Thursday, November 17, 2011

...your hard drive makes a sound that resembles a Norelco razor...

And that's just what happened the very evening I wrote the previous post in this here Wunnerful blog. I was semi-hypnotized after a couple of hours on Ebay and I couldn't react right away. It didn't matter. Dies is as Dies does. And my computer didn't need a fork, for it was already Done. "ZZZZZZHHHHHHHHTTTTT" went the noise that my 'puter was making all of a sudden. Then, nothing but a black screen. I tried signing on, and got the cyberworld's equivalent of a nuclear blast. A big blue screen came up, saying my "BIOS" needed updating and to contact a System Vendor about whatever. That's what I told the kid at the Computer Service business, and he pronounced the verdict by saying, "ahhh, looks like another case of "BLUE SCREEN DEATH".

Basically, my keyboard divorced itself from the rest of the computer. It didn't matter if you lightly tapped the keys or brought a sledgehammer down, that was it. Done. Finito. It turned out the Fan inside the computer (which was a Reconditioned Model I bought a couple years ago) was mounted off center. The computer, on occasion, had been running very, very hot before it flamed out altogether. So I took it to a repair place where I met The Computer Kid. What did I learn? That actually, "Laptop" computers aren't really meant to rest on your Lap. The Computer Kid said that's why they refer to them as "Notebooks" instead of "Laptops". People were actually burning their laps with their computers. (The cyber-world's equivalent of the McDonald's Hot Coffee In Lap Incident.)
I imagine the computer industry is hoping that since the word "Notebook" is now in vogue, people won't be burning their laps anymore. Gotta avoid them lawsuits! So Now You Know: Laptops aren't Laptops anymore. So, people...if you see a cheap computer at your local Radio Shack, especially if it's a make that Radio Shack doesn't NORMALLY sell, and it's for sale cheap, it may not be new. Which means that your new computer isn't new after all. (Still with me? I'm starting to lose myself here.)  Instead, your new computer might be, and probably is, reconditioned. Which means it's not entirely new. It's just been refurbished. It could die at any time. Like mine did. Sorta like a 90-year-old guy in the best of health. "ZZZZAP!!!" At any moment he could keel over. Just like my computer. "ZZZAP!!!"
So I left the computer with The Computer Kid, and after a while, I went back, and there was nothing he could do. While us humans may be relatively fragile, at least the body can be put on Life Support, and you can't do that with a computer. I still have both "shells" of what once were computers; maybe I should bury them and make them little headstones. "Here Lies HP Pavilion dv6000" (the computer I replaced a couple years ago), and "Here Lies "Toshiba 586D", both good servants who died before their time. Or maybe what I'll do, is build a Computer Mausoleum, and instead of little Urns, I'll just shove both dead computers into enclosed shelves located in my Garage That's About To Fall Down. Death, be not proud.

I don't know what it is about the forces above us all who know when we have some extra money. I spent the majority of this year in hock to the bank; I'd borrowed too many times from them, so I got my account "cooled off", the effect being that I began budgeting my money well. Then it happened. Last month, I spent $80 bucks getting my car seat fixed; I was leaning back to get my wallet out of a back pocket, and all of a sudden, "SNAP!!!", the back of the seat deposited itself onto the seat in back of it. But I worked my way through all that. I really budgeted myself for the next month, and was in good shape; bills were coming in, I was able to pay them, I was doing really well 'till this Computer thing! So how to explain this? It could be that little ghost characters from the Dark Side follow everyone around in a time dimension 2 seconds ahead of all of us and report in, "guess what! He has Extra Money! Let's GET him!!!" When psychics begin to get hired by Credit Bureaus, RUN FOR COVER!!!

So what did I do about the computer? Off to "Staples" I went. For under $400, I got this little HP computer. Yeah, I know an HP died on me before. But it was the cheapest that they had, and hey, it's got 4.0 GB of memory, which is 1.0GB more memory than the Reconditioned Toshiba I was replacing. I also got a little accessory which enables my laptop to Actually Be a laptop; it's a "Chill Mat" which supplies air to the bottom of the computer; it attaches by a USB port, the computer sits on it, and all is well with the world, until my next computer breakdown which will more than likely be followed by my own personal breakdown. (If it hasn't already happened, that is.)

So when I got ready to pay for my new computer, the Sales Associate said that if I sent in a portion of the receipt with numbers on it, that I'd get a $50 rebate (8 to 10 weeks waiting time). I asked the Sales Associate, "why can't you give me the savings right now?" and he said, "sorry, that's the way they do it." He also told me that if I took an HP Online Survey, I'd get entered into a contest for $5,000 dollar prize. I was told it was a short survey, but it took 25 minutes to fill out all dang stuff. It felt more like one of those 500-question MMPI personality-test things. They seemed to ask the same questions, over and over, in slightly different ways. The survey, that is. Although the MMPI test does the same thing. And both drive me crazy.

So once again I had to go thru the torture of computer loss and reacquisition. So if you've read this entire post, now it's your turn. Nice guy that I am, I decided to share the misery.


Blogger Steve said...

Aha...a BSOD AND a ZZZZZZHHHHHHHHTTTTT...all on a refurbished machine...

You just love livin' on the edge!

Just kidding...

I do enjoy reading your stuff...keep it up.

Steve In N Idaho!

4:37 PM  
Blogger Lil ol' me... said...

Hey Steve...(are you the Steve I used to work for?) Hey, I live dangerously. I like my food raw, I like below-zero campout weather, and my music Lean and Mean. That's me. On the edge.

Thanks 4 yer contribute!

2:09 AM  

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