Time was…

Time was….    No, that’s a terrible way to start a blog. I remind myself of a small elderly lady driving an ancient, low-mileage Morris Minor wearing a dead fox for a hat.  This isn’t going well.  I typed “low moleage” there too but hey at least I realised.

Time was (note that I’m persevering anyway) when the most inconvenienced you could be by the technology in your own office was a typewriter ribbon fading or your fountain pen running out.

Both of those things were so easily remedied. Now the capacity for large-scale, operations-paralysing inconvenience has increased vastly.  My computer, gateway to the world and beyond, keeps doing its own thing, I know not what.

One of the main reasons for a keyboard, I’d always imagined, is to be able to instruct the computer to deliver what you need.  It’s not so much rubbing the lamp, panto-style, to provoke the genie to appear  but more a case of typing “Google” to get any question answered to a greater or lesser extent.

The whole point is to instruct and get information quickly.  My laptop seems to be developing that deadliest of traits, free will.  I wake it up from hibernation and it starts to churn away, sounding awfully busy. I half expect a notice to come up on the frozen screen to say “Look, it’s just not convenient just now.  Loads on. Come back in 20 or preferably tomoz?’

I do the Control-Alt-Delete thing and nothing happens. It won’t even tell me what the hell it’s up to. So I check everything that might possibly be updating but all seems to be peacefully dormant – so peacefully dormant that few actually respond to my frantic key-hammering.

So what is it doing, this computer? Ignoring me, that’s what.  Refusing to co-operate, pretending to be busy.

Unlike a computational scientist pal who’s regularly thrashing his CPU (don’t ask but he won’t countenance an anger management course) with giga-jillion bytes of data my lap-top gets comparatively light use yet it insists on doing its own thing. This is where the business relationship between us has degenerated into mistress and servant.. but it’s all the wrong way around.  By the time the laptop has finished its important business, the battery has run down or it’s time for me to go to work.

It’s the kind of scenario where it’s too tempting to put on my heaviest Brasher boots and stamp it into extinction or burn a flag on it and blast a machine-gun joyfully in the air like they do when they’re celebrating something in the Middle East.

Things came to a head yesterday. I couldn’t put up with the laptop’s obstructive, intractable behaviour any longer. I thought about writing an annoyed letter to my MP but in the end, I did a disk clean-up. It seems to have restored our professional yet amicable mistress-servant relationship.

Great. Now my pen has run out.


About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
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10 Responses to Time was…

  1. IsobelandCat says:

    Funnily enough, I had problems with my fountain pen over Christmas. My thank-you letters ended up looking like they had been written by an eight-year-old.
    I am going to follow your example as I have noticed a definite slowing down in my laptop’s responses.
    Thanks for the tip. And now that normal working relations have been restored, can we look forward to more posts?

    • janh1 says:

      I recommend CC cleanup Isobel. Free download.

      I wonder what happened to your pen? Gone all blobby? I absolutely abhor blobby pens, whether fountain pens or biros. Very very picky with pens – more so as I get older. Somehow it seems to matter more.

      Yes, I rather fell down on the blog job from Sept last year due to circs but normal service will be resumed! 🙂

  2. Pseu says:

    I have Techie at home, which has been marvellous, but won’t last long. He’s sorted out several glitches…. and my new mobile phone!

    • janh1 says:

      Make the most of him Pseu! 😉 My techie son rebuilt this laptop after it suffered a fatal error, saving me loads of dosh, but I can’t run to him every five minutes. What phone have you got? I’ve got the Samsung S – wonderful piece of kit which makes the laptop seem v sluggish indeed!

  3. Darrel Kirby says:

    I had a similar problem with my PC about a year ago – eventually no amount of disk cleaning, virus scanning or spyware checking made any difference and I had to take the nuclear option: buy a new one. Expensive on the wallet, but good for the blood pressure.

    • janh1 says:

      Blood pressure comes before *everything*, D 🙂 Good move. Life’s too short to be sitting looking at an unco-operative computer…waiting… waiting…. 🙂

  4. Disc clean ups: I always wonder why I do them so rarely. I seem to choose to stack up loads of stuff in all the wrong places- just the photos take up huge tranches of memory – and then have a battle such as the one you have described….glad things are back to normal, Jan 🙂

  5. John Mackie says:

    Hi janh1

    It’s that time of year when we q-Celts feel the need to check that all is well with all of our friends, including the cyber ones.

    Glad to see you still blogging away even although our paths cross too infrequently these days. A Good New Year to you and yours from Dougal, Mrs M and me.

    • janh1 says:

      Greetings John and a Happy New Year to you, Mrs M and Dougal!

      Yes still writing and cycling or cycling and writing… any variation of the two is fine! Work does tend to get in the way though 🙂

      WordPress still refuses to give me notifications of your blogs even though I am officially a Follower of JM. So if you’d like to tip me the wink now and then, that would be most welcome 😀

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