Monthly Archives: September 2012

A Box of Anxiety

What happens when your relationship with a computer is tested? The death of a computer can be either heart-breaking or a sigh of relief. The PowerMac that Mom and I used in high school was a waste of space. It had an Internet connection, but I often walked to the library for their public-use PCs to save some sanity. And see the color red. The RGB on the PowerMac became just GB.

(This was useful for Solitaire, if you were willing to deal with all black suits.)

I went to college and still had to use public computers until sophomore year. I was elated. I had finally joined the American tech revolution (which had started 10 years earlier). The Internet was faster. The resolution richer. The downloading illegal songs… I mean research for papers was easier.

I’m not sure how to convey my feelings of a computer relationship. I referred to it as a him and felt like he was a pet, a part of my family. I can’t remember what I had named him. He lived for 6 years until one day the power button did not do anything. Actually, it went ‘tick-tick-tick’ and then ‘thunk’ and then nothing. If it just hadn’t turned on it could have been a power source problem, but I was advised that the ticking… that was the heart of the hard drive beating its last.

There is a moment of grieving when something electronic that is *important* to you passes on. Maybe that is my experience because I wasn’t someone who could plow through toys and computers, replacing merely for technology. Something beautiful had to replace it. I found a Dell replacement (which was put on a payment plan which spent roughly two years ripping me off) that was white and silver and full of promise. I named her “Dr. Girlfriend”… for some reason. I blame my ex for that.

For 5 years she has worked. And she has worked hard. Part of me wants to buy a new computer (as soon as I get a job, of course), but it would feel like betraying a family member. Three days ago she didn’t turn on. It was the same as before, except no ticking. And I remembered that there had been some surges earlier which would either fry the power source or the motherboard. One was good, the other a cause for a psychotic meltdown. I finally took it to the computer vet and was told they could replace the power source for (relatively) cheap. So that has been done, but for three days I fretted. Yes, I have a net book from my loving family so I can blog abroad or write papers or something productive. The tiny laptop is not the same. Nowhere near so. It is with the large screen and tower and separate mouse that I can truly feel comfortable.

She is back and working (and the guy even fixed my second CD/DVD drive which I thought was FUBAR), but it reminds me of the mortality (ed: I originally wrote “morality”, which may or may not apply) of our electronics. I posted before about electronic evolution, but I’m not ready to rely on the portable, easier to look at, faster machines. Am I the only one?

%d bloggers like this: