Monday, November 19, 2007

The Four Stages of A Laptop

Computer love- no, not that kind- seems to run in stages. I am firmly in stage three, right now, and feeling entitled to be in stage four. Ahem.

Stage 1: Heady Bliss. The keyboard is clean, clicky enough to let me know when the keystroke is done, but not so clicky as to annoy most others. Oh, the battery! Odes could be written to the day long battery. Unplug in the AM, trail around the house all day, checking the battery status and seeing, yes, Woolywoman, you have plenty of battery life left. The connections are swift and sure, and my packets just wiz along. I sometime send myself email, just for the thrill of how quickly new messages load. I browse graphics rich sites. I take the laptop everywhere I go, even if computer use is unlikely. I buy a new bag to carry the laptop in during our adventures together.

Stage 2: Dependable Comfort. The laptop is a noble, sturdy beast. It does everything I tell it to do, and I still occasionally take a spin through the control panel, update wallpaper and default browsers and such. Life is good, I have a nice machine to assist me, and that little scratch on the top only shows when it's closed.

Stage 3: Roiling Irritation. The laptop, while still indispensable, is annoying. It acts as though it has a virus, but sweeps find nothing. I find myself glancing at the clock while it loads emails, cursing the minutes I will never get back from my life. I have to ask Mr. Woolywoman for technical help, and it rankles. (Yes, I have an inhouse networking expert. Don't hate me.) I have odd glitches in page loading, and if I touch the cursor while the email is loading, it freezes. If it were a patient, we'd order a CT scan, but we'd find nothing. The thing still works, right. I'm writing this now, aren't I? So it's a little slower, and I just had to plug in after only one cordless hour. I rarely write or surf anywhere but at home, so get up and get the damn cord, already. Don't trip on the cord I have stretched across the living room, children. I eye my husband's laptop, which though sticky ,( he eats at the computer YUCK), is serviceable.

Stage 4: Crisis. Please look up at your keyboard, and note that the numeral four shares the key with a dollar sign. This is not coincidental. The laptop is totally unworkable. I buy a new battery and am appeased, until the browser fails to load at all. Mr Woolly de frags the hard drive, sweeps for intruders, considers adding a blank to the blank so that the blank will stop blanking. He'll do some research, toss some ideas around. I am cut off from my invisible friends. I stomp upstairs and down, book in one hand, knitting in the other, leaning over his shoulder. Did the blank work? I need it to work, ok? I may get just the tinniest bit shrill at this point. I go to the recycling bin, pull out the Comp USA fryer from last Sunday's paper, and rattle it menacingly. I...I...I realize that I do not know how to buy anything without a computer to research, compare, and contrast. I'll drive to the store. Lets see, for store locations, check our website. OH. I burst into tears. This stage only resolves with the purchase of a new machine. See Stage one.


AlisonH said...

Four months, last year. Hard drive and monitor both. While my new computer kept telling me to go to Dell.

Elliott said...

This is so spot on that it could be turned into an advertising campaign. I can see it now, "Are you in STAGE 4?"

Spinningfishwife said...

Yup, that's me too, except my in-house expert is more of an "expert" if you see what I mean?

Katherine said...

I finally downloaded a free registry cleaner--that has speeded things up considerably. I'm not at home so can't tell you which one. I had hundreds of registry errors!

Mine has lost its wireless connector--has to have a wire to get onto the innernets. DH is not an expert--says to call Verizon! But I can't detect any wireless networks and before I could.