Monday, September 21, 2009

Coping With Death

*From my '05 archives, but something all of us will have to cope with, sooner or later*

..of a cherished member of the family.

My computer.

It isn't like the loss of a loved one or a pet; it is, after all, nothing more than an electronic device. A modern telecommunication, data sending/receiving device. A wonder of technology thirty years ago, and now as common as the cold in American households.

In short, it's a darn fool piece of apparatus.

Until it dies.

I just finished reading a fellow writer's epic fight to resusitate her computer from a potentially fatal disease (aka, reloading a malfunctioning program). She spent hours on the phone with Gateway, Microsoft, Comcast and the Vatican, much of it with the issue in doubt, while paramedic-like support techs took her through all of their pre-programmed and scripted steps at diagnosing and fixing the problem. If they could.

Short of congressional intervention to determine if resusitation was warranted or not (to be followed by years of congressional committees and useless studies and blue ribbon commissions to determine environmental impacts and other less-than-useless nonsense, ad nauseum), the patient began to breathe on its' own again. Three Hail Marys and a reluctant nod to Bill Gates from my acquaintance.

The ACLU was not amused.

It reminded me of two members of my own cyberfamily who had passed on to the great salvage heap of electronicsdom. In one case, it was no more than replacing a modem that had died from Dialing Dysfunction Syndrome. But in the other case, it was truly traumatic.

The hard drive vaporlocked. Massive cybercoronary. No ER could save it; all the King's horses and all the King's men, couldn't make the stupid piece of apparatus boot up again. In the words of a EResque help desk tech, "It's dead, Jim...".

My name isn't Jim, but it was no less traumatic for the knowledge. The throes of mourning were devastating: I needed counselling (I didn't get it); I suffered sleep deprivation; my karma was torn asunder; I had lost my way (the curds I didn't care about); my life's path had been washed out. I stood on the precipice of an abysmal void, shorn of map and compass to show me the way clear.

So I did what any 30-something (at the time) pseudonerd would have done: I sought succor with wings and beer at a nearby Hooters. And took additional solace in that the night before, I had remembered to do my monthly back up of irreplaceable files on the hard drive.

With eyes a misting and a fresh mug of beer, I nodded to my ample waitress and imparted this benediction to my dearly departed darn fool piece of apparatus:

Here lies the carcass of my IBM PC
never again to syntax error at a quarter to 3;
for three years running, it served admirably
before it up and died with a motherboard-felt, "just byte me!".

*sniff* was quite moving. Until I tried to wipe my eyes on her t-shirt...


Blogger Queen Jaw Jaw said...

Dearest're computer died?'re pathetic...any excuse at all to go to Hooters, eh? hahaha...Who luvs ya?

24 July, 2005 08:41  
Blogger Monica said...

I hope the waitress gave you what for at Hooters.

My condolences on the loss of the Seymour has to share the remote.

26 July, 2005 07:51  
Blogger Debbie said...

I can sympathize. I've had very good luck with computers and laptops, until the Dell I have now. The motherboard died, was replaced, I would have lost everything except for Carbonite backup. But the operating system never worked properly after that.

Then the hard drive died, was replaced, and it seems to be working properly now.

However, this is a laptop, and the monitor frame seems to be coming apart at one corner. So not sure how long before that cause a problem with the monitor.

I just spent almost $300.00 for two more years of extended warranty. I sure hope I didn't make a mistake.

Hubby (the Grouch) is fed up with PC's and just ordered his/our first MAC Pro (not sure of the model or anything). He's been studying up on how the operating system on that works. Should be interesting.

He's been told that once you own a MAC, you never go back.


Deborah F. Hamilton
Right Truth

21 September, 2009 08:29  
Blogger Sandee said...

You're so sick and I mean that in the nicest way. Bwahahahahahaha. You crack me up.

Have a terrific day. :)

21 September, 2009 10:34  
Blogger Cheffie-Mom said...

Ok, so am I the only one who thought I got an error message and tried to close the box??!! LOL!!!!

21 September, 2009 12:31  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

Cheffie Mom: so far ;)

21 September, 2009 13:03  
Blogger A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Thank goodness you'd backed everything up!

Decades ago I was a legal secretary and spent hours transcribing a bunch of medical summaries. Then the computer died. I went into the supply closet and cried.

21 September, 2009 16:12  
Blogger Serena said...

I've buried a couple myself. They all died just after the warranty expired, too. Sickly things; no stamina. I mourned for an hour or two, then checked my credit balance and headed for Best Buy for the wake.;)

21 September, 2009 16:13  
Blogger The Things We Carried said...

"The throes of mourning were devastating: I needed counselling (I didn't get it); I suffered sleep deprivation; my karma was torn asunder; I had lost my way (the curds I didn't care about); my life's path had been washed out. I stood on the precipice of an abysmal void, shorn of map and compass to show me the way clear." Too funny!

Okay, I was afraid I was really screwed. That little box scared me. I wish this old, old computer would at last go out, but what would I do until I could replace it? I am afraid I would find solace where you did!

21 September, 2009 17:56  
Blogger Aspenstar said...

You just kill me!!! hahha I'm relying on Quicken online backup and my Seagate backup drive....otherwise, I'd be toast if my laptop overcooked itself.

21 September, 2009 20:19  
Blogger Debbie said...


I don't like dropping links, but here is an article you will just love Skunkfeathers. It's by sweet hubby, The Grouch at Right Truth:

21 September, 2009 21:46  
Blogger Sniffles and Smiles said...

I roared my way through this one, my friend...and again, made every member of my family read it!!!! You are brilliant! The image of you in the bar weeping into your beer? Priceless! You have a career both as a columnist and a stand-up comic! Your benediction is too much for me...I'm laughing so hard it hurts!!! Hugs, Janine

24 September, 2009 13:00  

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