Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Broken Laptops and Trouble for Bloggers

Blogging is a bit difficult when your laptop looks like this:

This post was intended to act as an explanation for my not posting lately, but I have to say I am struggling, fighting, trying my damnedest not to turn this into the 'Why You Shouldn't Purchase Dell Laptops' Post. It's very hard to resist explaining how 'System Restore' and I became best friends; how the Blue Screen of Death has begun to follow me around like an annoying but plucky sidekick; how 'Delete Partition' has become part of my normal day to day vocabulary, when previously I had no idea what a partition even was. I really don't want to explain how I am now intimately familiar with the music Dell plays when you're on hold. I have no interest in describing how when you relinquish control of your computer through Remote Access, the way your mouse moves on its own accord is spookily reminiscent of PC Poltergeists.

Sure, my laptop is less than a year old. It's just very mature for its age. New hard drives - enh, been there, done that. New operating systems - old hat. My most recent fiasco? Apparently Dell screwed up with its video cards, which are embedded into the motherboard. This means that not only does your computer screen suddenly fragment into happy rainbow lines of many colors, but it can also cause operational problems...you know, like making all of your Program Files disappear.

But whatevs.The maintence man who came to bail me out today said that, while Dell is not admitting it out loud, the video cards are failing en masse. It may not sound like a big deal, but it means that Dell has to send techs out to replace not just the video cards in thousands of laptops, but the motherboards and sometimes the actual screens as well.

This scenario is oddly familiar to me, since I formerly owned an Averatec laptop. These had faulty motherboards and the input jack for the electrical cable was totally wonky. This is the type of bad design that not only makes your computer stop working, but starts melting plastic and causing ominous smoke tendrils to rise up out of the side. If the logical step from 'smoke' is to 'fire,' then yes, my last laptop caught on fire. As did those of a kagillion other people, some of whom I knew.

This is not mine.

So perhaps this isn't a rant against Dell, but against laptops. I love them dearly, I would die without them, if they ceased to exist, my life would not be worth living. But sometimes, on the bad days, Old Faithful the Desktop Computer starts to acquire a golden glow that's not just due to nostalgia. That golden glow might rather be related to halos, and heaven, and salvation. Perhaps the Laptop needs some smiting, since recently, in my mind, the Laptop is quickly becoming:


Katie said...

OH. MY. GOD. I cannot believe this. I hope you and your Dell make it out the other side. Me and my formerly smoking Averatec are here waiting for you (though, who knows, maybe mine will relapse soon...).

Jeremy LaBuff said...

Once again you remind us why you are the reigning champion of archeologist-bloggers. Stellar post :)