Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Pathetic Laptop - An Epic Fail

In the last 24 hours, I have screamed, cried, and nearly thrown my laptop into the parking lot, where I could then run it over with my car. This PC is 5 years old, and I've been limping along with it as best I can.

I'm running two strong anti-virals and anti-malware packages, but somehow I've still managed to get some horrific pieces of code hidden in the depths of this thing's operating system.

On this computer, I have my Magnum Opus, the manuscript it took me five years just to get the courage to write. Now I have 100K words written, and it's time for editing and fine-tuning. How the hell am I supposed to do that with a computer that is more senile than my late grandmother?

Just booting up takes nearly 20 minutes. Opening up Word takes another 8 or 10 minutes. Then, I get these unexplainable pauses in the midst of whatever I'm doing.

I've decided that I'm going to have to work completely offline, in the hopes that whatever code is making its way in through my Internet connection will be thwarted.

I've turned off the physical switch that recognizes Wi-Fi signals, and I'm not going to connect this PC via an Ethernet connection to our Comcast signal.

My spouse lets me have a few minutes a couple of times each day to use her laptop, but I try to be brief, because it's her primary link to friends and family. I'll tweet now and then, and will upload blog postings (like this one) which have been composed offline.

In the meantime, I am so very, very angry... It feels as if now that I'm finally brave enough to tell my story, the Universe is saying, "Not so fast, missy!"

During my brief forays online, I'll have to see what I can find in the way of grant applications for writers to get new (or newer) computers. I simply can't live this way - the timing could not come at a worse time.

This is the time of year when things get more challenging, in any year. And this year, I'm recovering additional horrific memories, leaving me reeling and without an anchor.

I have to believe I will get through this, but last night was as close as I've come to a nervous breakdown in a long time. Simply trying to print my 200+ page manuscript (broken into manageable sections) took hours of my time.

I had to keep pounding on the printer, which was claiming there were no ink cartridges installed, when I had installed some just hours prior. That, or blank pages would come spitting out. Arghhhhh!

Goddess, how I wish there were such a thing as a computer fairy...

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