A: To Silicon Heaven.
My computer died over the weekend.
The secondary hard drive experienced some kind of coronary during a bout of game playing (that’ll teach me!) and went into catastrophic mechanical failure. In the process it managed to blow the network card, take out my museum-piece floppy disc drive and mangle parts of Windows and Internet Explorer.
Quite how all these components were ever interconnected is beyond me but my computer’s internal biology is now completely irrelevant.
My desktop buddy has been rendered a virtual vegetable as a consequence.
Internet access is impossible. No network card means no modem. Although the router is still working and I can gain access via my wife’s laptop downstairs I, nevertheless, feel cut off and isolated from the virtual world of the World Wide Web.
I can no longer surf as and when I see fit but must (quite rightly) await permission and book a time slot on the laptop.
The loss of the hard drive also means I have lost an immense amount of data and media that I had amassed over the last 10 years. Although I have always been pretty good about backing things up you know what it’s like... You get complacent. You get lazy. You put off until tomorrow what really should have been done today. I’ve undoubtedly lost stuff. Thankfully nothing major or essential but the loss of it still hurts.
The loss of my little electric friend has left me more than a little bereft.
I’d had my computer for 10 years and had built it myself to my own spec. It went from a single hard drive beastie to a high-end multi hard drive, disk burning, internet munching monster in the space of 2 years under my careful nurturing and tutelage.
But then I got married, had kids and, I admit, the computer got neglected. The upgrades petered out. I made do with what I had rather than buying shiny new add-ons. As a consequence, it began to slow. It began to struggle with newer programs. The processor speed began to under clock. It couldn’t keep up with what I wanted it to do let alone what the software was asking of it.
I guess that was the beginning of the end really. The day of reckoning was bound to come. And now it has finally arrived and my finger is poised over the switch to the life support machine. I am merely waiting until I have finished harvested its software organs and its data banks for any retrievables.
Call me heartless but I am already in the market for a new computer. A replacement. My wife, God bless her, has not only given me permission but has insisted that I treat myself. An upgrade is long, long overdue. Possibly my wife merely wants her laptop back.
So I will be going to the local computer shop this week to spec myself up a new high end, quad core machine that should be able to levitate off my desk with the sheer speed of its fans.
I feel strangely ambivalent. It’s money I’d rather not be spending right now but I cannot deny that the acquisition of a new computer is very exciting.
The only thing that truly gets me down is the days of work involved getting it all running properly... connecting the modem and router and the other peripheries... getting email and internet access re-established.... getting the software and drivers installed... ‘cos none of this ever runs smoothly. Plus I will have a brand new operating system to contend with: the much vaunted Windows 7 which, yes, I have heard good things about but I would still welcome other people’s opinions on it.
In the meantime I am building a funeral pyre for my poor crippled friend. His mask has fallen off and I have at last seen the face of Darth Vader. The Force has left him. The electronic wheezing is just getting on my wick.
It’s time for him to burn.
P.S. Another milestone. This is my 500th post! Thank you all for reading!