Computer Problems

2013 is shaping up to be the year of electronic device problems.

Though, if I’m being really honest with myself, and I’m usually not, the root of all my problems is that I’m disinclined to go out and fix the problem when it starts. I’m usually very adamant that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the technology I own. I honestly can’t believe that it would start behaving poorly… it’s denial on a large scale and I’m usually fairly happy to live it in.

Until the technology dies.

My Definition of Dead Technology

Yep, that’s dead.

My definition of “dead” seems to be different from other people’s definition of “dead” in reference to technology. For me, a phone is dead when it no longer starts… or has to be held together with rubber bands and duct tape… and I have to stay very very still when talking on it, or it’ll fall apart (I’ll tell you that story later). That’s when a phone is dead. So if it starts up, at all, I’m going to assume it’s “on it’s way out” but not dead. Never dead.

Examples of my Denial

“I’m not in denial, I’m just selective about my reality”
~ some motivational poster I just saw

To give you an idea of how hard I cling to my denial that anything is wrong, we should go back to my first cell phone. It was a Samsung something or other and silver… and covered in paint. I believe that one officially died at the ripe age of … um.. old… when I dropped it on the ground one too many times and it shattered into a billion pieces (yes, this is the “rubber bands & duct tape phone”). My second phone didn’t last as long in so much as I got it and then upgraded to a BlackBerry two years later. I still have it actually. It’s my backup phone that I neglected to use during the BlackBerry Blunders of ’12/’13. Then there’s my BlackBerry. I’ve already told this story, so moving on!

Outside of the phone world I have my computers – my first laptop was a refurbished IBM that, after five years, decided it’d had enough and would just show me the loading screen. Over and over with the loading screen. I think it’s still floating around somewhere. It never actually died – I just got it booted up one day and backed up all of my information. I kept trying to pawn it off on other people though. It was so trusty it deserves a second chance! Though I guess in this case it’d be a third chance.

I still maintain that it could be fixed up and usable.

Oh, lightbulb! I should see where that is and see if I can’t get ‘er up and running again… hmmm..

My first big external harddrive is another piece of technology that “died”… officially. It’s decline started with random disconnection from my computer (the trusty IBM laptop). It would be there one moment and gone the next. But it was still on, so I figured, whatever. That continued for a month or two then one day, nothing. No lights. No connection. It had died.

I realized after the fact that keeping it in a tiny room with no air flow and no AC in the middle of Montreal summer was probably what killed it.

It’s still at my parents I believe, waiting to be taken somewhere that might be able to recover the 6Gs of data I had stored there.

At some point there was also a computer tower and monitor that I got for $100 but it’s just a blip in my memory and not really worth talking about.

Now for the Meat of the Story

I was going to post a photo of my actual laptop but I’ll give you one guess as to where it is… because I do have a picture.

I guess that brings me up to the present, computer wise… I’ve got this beautiful red Gateway. It’s 5 years old, which is ANCIENT in computer age. It’s like, 500 or something (1 year = 100 computer years, right?). Anyway, it’s the first piece of technology I’ve ever researched and purchased BRAND NEW on my own (ok ok, half of it was with birthday money). I’m really proud of it, ok. Plus it’s RED! RED is AWESOME! (it is in computer speak, trust me)

The Progression AKA my Denial
  • Sometime between January and July 2012 – we’ve got loading screen problems. It would either boot up (yay!) or hang out on the loading screen for ever(if I let it (boo!)
  • September 2012 – I guess right about the time my BlackBerry started acting up – my handy red computer started shutting down… but this was isolated to when it was on my lap. (fun fact: laptops don’t actually belong on your lap. Not the old ones anyway. The newer ones maybe. I don’t know. I don’t have one.)
  • October 2012 – Then it started making weird noises. A whirring sound. Kind of like it was going to explode. (Side note: it’s the same sound my computer at work makes… I think I’m cursed. W really shouldn’t have lent me his laptop…) I never really noticed the sound since it started gradually.
  • November 2012 – The noise is loud enough to disturb people… during NaNoWriMo, my writing group AT THE LIBRARY commented in surprise – is that your computer making that noise? Also, the battery life is about 2 seconds (No seriously, it is. You have enough time to go “oh crap! The plug” and get it plugged in before it explodes… I mean, shuts down.)
  • December 2012 – May 2013 – It continued making the whirring noises (which have gotten louder and louder); I think at some point in January or February I got a friend of mine to examine it. The ultimate diagnosis – it’s old and the fan isn’t working anymore. (whoa, just had deja vu… and again, deja vu… I’ve been having that all day!) My friend was nice enough to back up my computer for me, so I’m ok if anything bad happens.
  • June 2013 – Something bad happens. My birthday weekend, the computer decides to start shutting off randomly… it doesn’t matter if I’m watching Netflix or using Word, it just shuts down. Usually the shut down is proceeded by an increased whirring noise… Conclusion – computer is overheating. It needs to be left alone to cool down for an hour or two then can be used again. Or not.
  • Today (July 2nd) – I turned on my computer for the first time since my birthday weekend (it was up on coasters and it’s a cool day today) and after waiting for it to load (and having the infinite loading screen) twice, it was up and running. Glee! Happiness! Rejoicing!
    Crap… it’s gone again.

So, here I sit, writing this blog on W’s computer hoping that I won’t ruin it as well.

Though, honestly, I think my biggest problem with technology is that I keep it around for so very long. And that’s a good thing, right? That means that I take care of it… sort of. Aside from the shattered phone… which, really, was out-of-date anyway (everyone was moving on to iphones by then…)

That’s my story for today. I’m hoping to get one of those fan thingies for my laptop so I can at least have it working long enough for me to earn the money to buy a new computer. Yep, that’s the plan.