Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Ghost in the Laptop Shell: The Spill of Death

In ancient times, I used to skip along, typing away on my easy-tempered, stable desktop computer. But for the past five years now, computer time has set me in an edgy struggle with my Toshiba Satellite A-65 laptop--that clunky, slow, heavy, battery-draining, barely portable desktop replacement laptop that in no way embodies the shih tzu-like glamour that I associated with laptops as a species the day I bought it.

I used every drop of the 3-year warranty to keep my laptop alive. Between two hard drive replacements, one battery replacement, and innumerable calls to customer support, the machine has shown itself to be no placid pet--nay, but something on the order of a demon plastic poodle that lets me walk him one day and pees on my bed the next.

And then it expired--the warranty, that is--leaving me fighting a daily struggle to 'shoot the thing--troubleshoot it, I mean. Three months ago, it croaked, then was brought back on life support and has sluggishly limped along since.

Then Junior climbed up on my lap.

There's an old saying in my family--and yours, yes?--about never crying over spilled milk. I wonder if my mother, spouting off such wisdom in times afore laptop keyboard vulnerability even existed, had any idea what Vitamin D homogenized can do to a laptop computer that really wasn't designed to ingest cow's milk.

I sit here on my husband's computer, looking over at the laptop-that-will-not-be-booted, and I wonder if I can blame my toddler son. Though it was mine arm that knocked the box of Wheat Thins into the bottle of milk and splashed the milk onto the arrow buttons of the laptop, he did--he must have--altered my center of balance somehow. I certainly don't recall Junior's raising a protest as I flung everything away, turned the laptop up and down, and shook it like a mostly-empty ketchup bottle. No, he just stood by, watching with interest as I pulled that final trigger on the ailing-but-might-have-been-recoverable laptop nightmare-thing.

That was yesterday. You know, we regret a lot of things in life--mistakes we made, paths we unknowingly took that led us in unalterable directions--but my biggest regret right now is that I didn't let that laptop know, in actions if not in words, how I appreciated what it did do for me (albeit reluctantly and with a machine-like malice) when I had the chance. I've been living half off my external hard drive, working on the laptop only when I absolutely had to, and generally assuming it was all but toast.

And now that the laptop really is toast, I wish I'd been better to it. I wish I'd given it a new fan when it was getting overheated, maybe not let my husband loose with an air compressor on it the second time, and thought it worthy of updating Malwarebytes on its behalf. And I really, really, really wish I'd copied the last week's files onto my external hard drive.

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1 comment:

susie said...

Pure fun, this post. Everyone can relate to this so very sad, so very funny cautionary little tale of woe; it's so creatively described and originally put are the reasons why, I gather.