I currently have three computers. This sounds like I’m bragging. Let me assure you that I am not.
My oldest computer is the iBook, my tried and true friend of almost three years. This computer has been on many an airplane trip, wrote thousands of email, helped maintain Squishy, was the machine I wrote the novel on, and has always started up when I press the little button in the upper right hand corner.
The problem is the CD-Rom broke about a year and a half ago. It doesn’t recognize any CD. I have to email the machine everything, as there’s no other way to feed information to the computer.
Enter: the iMac. I never actually wanted this machine, but sometimes things happen and suddenly you’re the owner of a computer you never wanted because you ended up paying for it. I’m still paying for it, in fact. This iMac was the pillar of our DSL hub back in the old apartment. It does not like dial-up. Yesterday the machine’s modem seems to have crashed. Because this computer wasn’t always mine, I don’t have all of the software for it. I can’t download a new driver, as I don’t have internet access, and I really don’t know what’s wrong. Every time I try to dial-up, it crashes with a Type 2 error and I have to restart the machine. Sometimes it doesn’t want to restart, and I have to physically unplug it from behind to get it to work.
I inherited Dad’s PC laptop, the machine I wrote my first screenplay on over Christmas break. I have it for sentimental reasons, mostly, but it’s a pretty machine. The battery pack only lasts an hour, making it not so much a laptop, but a tiny desktop computer. It used to help with my anime work, but when it crashed last month I had to reinstall it with Windows XP, and the Media Player on this version doesn’t support VCDs, the type of DVD I use for my anime work. That means I’m using a DVD player and my television. The only computer I can use to do my work and email it in is my iBook.
This means I have three machines: one at three years, one at two and one just over a year old. The only one that I can rely on (and I’m using right now) is the three-year old iBook, my Blueberry Buddy. I already told you that my printer busted a few weeks ago.
So I had to burn my webpage to a CD so that I can put it somewhere else later, as I can no longer update my webpage from the iMac. I’m having to download everything onto this iBook so I can update from here now, but I don’t have Dreamweaver installed on this machine (and I can’t install it without a CD-Rom), so I’m back to coding everything by hand, which is fine, but I’m trying to save time, so it’s a pain in the ass.
I can’t print anything, receive email, send email or use my DVD players. I’m surrounded in machines that are dissolving before my very eyes.
I could understand all of this if I was the kind of person constantly downloading things that might corrupt my machines. If I downloaded porn from questionable sites, or if I just opened any attachment that came my way. I don’t tax the machine with heavy editing equipment, or use it to download millions of songs to burn. I just want a glorified word processor with a tiny amount of graphic design work. I want a filing cabinet for my stories. I just want a computer that I don’t have to fret about as I work.
I am tired of installing software, only to watch the computer crash for a new reason. Why are they making computers so disposable these days? I didn’t want to have to go and buy a new one, but now if I want a reliable machine with an operating system that’s supported by a technician, I have to go and buy a new computer. And a new printer, as fixing this one will cost more than just buying a new one.
Oh, I’m all old and cranky. But there’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to fix things, and the fucking Mac makes sure that you can’t do a damn thing about your computer when it’s broken. At least a PC lets you dig around and isolate the problem and then fix it. The Mac’s like, “We’re broken. Shutting down now. Freeze!” And that’s it. You just stare at a broken, frozen screen and your only options are “Restart” and “Shut Down.”
So, there was no update yesterday because the iMac was holding Squishy hostage. I’m only writing this now because it’s taking thirty minutes to download the email that I acquired all day yesterday and this morning while I was trying to fix my other modem. All of these machines are crippling my day. I can’t even work, because I hate working on a broken computer. I can’t ignore the problem and just work on something else. I have to keep trying to fix it.
My home office needs a tech support guy.
This is misery.
It’s all adding up to the very exciting fact that I’m getting out of here and going out of town for a couple of days. I’ve been counting the minutes, in fact, until I get to drive away and spend a few days by a pool, reading books, swimming and doing very little of anything for a couple of days. I rarely get the chance to go somewhere without it having something to do with work, or usually I’ll bring a pile of work with me so that I can concentrate on only work while I’m away, not having to deal with the distractions of home (cats knocking over plants, computers crashing constantly, kids with hoses up their asses), and just getting some one-on-one time with my work. A work vacation, that’s what I normally take. But this time I’m going to take a real, honest vacation where I don’t do anything involving a computer. No computers. No Palm Pilots. I just want to stop thinking about it all.
And unless I fix this damn modem problem, I might not rest the entire time. At the risk of sounding like Andy Rooney, why don’t my computers make my life as convenient as they’re supposed to?
Oh, shit. That really sounded like Andy Rooney. I gotta get out of town.