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.”
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 ferment...an 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.