In Requiem of a Computer

Most of us, myself included, have a love/hate relationship with our electronics. Some days we wonder how we survived without our smartphones and our tablets. Other days, we want to throw the blasted beasts out the window.

I've lost track of how many computers I've owned over the years. Laptops and desktops. My first was a Gateway running Windows ME. I didn't know about computer bugs, so every time it blue-screened, I assumed I'd done something wrong. It ran slower and slower. I added memory. It still blue-screened and booted up like a slug. By the time I'd decided to move on to something else, I was thrilled to see the thing go.

Each new computer arrived bright and shiny. And FAST. And each computer, laptop and desktop, eventually became bogged down by all the programs I installed until they limped and crashed.

Almost six years ago, I got fed up. I decided I was going to splurge on a computer with more memory and a bigger hard drive than I would ever need. My computer expert cousin helped me with all the details about processors and other foreign objects. The result was the Dell I dubbed Monster Machine.

For almost six years, my beloved Monster Machine never missed a beat. It never slowed down--at least not noticeably--and it never hiccuped or blue-screened.

Until last week. When I was out of the room, it shut itself down. I came back and it was off. Puzzled, I thought our power had gone out and my battery backup had failed. Must be. Certainly, it couldn't have been my computer's fault. I managed to reboot and it purred like a kitten. All was well.

In hindsight, over the last week, there were...problems. I blamed the old mouse. Replaced it with a new one and all was well again. But something wasn't quite right. My monster machine was sick and I was in denial.

Until yesterday. Again, I returned from being out of the room to find an error message. When I clicked on it, the computer froze. I coaxed it to reboot. Talked sweetly to it.

Got it running and started working when the tower started going click-click click-click click-click. Like my antique mantle clock when it's out of balance. I tinkered and cajoled a while longer, but the sense of dread grew until I could no longer talk it into rebooting.

I called my cousin, the computer doctor, and told him the symptoms. And he pronounced my monster machine as DOA.

I went through the stages of grief...quickly. I have books to write and business to take care of. I reached "acceptance" by early evening. That's when I found Monster Machine 2017. The same brand, same model but with all the updated processors and such. More memory and a bigger hard drive than I'll ever need. And Windows 10, which I'm less than thrilled about.

It's supposed to arrive tomorrow. In the meantime, I have my Mini Monster laptop to keep me company.

Rest in Peace Dell XPS Monster Machine 1.


RM Griffith said…
Hilarious, Annette. Glad you didn't lose data in the shut down.
My beloved MacBook Pro is almost six years and every so often I think it may be leaving me.

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