Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dead Computer/New Computer

断定の助動詞「だ」「じゃ」「や」の分布図。 Zones map of Japanese co...Image via

Something was wrong. My computer went black. It died halfway through a porn movie, so I never found out who the villain was. Its little red CPU light stayed off, meaning it was "dead."

I couldn't afford to have it buried, nor resurrected, so I was stuck with it. I thought about trading it in for a new one, but was told that doesn't happen.

So, it became a book holder, something to put my foot on, a temporary printer stand, and "Boxy," my cat's aluminum playground.

"Boxy" had hairs on it when I finally had the courage to dump it at a friend's uncle's toxic landfill. Before dumping "Boxy," I stripped her of her drive, just in case there were any hard-drive grave robbers around.

Once I got the hard-drive home, I crushed it beyond recognition with a 40lb sledge hammer, having said a few prayers first.

I took the remnants to the lake and took a boat to the middle of the lake and released the particles into the air. It was a spiritual but sickening experience.

Heading back to shore I thought of all the computer moments I shared with it. So many memories. So much "memory."

At the computer store I broke down when deciding whom to take with me. Did I go for "power" or "productivity"? Or both?

I compared price tags and countries of origin.

I decided an American processor with a possible South Korean motherboard and a Japanese hard-drive would work best. My sales lady assured me it would have Chinese parts too, and I said that was fine.

I took my baby home and gave it my complete attention for several nights. First, I taught it about me, then about "itself." I spent practically all my non-working hours on it. I hate to say it, but at one point I did masturbate in front of it.

Eventually, I forgot it was there, it was doing its "thing" so well. I could go off and do my "thing" without worrying about it. That means I'm a successful parent.

My computer, however, met another computer and got a virus from it.

I thought it was a shame that it happened -- I'd invested a lot time and money in it. I guess I expected more from it.

I was disappointed in the type of virus, too: a low-grade ESPN-reporter-is-nude virus. I'd responded to its come-on, sure, but I expected my computer would have eventually warned me out of it.

Anyway, the infection didn't last long, thank God, and there was no permanent damage, but psychologically, I look at things differently nowadays, with more suspicion.

I have a program watching my other programs now. It's called an "anti-virus" program. It runs in the background like a babysitter. I have no idea how it works; I'm just glad it does.

Before going to bed, I check my computer's "vitals" on various displays. I can see its pulse rate, and whether or not it's being overwhelmed. If for any reason it has an emergency, I can be awakened, too, thanks to ear-piercing squawks that go through my speakers. Just last night it awoke me at 2 a.m. to say it needed to reboot because it may have caught something. I watched it fight off an infection for a good 20 minutes. I was so relieved when it won.

We have a good time, my computer and I. Nothing of course can replace the "ones that went too soon" but this one's not bad. We are making our own "memories." I will clean it today with pure oxygen, and tonight I will defrag the hell out of it. I will also give it more RAM for Christmas if it behaves itself.

I try not to think about the time when it won't be here any longer. The day I will have to unplug it forever...

Tonight, I may give it a hug.
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