When Ryan O’Neal’s girlfriend is dying tragically and tear-jerkingly in 1970’s Love Story, Ryan holds himself together by vigorously cleaning their apartment.
My 5-year old desktop is suffering from random Blue Screens of Death crashes, Outlook pop-up window slowness, and general flakiness that is taking up increasing amounts of my producive time as I experiment with various work-arounds.
I am now manually copying my mail files and key data at least once a day (in addition to my automatic remote backups.) Several times a week I run various disk diagnostics or program repairs as I get different bright ideas about What Could Be Wrong. I have worked myself into a whirl of energy as I try to save the beloved Dell from the silicon reaper.
Ryan O’Neal has nothing on me. I have vacuumed the air intake filters, reseated all cables, and watched the Task Manager for symptoms as if it were an ER room’s vital sign monitor.
I talked to friends who are professional tech support for small businesses, and they laughed at my story. “A 2005 computer?” they snorted.
They acted just like I would have if one of my clients came to me with their story a flaky five-year-old PC. They told me I am in denial. Polishing the plastic and reloading a program or two (or even the entire operating system) isn’t going to make the computer whole.
I know they are right. But, it’s hard for me to stop bargaining, promising that if the computer gods will allow my system to live I will defrag the hard drives weekly. That I’ll always do an orderly shutdown when I stop work for the evening.
I don’t remember the details of Love Story anymore. She dies, but I don’t have an image of how Ryan got through it or even if he did. For my part, I feel sleazy. I am already dating, trolling Dell and other computer sites for ideas on a replacement.
I know it’s quick, but I know that my 2005 Dell would want me to be happy.