Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nod to the Geek

I’ve recently noticed that my computer is not as carefree as it once was. Where it used to make sweet little “clicky” noises before going faster-than-a-speeding-bullet to open up my next requested program, it has become sluggish…and was making the saddest little half-bark, half moan when I’d attempt to toggle from one open window to the next. Repeated coddling and coos from me saying “What’s up, little guy? Are you trying to tell me something? Did Timmy fall down the well??” are met with either silence, or possibly an hourglass, which I believe is computer-code for “I’m not going any faster. As a matter of fact, if you continuously keep tapping that button there and yapping at me, I’m gonna go even slower…just to emphasize that you as a mere mortal can get completely frustrated and annoyed at the drop of a hat, whereas I, an electronic device can sit like this for hours…maybe even days…with nary a blink.


How rude…

Does your computer ever talk this way to you?

I’ve done my best with it….got it the best anti-everything software on the market…only sent it to the best websites, made sure it went into sleep-mode for a little nappy-poo during the day and made sure it got in at least a bit of sleep-time overnight…it even has the latest in chic outdoor laptop apparel for those excursions outside our humble abode…and this is the thanks I get.

A few weeks ago, it became so inundated with requests to provide its owner with unreasonable multitudes of information that it held its computer-breath and turned blue….causing many, many words to appear on its screen…but for only about five seconds…only allowing said owner to make out the words “danger”, “unstable” and “you are so screwed” before it went completely black…and re-booted.

I took this as a bad omen and immediately dressed it up in its outdoor-finery and off we went to visit the GEEK SQUAD!
I stood on line…tapping my foot and wondering if I should try that experiment whereas you stare for an extended period of time at the ceiling in mock-concentration and see how many of your fellow waiters will take to looking skyward to see what’s so interesting…when I hear “Miss? Can I help you?”

Well, I’m already loving this guy because he called me “Miss”…a salutation I don’t hear as often anymore. I begin talking as soon as my laptop hits the counter about “blue screens and danger and how I’m getting worried because it’s become a tad obstinate and more than a little condescending and then I get emotional…talking about all the great times we’ve had together…the articles we’ve written and the way my WHOLE LIFE is in this computer…the pictures and the emails…and then I’m getting angry and talking about how it’s rebooting in the middle of a piece and I haven’t had a chance to SAVE IT and is it too much to ask that it just work properly?”

The guy (his name was Nick) to his credit, was very patient…figuring correctly that I’d eventually have to pause to take a much-needed breath of air, and he said “Please enter your password”…swiveling the laptop in my direction.

“Oh. Sure,” I say.

“Let’s see what we’ve got here,” says Nick. Tap, tap, tap…pause. “Ah. You’ll be needing more, ma’am,” he proclaims.

“Uh, I’ll be needing more what?” and I’m thinking “I liked it better when he called me ‘Miss’…do I look that much older close-up that now he’s calling me ‘Ma’am’??”

“More RAM,” says Nick, patiently. “It’s random access memory. Your software is running at a capacity where the data from the streaming kilobites are disproportionally intertwined with the hard drive’s inability to process the molecular gigabites of the processor, causing undue stress to your mainframe and creating a quirk in your mojo.” Or, that’s what he might have said…he lost me after the word “memory”.

“Uh,” I say in response. “How much would that run me?”

“If I do it, $130. If you do it $80,” Nick says…lowering his voice on this last part.

“Uh,” I stammer…”Is it hard to do…ya know…if I do it?” I ask.

“I’m not allowed to tell you how to do it….see…they want ME to do it…,” Nick whispers back conspiratorially….eyes darting left and right.

But….is it hard to do?” I whisper back in my best “Agent-99” voice…
whilst I point at the screen in mock-concentration as if we’re discussing the possibility of my laptop making us a lean corned beef on rye...with mustard and a pickle on the side.

Nick responds with a shrug…still darting his eyes this way and that…sending me the coded Secret-Agent
code for “shhhh…there are spies everywhere”….

So. I buy more RAM. I bring it home and let it old computer trick where you place it on your desk and allow mountains of paperwork to completely cover it, so that it can only get better...because...seriously, who has the time for this? This is why people pay people to do this stuff.

Today, I believe I have installed it correctly. I can say with all honesty that I see absolutely no difference whatsoever in the speed, toggling or attitude of said computer.

I do, however, have a newfound respect...for the Geek.

Lou said...

"Are you trying to tell me something? Did Timmy fall down the well??” still peeing myself laughing Kathryn.

Mark Price said...

ok I give up. I have been sitting here trying to be the first commenter on a post...any post, for like 6 hours. If Timmy is in the well, my guess is lassie put him there for being such a wuss, and for giving him a girl dogs name. Funny post as usual Miss Kathryn.

Cynica Sarcastamos said...

Oh this is funny. Non-stop funny. You go!

For a second, after Nick had his say, I was feeling sorry for your little Lassie laptop, thinking that YOU were simply asking too much of it (please Mommmm! I can't take any more!)

But alas, sounds like it may just be whirring into that senior digital zone. God bless it. It has served you well.

(Perhaps it will train its replacement.)

Runnergirl said...

I couldn't laugh out loud cos my boss is in, but LOL!!!! Hilarious!

You have such a way with words!

Brilliant, and I'm sure there are many of us who can totally relate to this!

f8hasit said...

I've got my own personal Geek Squad. Yup. Stop drooling...

Anytime I need a little computer tutorage all I have to do is call this guy I met years ago and he comes and fixes it. But most times my ego makes me try to fix it first, which he then has to figure out what it is that I did.

It's a good relationship.
And I don't even have to pull out my checkbook or debit card.

I DO however have to realize that I'm not as Geek-Y as I'd like to be, even with my glasses. And I don't like to go to Best-Buy because I've gone from "Miss" to "Ma'am" as well.

Back to the ego...

Hope you and your new Ram are well!

Áine said...

Geeks rock! :) Where would Timmy be without them lol Great post as always!

Heather said...

I didn't hear any "general maintance" in any of your loving care.

Try a disc clean up and then a defrag and then clear your history and cookies. You should do these "general maintance" things at least once a month. If that doesn't help, then go back to the geek.

I got lucky, my brother is a geek!

Anonymous said...

lol! great post. Nick lost me too after "memory"
hope lassie gets better.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Wouldn't it be great if we each had our own personal Geek???
Ah, a girl can dream...

Unknown said...

Some days I feel like your laptop ... too many requests in too short a time ... my face goes blue, then fades to black and I re-boot. In my dreams anyway.

BlackLOG said...

I suspect the Geek is a relation of the Garage Mechanic and he was sent out with instructions to start clawing back the money you did not have to pay for your car repairs.

I’m afraid that none of the Geeks I have ever come across have ever known what they are doing – Mostly destroying my PC’s and then trying to charge me fro the privileged I found a little man who “does” for PC’s It’s a bit like dropping it off at daycare center.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Hmm. All the Geek Squad guy did when he came to our house was explain why it wasn't working (I didn't stick around for that one), and then he fixed it. (Can't say I was there for that either.)

Jen said...

I have lost so many pieces along with entire posts on my damn computer. I now go about saving every couple of sentences. Because sometimes writing is so laborious and once you find exactly how you want to say something you don't want it lost. I love/hate my computer. Can't live with it, can't live without it.

B-ster said...

I have an inking that you have some geek hidden inside of you. You added your own memory. I'm impressed. If you really don't notice a difference in a day or two, let me know. Heather above has some good advice, that normally it is a few things like this will help with the sluggishness (is that a word?).

Runnergirl said...

I meant to say - I leave all the technical stuff to Hubby - he does things to the PC that I've never even heard of and I don't understand either... mind you, that's probably because I've never really owned my own pc - I just use the work laptop!

Betsy said...

You had me rolling with this one! :)

Is Spybot one of the anti-everythings you have installed? If not, it should be. You can actually download it for free (I believe) and when I run a scan I can tell a difference in how my computer behaves.

Lauren said...

I've had some problems with Clarence... Thankfully I have a cousin who is a computer genius. I love it when professionals mumble under their breath to save me money! Go you! And I wouldn't worry about becoming a Ma'am in the space of five seconds. I get called ma'am... I don't like it either... Plus, he works with computers, he probably can't see things close up unless they're a tiny pixel of light.

Ann said...

My in-home geek deserted me by joining the Air Force, getting married, and being stationed first in England and now clear across the country from me. So, I vacuum it out from time to time, and sit around drumming my fingers while HP does update after update after update. I hope your computer starts working better for you.

Ron said...

First of all, girl....I freakin' love your clever use of photos with this post!!!

I almost DIED at...

Timmy fall down the well??"


Listen, I'm having the exact same issues with my computer as you are. And keep thinking that I need more RAM. Every since I got VISTA (1 1/2 ago) my online experience is has been a complete hell. It's take forever for some peoples blogs to download. I keep getting knocked offline too. Oh, next computer is going to be a Mac!

Good luck with the added RAM. Maybe it just takes awhile for it to kick in? Let me know via email if it works for you, because I may have to get some added RAM myself.

Have an awesome day, tootsie!


English Rose said...

Aha haaaaaa this is hilarious!!!

My laptop is pink, oh yes. Also in a rare inspirational (yet equally dangerous) fit of creativity I sometimes get out my highlighters or nail polish and colour away on ole Betsy.

The result? There are now eight keys missing (apparently nail polish remover burns through plastic...who'da thunk it...) and sometimes Betsy has spasms and dies. But she always faithfully sends out a few thousand error reports to Microsoft when she wakes up.

Good ole Betsy...


Spot said...

I have to say that I personally cultivate relationships (friendships...don't read anything into this) with Geeks just so I have someone to fix my computer usually for the cost of a homemade dinner. I do the same with mechanics and plumbers. Wow...I sound like a collector. A people collector. Haha.

Hope it gets faster. Whatever you do, don't hit it. I've found they really don't respond to violence well!

The "did Timmy fall down the well" line was priceless!

MeanDonnaJean said...

$130 for RAM? Even the $80 sounds high...unless ya bought a couple damn thousand gigs of the stuff (ok, so I exaggerate a bit). RAM is so cheap these days, its crazy....cuz I remember years ago how damn expensive that crap was even just to buy 'n install on yer own. All those damn "Squad" people are total ripoffs. *I* learned that the hard way after writin' 'em a check for $230 to do nuthin' to my old puter but break it worse than it already was (but oh yes honey, MDJ got HER money back!). So now I read, I learn, I buy 'n I install most of the damn stuff myself. I just putta couple stix of RAM into mine 'n it made a difference...but what also helped was the bigger harddrive. 'Tween the 2 of 'em, I'm good to go!

Micsteel said...

Great post - loved it!

As Heather pointed out, it sounds like you need to go through some general maintenance, that with the RAM should help. There could be more to it but that is where I would start.

carissajaded said...

Oh I have been through so many computers it's not even funny. Ive never actually dealt with getting them fixed though. I think I would have a panic attack.

I am lucky and have an OCD Grandpa who buys new computers and then passes them on like old sweaters. My parents always have a few extra desktops lying around...

But Im tired of losing all my info so i may just try geek next time around.

Unknown said...

I know who pushed Timmy into the well :)

kathryn said...

Lou: HA! C'mon...I KNOW you say the SAME thing to your laptop! I'm so glad you liked it!

Mark Price: Honey, you don't have to be FIRST. You're da BEST, just the way you ARE. Yes, Timmy is a wuss. You're from NY...aren't you?

Cynica Sarcastamos: ACK! Replacement?! Noooooo! I'm NOT READY....I won't let him go! The HELL with being a senior....gimme another band-aid! Hand me the paddles! CLEAR!! (WHOMP!!!!)

Runnergirl: HA!I'm SO glad you enjoyed it! Well, good for Hubby...taking care of all this crap! It's time-consuming and confusing! I just want it to WORK, already!

f8hasit: Hm....this is VERY intriguing. You don't have to pull out your checkbook or CC, you say?? just CALL this guy and he just shows up? Huh....
Me thinks there's more to this story than you're telling!

Smileyfreak: Yeah, I admit...."Where would Timmy be without Geeks??" (How often do you get to say THAT sentence?)

Heather: Okay, okay. I MAY have forgotten about the disc cleanup and the defrag...and the bonuntkins and the lancealots. Yikes. Do I have to do EVERYTHING??

kathryn said...

Fierce: Thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only one who got confused. Lassie'll be just fine!

Maureen@IslandRoar: YES! I want my very OWN Geek! I'm not good at sharing. I think you shud get to pay extra and be able to purchase the "no-maintenance version" of laptop.
Don't you agree? (I know, I know. No $$ for the manufacturers in THAT.)

Kimberly: HA! I can picture that reaction in a human...although, I hadn't till you mentioned it!

BlackLOG: Computers and cars...ya never know what's really wrong w/them...until they don't work as they should.

Oddyoddyo13: Okay, so basically you weren't there for ANY of it. Huh. So, maybe the Geek guy is a genius?!? How would you know??

Jen: YOUR writing? Laborious? NAH. It reads like it just FLOWS out of you with NO effort at ALL! And yes, I agree. Computers are like MEN. ('Nuff said.)

Alicia said...

Whew! It's good to know that my computer is not the only talking one out there. It mocks me often and I don't understand why because like you I lovingly take care of it and caress it incessantly!

I think you should have let the Geek install it :-)

kathryn said...

B-ster: Well, if "sluggishness" isn't a word, it should be! Yeah, maybe a teeny bit of geek inside of me....but I'll never admit it! (Oops...I think I just DID.)

Gingerella: YES! I love Spybot! And I have Adaware as well...someone must've told me they compliment each other...kinda like you and me!

Lauren: HA! So, the "ma'am" doesn't count 'cause he's a geek, right? I LIKE the way you THINK!
("Clarence", eh?)

Ann: Well, how DARE your in-house geek desert you! Don't they know who you ARE?? Da nerve!

RON! I will definitely keep you posted, mister. So far, I'm not impressed. I think VISTA is not helping on my end, either. Have you tried Firefox? I find it's loading faster there. (Look at US...all techie and geekie!)

English Rose: Aw, poor Betsy! I hear you about those Microsoft error reports...has anyone EVER had anything come of them? I'm SO SURE there's no-one on the other end!

Spot: HA! So, physical abuse of our electronic equipment is definitely out? But, I should look for cultivating relationships from mechanics, plumbers and geeks in return for homemade dinners? Um...slight problem here...I don't cook. Uh oh....

MeanDonnaJean: Oooh! I LIKE the sound of a BIG HARD DRIVE. Will it fit in my little laptop??! I think I'm a little jealous....

kathryn said...

Mike Steelman: Thank you, sir. I will get right on that. Can I let it ferment for a while first, though??

carissajaded: HA! It sounds like when they start acting up, you simply replace 'em! God, how I wish! (No, no...not YOU laptop! I didn't mean YOU!)

WannabeVirginiaW: HA! The age-old question...finally revealed! While you're at it, do you know "Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar??"

Straight Guy said...

A doctor can give you a prescription that will clear up that "quirk in your mojo" in just a week or two.

JD at I Do Things said...

Oh, my god, you are so freaking funny. How many times must I say this? Your brain is a strange and wonderful place.

LOVE the exchange between you and Nick (the fact that you had to drop your voice as well was comic gold).

I suspect Nick's version would've ended up the same. At least you got no results for a cheaper price.


kathryn said...

English Rose: Pink laptop? Betsy? Eight keys missing? Betsy has spasms and DIES?? Hilarious! I mean, poor Betsy!

Alicia: Yeah, well....I wud've gotten it done a LOT sooner if I'd let Geek install it, that's for sure. I'm wondering if your computer and MY computer have been talking to each other....

Straight Guy! HA! You're speaking from experience, I take it? Mojo-quirks aren't contagious, are they? Do I have calls to make??

JD at I Do Things: Thank you, my fellow loon! I swear, Nick really seemed to believe that "those people" were listening...he had me feeling more than a little paranoid. Yeah, no results for less money...that's the way to GO!

Rambles'N'Shambles said...

*goes all geeky and sticks on her nerd glasses*

I know how to install RAM its easy peasy! it's easier to install it into a PC rather than a laptop though, since everything in the laptop is all itty bitty. I bought Gladys some more RAM recently and the guy (Steve) was like "for an extra $50 I can install it for you~"

I gave him a weird look and said, "No, I can do it...thanks though."

He goes, "Oh but I know how to do it."

I was like. "really...WOW so do I!"

He thought I didn't know how to do it cause I'm a girl

talk before sleep said...

LOL Ah the joys of technology...and this is supposed to make things more convenient??? I swear my computer hates me!! We have a wireless router and modem in one (not that I know what either of those actually means) and between me and my bf fighting over whose turn it is to use the computer and who had it last (seriously like brother and gets so annoying!) I don't get all that much time on it. BUT every time its my turn on the computer our stupid hateful router decides to re-boot and leaves me with either half a web page or cuts off whatever totally important thing I was doing (like prob reading some blogs). Its enough to make me want to throw it thru the floor. And its even worse that my bf cracks up every time it happens. It NEVER happens to him. Maybe I'll throw it at him next time???

But anyway- lol gotta love those geeks! Maybe I'll check them out and see if they can erase this Aimee-hating bug I obviously caught. Its like it knows the feel of my fingertips or something! Sheesh.

kathryn said...

evilteenietiff: Well, I'm glad you showed him. Just because you're a GIRL?? Is he kidding? Yeah, I'd done some stuff on a tower before, but never on a laptop. Just smaller, you're right. How's Gladys doing now? A lot faster??

talk before sleep: Seriously! This is totally not fair. Maybe BF is doing something devious to undermine your time on the computer...(you know how sneaky these guys can be)...tell him to CUT IT OUT. And time, throw stuff at HIM. It couldn't hurt! No fair laughing!

Unknown said...

As part of the 'nerd herd' at my job I have to agree... always give the geek his/her props! ;) They have the powah!

Fermented RAM... omg that made me snorf coffee out my nose. Hope you're happy. LOL!

Hope you're having an awesome day my friend!

kathryn said...

PictureImperfect: Okay, and snorfing coffee out of your nose is a bad thing, right? C' helps clean out the 'ole pipes!

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