Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Computer Problems"

           The other day, the screen on my trusty laptop suddenly went black. I didn't feel too worried as I shifted to my husband's computer to do an internet search to troubleshoot the problem. At first glance, it looked like a simple glitch that sometimes happens with laptops.  Unplugging the computer, pulling it's battery, and discharging the machine would put it back in order--if luck sat on my shoulder. However, that maneuver only worked for a short period of time. I managed to salvage a few documents by emailing them to myself before the Black Death appeared again. Determined not to dig myself into a pit, I pulled the battery out again and walked away from my laptop until David returned home from work.
My laptop contained all of our photographs from our trip to Ireland. Some pictures we've posted to Facebook, but many more remained on my hard drive. We decided that if we got the computer up and running, we'd back up the pictures onto an external hard drive. Crossing our fingers and whispering words of encouragement, we fired up the computer one more time. We quickly began transferring photos. The process took a couple of hours because we had so many pictures stored. 
Then the screen returned to black. 
David began trying to determine possible causes--RAM card going out, video card fried. A few other options surfaced for possible reasons for the black screen. All of them spelled doom to my little laptop, though. My Aspire expired on Friday, October 19th within a little sigh and whimper.
When I first began writing, I used an old Amiga computer. I diligently typed my novel each day and saved both to the hard drive and to disks. I printed out each chapter, made revised and edited, and then put changes back into the novel. Two years ago, I dusted off the box that contained this manuscript and retyped it into my laptop. Again, I did a major revision of my work. This time, however, instead of backing up to disks, I sent each chapter to both of my email accounts. I've done the same with my poetry. Even the first three chapters of my latest writing endeavor sits in cyberspace. For that reason, I didn't feel panic over losing any documents. 
After the pictures from Ireland, I longed to save family photographs that mark our days. At this point, the laptop refuses to cooperate. Fortunately, many of my favorite pictures I've shared on Facebook. I can download those albums to a file, so not all is lost.
Losing a computer for my personal use didn't bother me too much. I used to share my husband's Apple and knew I could slip back into utilizing his machine during the day. I have an iPhone now, so I can use it to access the internet in the evenings once David's home. No problem.
My son, however, decided to loan me his MacBook Pro. What a lovely little machine compared to my old laptop. It zings and zaps so rapidly that I feel disoriented. It'll take me a while to explore all of the bells and whistles on this new machine, but I enjoy a good challenge. I count myself fortunate that my son's generosity immediately removed all stress and frustration from my mind. 
Will I miss my little laptop? Only time will tell. 

Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman