So Trey sent me a computer in the mail. It’s pretty sweet, at first glance. Then you start hooking it up, you start trying to use it, and it starts trying to drive you to madness. I’m not a computer guy, really. I can figure certain things out, given enough time and explanation, but I generally take the logical road of realizing my limitations. I mean, if I could work on computers, fix problems with them, and whatnot, I would be doing that instead of working a shit retail job, spending all day helping people that I would rather be catching on fire.
So I get this computer out of the box, right? And like I said, it’s pretty tight—he’s got it all built inside an old typewriter box. If you never saw an old typewriter box, what it looks like is a little suitcase, except for there’s a typewriter inside instead of the sexy little negligee you’re going to wear this weekend when you run off to cheat on your husband. You really need to straighten up, by the way.
Anyways, so I break it out, drag it over to my desk, clear off some space, and get all excited. Except for I need to buy a keyboard for it. No sweat—besides, I need to run some errands first, and if this thing was ready to go right off the bat, I would more than likely shirk my duties. So I run out, get a little bidness taken care of, and I’m back, keyboard in hand, ready to roll.
I turn the computer on, it boots up, everything’s good. Except for the mouse doesn’t work. Hmmm. I unplug the mouse, plug it back in—because, honestly, that’s about the extent of my technical knowledge, is unplugging and plugging back in. Still nothing.
I jiggle a wire, and nothing happens. I poke at the keyboard. I poke at it some more, trying to find the magical button that fixes everything. Instead, I find the power button, which I push without thinking—I mean, nothing else is working, why should this one?—and the computer immediately shuts down. Shit.
I hit the power button again, but nothing happens. Wait, what? I hit the power button again, and still nothing happens. I peer closely, scrunching my eyebrows all thoughtful and shit, just so you can tell that I’m really making sure I’m pushing the right buttons and stuff.
I call Trey, and explain the situation. He asks me a series of questions that are more than likely catered to my intelligence level: “Is it plugged in?”
“Yeah. Wait…yeah. Yeah, it’s plugged in.”
“The power cord, right?”
“Yep. Power cord is plugged in.”
“And it turned on once, right?”
“Yeah, it turned on fine that first time.”
“And you’re sure it didn’t come unplugged?”
“Hmm. That’s weird. It’s plugged into the wall?”
“Yeah, dude, I’ll check again, but I’m pretty sure it’s plugged in. Yeah, it’s plugged in.”
He quizzes me about various parts of the computer, always checking back to make sure that I still have the bastard plugged in. In the end, his phone dies.
I shove a wire, and the computer turns on. I’m very excited by this. But nothing is coming up on the monitor, so I figure I might want to restart the computer (this is the second step of Ray’s brilliant way of fixing shit—if unplugging it and plugging it back in doesn’t work, try just turning it off and then back on…or vice versa, if that’s how you want to do it. I push the power button, and nothing happens. Fans continue to run, lights continue to glow, and I can tell that this machine is mocking me.
I call Trey back, and leave him a message, explaining that I got the thing to turn on, but now it won’t turn off.
I unplug it again. Trey calls me back. “So you got it running?”
“No, I unplugged it again.”
“Was it plugged in?”
‘Yeah, man, it was plugged in.”
Our conversation doesn’t last as long this time, because we’ve already talked about how what to do about it not turning on. In the end, I decide that since it’s already broken, I might as well try to fix it, since the worst I can do is break it even more, and I get out my tools. I fool around, stripping wires, hooking and unhooking, connecting this to that, putting out fires, stuff like that.
And I get the computer working. Sort of. I call Trey back, asking him how I need to hook up the CD Rom, and he confirms my theory that I need to plug it in to the large slot on the motherboard. And the machine works!
Yeah, man, I turn it on, it starts up smooth like it’s supposed to, everything’s good. I shoot the breeze with Trey for a little longer, and after he hangs up, I start fooling around with my new computer. A couple of weird things going on with it, but nothing that freaks me out too bad (I have to install and uninstall Quicktime several times before it starts working, I can’t get Microsoft Office to install for quite some time, stuff like that).
So then I start moving files from my laptop over to the desktop. I’m sure this isn’t a big deal if you know what you’re doing, but as I mentioned earlier, and as many of you already know—I have no idea what I’m doing.
I decided the best way for me to do this is to burn everything onto a CD and then move it from the CD onto the hard drive of the desktop. Simple enough, right? Except for then my laptop won’t read any of the CDs—it just keeps telling me to insert a disk.
I finally get fed up and decide to leave the entire thing for tomorrow—I figure I’ll just do a little writing tonight, move that to the laptop with a jump drive, and call it good.
But then I realize that the mouse on the desktop no longer works…and neither does the keyboard…and the computer won’t turn off. Keep in mind that I have not been out here fooling with things. The computer worked just fine when I left, and then when I came back, it was frozen. I have absolutely no idea what would cause that, and by this point, I’m so frustrated that I don’t even care.
I’m too busy throwing a cartoon villain-type fit to analyze things—you know, ranting and raving, jumping up and down, shaking my fists—I shit you not, man, I shook my fists at my computer tonight. I slammed the computer lid shut, and the computer screamed, then turned itself off. I’m not making this up. You know that beep sound, like maybe if you touch something you aren’t supposed to, and the computer feels a little violated? That’s what mine did, but for a long time. Kind of like a prolonged beep of pain and indignation. Then it turned off. I waited a few seconds, then turned it back on.
Since then, it’s been behaving like it’s supposed to, but I still don’t trust it completely. I feel like it’s waiting for just the right moment to get me back—like maybe if I just finish a seven hundred page novel—the best the world has ever seen, the computer will chuckle in it’s beepish way and then shut down, erasing all of my hard work.
Maybe not, though. Because make no mistake about it—this post isn’t just a post. It’s a death threat to my new computer. I like you, man, but I will throw you out the fuckin’ window if you ever again mess with me like you did tonight. I’ve always thought that my parking lot would look a little more festive with computer innards strewn about.
I’m glad we had this talk.