March 27 Editorial

This week I was forced to endure a horrible life event that can make most anyone shudder at the thought of it; my computer went to technology heaven. Yes, it was unexpected, and yes I’m still grieving. After all, it had been my trusted companion held only second to my phone for several years. We shared thousands of hours of work days together. We shared laughter and tears at various videos and emails. We shared secrets that I knew she would never tell.
I knew she was getting old. I knew there was better technology out there. But every time I opened her up and started typing, it was like a warm blanket wrapped around me. I was comfortable with her, mostly because I knew how she worked and how to deal with all of her quirky imperfections.
A few days ago while working away, I noticed squiggly lines on the screen. I saved my work and shut her down thinking that maybe a break was in order after being on for so long. I waited until she was cool, then started her up hoping to have solved the problem. Unfortunately I got about ten more minutes from her before she went kaput. The screen was black and loud beeps blasted from her speakers.
The next day, I called around to several computer repair shops and got the same answer from all of them; the black screen of death is just that…..the end. Unconvinced and not ready to give up on my entire life that lay inside her (I did back up important things), I went to the internet because, hey, if it’s on the internet it must be true, right? Yeah, right.
I found several YouTube videos that suggested that I wrap my computer tightly in a comforter while running (regardless of the loud beeps) and let it get boiling hot for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Then, the video instructed me to turn off the computer and allow it to completely cool before attempting to start it up again. Now the rational side of me knew this was crazy, but I wasn’t ready to let her go. She held some of the last photos taken of my beloved Chloe and Esha. She held some of the wedding pictures that weren’t on my disks. She held videos of our vacations that I tried to transfer to a disk, but couldn’t. I was willing to try anything.
I followed the instructions to the letter, but only let her bake for 20 minutes. After she cooled I hit the button only to see the same black screen for a few seconds before she began screeching out like a newborn emu. I attempted the act once more, only this time I left her running for an hour. I noticed that her beeping had stopped, so I rushed into the room hoping for a miracle. Instead, she was beginning to smoke from every opening. I thought to myself, “Yep, its official. That killed her.” I should’ve known it was a stupid idea.
The next day, I went out shopping for a new computer. I saw tons of different laptops with plenty of different options, but I turned my nose up at all of them. None of them felt right when I touch their keyboards. None of them fit perfectly across my knees. None of them sounded the same when I tapped their keys. One by one, I turned them down.
My husband finally broke in while at Best Buy and said, “Dude, you realize this is just a computer, right? Pick one and let’s go.” The rational side of me knew he was right, so I found one that suited my needs and off we went.
On the way home, my husband looked over to me and said, “I think it’s crazy that you get so attached to things. I just hope you are this sad when I die.” To which I replied, “You never cooperate with me the way she did. Besides, men are much easier to replace.” Probably not the nicest of my jokes, but I thought it was hilarious.
I arrived home and took my new computer out of the box. I glanced over to see my old computer’s sad little frame sitting all alone on the table watching me as if she had a front row seat for my betrayal. I booted up the new machine and installed all the software and programs I needed. It works well, and even though I hate to admit it, it is a lot faster and the screen is brighter. Not to mention the mouse buttons work and there isn’t dog hair stuck in the keys.
I realize that I may be crazy. I’ve named my cars, my house, my shoes, etc. I suppose I just feel that if something is going to be such an important part of your life, what’s the harm in giving it a little persona? Okay, definitely crazy.
Either way, I’ll miss the little computer that could. She was with me through a wedding, loss of family members, taxes, work… name it….she stored my entire life. So rest in peace A”Dell”e. Even though I cursed you a hundred times, I’ll miss you. I know you’re running like a champ at that Circuit City in the sky.