to always use that shift key since the left shift key did No Thing. Unexpected things were happening at increasingly frequent intervals. My concentration was interrupted by random unrequested Google search dialog boxes, sudden firebell alarms from the Dell's bowels, the rapid appearance of thousands of iterations of the current web page, other unsettling events.

By 7:30am on Sunday the boil of my frustration had burst and I had a new laptop out of the box and onto the coffee table. It is sleek and smooth, black and silver and, since I have no need of a gnome-size computer, a nice big screen. It is light in weight: a valuable feature considering that rapid descent to the floor peril.
It and I eagerly anticipated our union.

I put a cd-r into the Dell and selected files to transfer to their new home. The Dell suggested that I insert a cd into the d drive. I popped the cd out and put it back in again. Again, the Dell suggested that I insert a cd into the d drive. I popped the cd out, dusted off everything with a soft brush, and put it back in again. The Dell suggested that I insert a cd into the d drive. I commenced attaching all my files to email messages to myself, for uploading when I had the new laptop online.

Rural dwellers understand that the handy integrated wireless capability is useless in a home located like mine. I have a wireless USB modem, acquired after years of listening to my hair growing while I waited for dial-up. For the modem to work the computer into which is plugged must have the software installed. I could not find the cd-rom for the modem. I called Verizon to ask if I could buy a new cd-rom.

"No, we don't sell them here but if you call customer service, they can tell you how to download it from the internet."
"Oh good! Thank you."
I hung up.
And in a moment realized that my predicament was in no way mitigated.

I set out extra early the following morning, the first day of a new week, for my first visit to the only internet cafe within twenty miles to download the program onto the new laptop. Then I would go on to work to do my new morning job. (Never mind that I've been doing this new job since January; it's still new.) The first meeting of the photography class would be that evening. A new cafe, a new laptop, a new class that evening to learn how to use my new camera. I am not comfortable with new: I know how a wild rabbit feels, frozen with panic in the middle of an interstate.

I reached the cafe just as they were opening the doors, achieved a cup of coffee and established myself and the laptop at a table. I could not find the right web page for the download and had to leave for work before I had accomplished my goal.

The photographer called and postponed the class to Wednesday: A death in his family, necessary travel out of town. I tried to sound sympathetic rather than overflowing with relieved delight at the delay.

I went back to the cafe in the afternoon with a surreptitiously-acquired-during-working-hours printout of instructions. I attained the proper web page, entered the Verizon modem's telephone number from memory, and began the download. I could feel the tension leaving my shoulders as I sighed with relief and sipped my coffee. I waited, watching the lime green worm grow by millimeters across the screen. The download seemed to be taking a long time. I watched the laptop's battery percentage, and twitched with anxiety that the former would outlast the latter.

Finally, "Installation complete."
I packed up and trundled out to my car.
I checked the telephone number that I'd entered.
I had entered one digit wrong: an eight instead of a three.
I considered and rejected the thought of returning to the cafe for a do-over: the battery wouldn't last long enough.
"All right," I thought, resigned. "Tonight, recharging. Tomorrow, a do-over."

Home at last, I had nothing to lose. I plugged in my tiny modem. VZ Access Manager appeared, and offered connection. God bless Verizon's little heart, it forgave my one-digit error and allowed me online.

I'm waiting on moving all the files to their new home. I need a little Life-As-Usual for a while.


Tigerbi said...

Ahhh, the things we do to assure our obsession is fulfilled...........congrats on your new shiny friend !

Carolynn Anctil said...

Yay! Good for you for figuring it all out. I dread having to deal with anything computer related. I'm a get in and turn the key kinda gal.

I'll bet it was a bit bittersweet saying goodbye to your other computer after all it had gone through for you. I'm sitting here typing on my laptop, which I adore, and looking at the desktop I no longer use that's taking up way too much room on my desk. Time to do something about that...and I just bought a new flat screen for it not long ago. Don't you just hate when that happens!


Recycled Cottage & Garden said...

I can appreciate what you went thru the last few days. When my old pc died (windows ME) after a 9 year life, I had to go to the library to use their pc for 6 weeks till my irs refund came in. I like my new baby too even if it is 1 yr old now. Not a laptop but it also has a huge screen so I don't even have to wear my glasses now except to see the keyboard.