Computer Woes: or So This Is What I Get for Being Kind to Electronics

July 27, 2005

I am in a pissy mood today. Everything that could go wrong lately has. Two days ago--and with the finest intentions, I'll add--I decided to give my computer a quick little tune up. I deleted a bunch of old files. I went out and bought an external hard drive so I can start doing real backups like a real profession. I saw the notice about Foxfire 1.0.6 and obediently downloaded the update. I was being such a good little web designer. And then the poop hit the fan. I couldn't get Foxfire to start. I installed and re-installed four times before I got it working, and by that time I'd lost all my extensions, Calendar, Thunderbird and what passes for my mind. I'm not kidding about that last one. For my next amazing trick, I installed my new external hard drive, and afterward couldn't figure out why my computer was running so slowly. Plus there was this weird new person using my computer called "asp.NET Machine." Since I don't know anyone named asp, I was naturally suspicious. I wasted an entire afternoon discovering that, yes, indeed, I do know someone named asp, and his first name is Bill. All these months I had thought Bill and I were history. Now I learn he's just been hanging around, waiting for the right moment to screw up my computer logon. I don't know how other people do it, but in the morning I shuffle bleary-eyed to the computer, push the start button, then wander off to make some really strong tea and splash some bracing water on my face, secure in the knowledge that my computer is stirring to life and will be all ready to hit the gas when I wander back with tea mug in hand. Instead, there my computer sat, paralyzed and blinking helplessly at me, hung up on the logon screen. This put a serious dent in my morning, which (see above) was already looking a bit battered. By the time I searched for and applied the fix to restore my automatic logon, I'd had it with my slow-moving machine. In a snit, I called the 800 number for the manufacturer of my new hard drive, ready to let someone--anyone--have it. After walking me through a few checks, the polite young man on the other end suggested I delete the backup that took me 4 hours to create and start all over again. My blood pressure spiked and I took a deep breath, ready to really let loose. "But this time," he continued calmly before I could start shouting, "we'll backup drive C to drive F, instead of to itself." Ah, yes. Like the book says, some weeks are like that. Even in Australia.