I have two household appliances that are slowly dying on me: my computer and my vacuum cleaner. They both need to be replaced. But replacing them means that I have to go shopping and I kind of hate that. I kind of, sort of, really freaking hate to shop. So the chances of me going out to shop for two semi-major items in one week are virtually nil. Since I kind of, sort of, really freaking hate to vacuum… I decided to buy a new computer last week.
(The header image is from Uncle Danny’s Hunting and Fishing which… apparently also does computer repair. Being a hunting/fishing/computer repair business they seem to be comfortable with a clientele that wants to pump their computer full of lead. I really could have used their services this week.)
Thing have not gone well.
I bought a desktop computer and it was a bit of a stretch to find one. It used to be that desktops were the norm and laptops/mobiles are specialty items. That has reversed itself. The only consumers who want old-fashioned, non-portable computer towers are fuddy duddies like me. But they are out there and I make a legitimate effort to comparison shop. I went to three different stores, and did the real honest-to-God shopping thing to buy myself a new desktop computer. I did not buy the first one I saw. I swear.
When I got my new computer home I told my old, slow, clunky computer “Sayonara baby!” and stuffed it into a closet. Then I went about the painstaking task of plugging all my crap into my new computer. Then I turned it on. Then I got a big fat reminder of how much work there is when you have to set up a new computer.
Upon turn on, my brand new computer told me it had 12,781 updates to perform. I should have expected that. I don’t know why I didn’t. I must have latent optimistic tendencies that life hasn’t (yet) beaten out of me. So I began the arduous process of
updating fixing my brand new computer so that it could do more than just sit under my desk and whir softly.
Except I couldn’t get the updates done. The stupid thing would start to update, start to install, and then freeze. That left me with very few options. In fact it left me exactly two. I had the option to cuss out loud at the new computer and do a hard re-boot or to cuss silently at the new computer and do a hard re-boot.
Three days into this mess I convinced myself I had a virus. Somewhere in all the updating I had picked up computer herpes. So I hunted up a virus checker, got it installed and then waited out a six hour virus scan. When that came back clean, I went back to updating.
Only by this point the computer had decided it was done with me and would no longer even make a pathetic attempt to go and get the updates that it said it needed. Basically it was freezing every five minutes or so. I may have cried. I may have begged an inanimate object to show compassion. I may have cussed so loud my cats hid under the bed.
Then I ignored it all for a day.
Then I packed up my new computer and took it back to the computer store. I told the clerk there that I was getting older and had apparently reached that age where I could no longer set up my own computer and needed a geek person to do it for me. While the clerk ran a diagnostic, I was busy silently apologizing to my mother for all the times I have teased her about being useless at computer stuff and wondering how I was going to buy my way out of all this bad karma that had come back to bite me on the ass.
Then the clerk told me the motherboard in my new computer was defective. I told him I’d spent four days trying to make that stupid thing work and one day hiding from it. Then he pointed at me and laughed.
Okay. He didn’t do that. But I feel like he was in his head. In real life he was blithely telling me that these things happen and motherboards come defective all the time and I could just go get a new computer off the shelf.
No. Nonononono. I’m just not up to facing the challenges of a new computer right now. I need a break. So I asked for my money back, went home, apologized profusely to my old computer, and plugged it back in. Then I spent another 24 hours completely ignoring the new/old computer because I really (reallyreallyreally) did not want to sit at the computer desk.
But I am now. I’m back at my desk with my old computer which has a cooling fan that makes a funny/odd/ominous noise writing out my first post in over a week. Sorry about the silence.
I should have just bought the vacuum cleaner. They work right out of the box you know. You just plug them into the wall and turn them on. How novel. How amazing. No maker of vacuum cleaners anywhere sells a product that has to be modified by the completely untrained person who paid money for the freaking thing before they can use it.
Do you know how many pictures I found of people shooting their vacuum cleaners? Exactly zero. That tells the whole story I think.