Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Computer in a body BAG

Really, this is all the BAG’s fault. On any given day I will be the recipient of (from BAG) between 10 and 350 IM messages, 2 – 10 emails, and 3 phone calls. This is now like the sound of the oxygen tank to the dying emphysemic. Nothing but background noise on the rain-slicked road to Hell.

Take it away and things seem mickle weird. So when I didn’t receive a single message from Sunday night until I went to sleep on Monday night I noticed it. Also, given the BAGs skill at driving, at any given moment there is a 13% chance that she is in a wheels-locked skid, at the side of the road being lectured by a cop, or held, upside down, by her seatbelt, in a culvert. The reality and the possibility might have intersected in a hail of glass and a tangle of steel.

I was so worried about this possibility that I went to sleep early.

Not unaccountably, for a man of my advanced age, I woke up Tuesday morning at about 4:30. While deciding whether I would go to the bathroom or not (it was cooooold) I pulled the laptop up onto the bed and turned it on. At which point it told me it was 1969 and that I might therefore have some problems. Not the least of which being the BAG would be pissed I had suddenly become pre-pubertal and that work would lower my wages if not fire me outright.

I should just shut this down and deal with it in the morning, thought I.” But I had second thoughts.

The problems were odd, but not impossible. OK.. obviously not impossible. So I clicked on control panels, clicked on date and time, clicked on year and rolled it, clicked on day and rolled it, clicked on time and rolled it. Excellent, now time to check IM.

Hmm.. no message from BAG.. I decided to send her one. Which was when I first figured out that while I could click, drag and move (which sounds like an excellent song title for one of those post-pop pop bands) I couldn’t type a damned thing.

I should just shut this down and deal with it in the morning, thought I.”

This was a thought I immediately ignored. Restarted the thing. Same symptoms. Scratched head. “Aha!” says I! “What if I plug in my external keyboard and see if it works?

I’m a big thinker, you see. The thought was that this would tell me if I had a hardware problem from the big fall last week.

Lo and behold, the external keyboard worked.

I should just shut this down and deal with it in the morning, thought I.

I’m not one to get “third-time lucky” either.

I restarted it again and noticed that the system buttons were now missing initial letters, the battery monitor had disappeared, and attempted restarts just ended in weird grey screens.

So, perhaps, hardware and systems problems? I ran HD diagnostics and they came up completely clean.

I should just shut this down and deal with it in the morning, thought I.

Yeah.. you know…

I restarted the thing by pulling battery and cable and rebooted. Then I remembered what architects do when they have a foundation that is rotted and uncertain, condemned and unsafe

----they start slapping extra stories on the mother-fucking building!

Which is why, at about 5:00 that morning I downloaded the latest online system upgrade and installed it.

Which was pretty much like putting a pillow over your aged grandmother’s face until her pathetic struggles stop.

Grey screen.

At 5:30 I was doing a complete system re-install. In a t-shirt and underwear (an inexplicably gross tableau for anyone who knows me) on the floor, shivering in fear and cold.

Since I had only about 4 gigs free, there was not enough space. I briefly contemplated suicide (Not mine.. I thought it would be a good thing for the guy at work who always wears running shorts). Then I started hacking the installation down until it would fit. It still installed all kinds of mac shit I don’t want – “begone foul I-Cal!” And why it always re-installs an old version of iTunes, I have no idea… it really isn't my idea of a "minimum" system install.

Finally, finally, about 6:50am, I had a marginally useful computer. I re-downloaded the updates, ran them and at 7, beaten and too tired to even make sure that my links to online porn were intact, I went back to bed. It took about 10 minutes with whole body under the covers until I regained feeling. Which was a not-so-good idea, because that feeling was painful cold. I slept for about 50 minutes until the pain from the frostbite on my defrosting toes woke me up and I staggered to work on bloodied stumps of feet.

The computer, anyway, was working. ;-)

I blame the BAG. Didn’t even call!

And as a guy, nothing can be my fault. It's the law.

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