It had been a long day. Kicking off my shoes, I was ready to relax and unwind. I sat down at the computer, licked my lips and eagerly clicked the little envelope icon that would download my email.
My computer froze.
I sat there staring at it for a moment thinking that surely it was a temporary problem. Only another computer addict can really understand. I must have my computer! I rebooted.
I was already in a panic. “It must be a virus,” I concluded. “It has to be virus.” I went to my virus software to download an update. The computer froze again. I felt faint. The “blue screen of death” appeared – a fatal error. “Press any key to continue,” it taunted, so I hit a key.
The screen went black and I CRASHED.
This is bad, very bad, a major computer crash. I don’t have time for this. I want my email; I want to surf. I turned my computer off and rebooted. It came up in Safe Mode. For the computer illiterate among us, that is when the computer will not run but partially reloads Windows to allow you to fix the problem.
Fix the problem? FIX the problem? But I don’t know what to fix!
I restarted it again and again, praying the problem would magically go away, but it didn’t. Finally, I knew – I had to make that call to Computer Support. This was way too complicated for me to figure out. I felt sick. My computer was dead. If it has to go to the shop to be reprogrammed, it means no computer for a week or more. All my valuable files could be lost, and even worse there will be no email.
My heart was pounding and my forehead sweating as I suffered the first round of computer addiction withdrawal.
I grabbed my important papers scattering them everywhere, frantically searching for that 800 number. I was desperate. I thought I was a nerd, but I had totally crashed. I felt the tears begin to swell as I found the 800 number and dialed.
The first tech came on line with a deep southern drawl. I couldn’t understand a word she said. It was embarrassing, especially since I’m southerner too. “Put the Windows CD in; take it out and put in the recovery disk; go to DOS; scan the hard drive for errors.” She didn’t know what she was doing, I concluded. Finally, she decided to let the scan run and let me call back. “No errors found.” That figures.
I called back aggravated. “I need HELP!”
This time I got a geek, a sharp young tech named Josh that knew computers inside and out. I began to breathe again. I could tell he loved a challenge, and I had one for him.
“Go here, go there, and click this, run that, check this, uncheck that. What happened anyhow?” He joked. Nothing seemed to work. I was a basket case, ready for the guys with the straight jacket to come and take me away. “I think you have a corrupted file.” “It’s the video driver,” he said.
I sunk. It sounded hopeless. Josh just kept on working and talking me through the fix. At last, success. SUCCESS! My computer booted! That beautiful Windows music had never sounded so great.
“I think your problem is fixed,” Josh told me.
Thank goodness, somewhere there are young geeks that understand computers and how to make them perform. I was overwhelmed with relief. He said it took an hour. I swear it was more like three.
So here’s a cheer for Josh, where ever he is, and those others like him that listen to the groans and moans of users like me who don’t know what they are doing, but continue paddling upstream in the world of technology, desperately hoping the canoe won’t turn over.
Only another computer addict can really understand.