A Funeral for My CPU

(A Tale for Geeks)

Dementia is a terrible thing. Just terrible. When it happens to your computer's brain, the onslaught can be sudden and severe. It's so pathetic. Tragic, in fact.

Click. Whirrrrr (fan). Beep.
Mouse: Hi computer. It's me, Mouse.
Computer: Duh.
Keyboard: Hey there, buddy. Remember me, Keyboard?
Computer: Duh.
Monitor: How's it goin' computer? It's your old pal, Monitor.
Computer: Duh.

After looping the boot up cycle about 150 times, trying desperately to tweak the BIOS, I took it to Staples for a free diagnostic. I was greeted by a very polite and friendly young geek named Dylan who hooked my machine up to life support.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Diagnostic Staples. I'm here to help.
Computer: Duh.

After about an hour of CPR, Dylan unhooked the life support system and pronounced it dead.

It was a sad day.

However, the good news is that it wasn't my hard drive. HAHAHA. You all thought my XP would die first, didn't ya? Fortunately, when one lives with senile computers, one takes precautions to preserve multiple copies of data, so most of what is important I have on flash drives.

Life's a bitch. Sometimes it's even a notch better.

So along comes an angel:


Who cheerfully told me he had a computer he would be glad to give me. No, I lie. (Actually, TWO computers.)

I had hoped to just hook in my hard drive, but this one is SATA and mine is IDE. (You know, the old SCSIs.) I've done some looking around and there are IDE to SATA converters. But I needed a computer RIGHT NOW.

Brought it home, hooked it up: BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. . . . BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. Fucking seriously? I JUST BROUGHT YOU HOME AND YOU'RE GIVING ME THE BEEP CODE? Fortunately, it was a quick fix—a matter of pulling out a bad RAM stick.

And guess what operating system is installed. HAHAHAHA. Yep! It's XP. However, the hard drive storage is three times bigger than my other one. My original intent was to remove the hard drive and return it to the person who gave it to me, but I was so excited about this larger capacity, plus, it has Word 2010 AND the companion Picture Manager that Microsoft doesn't even offer any more, and which is one of my main tools for the graphics I do on my site. I know there are others, but this one makes life SO easy. Anyways, I asked the person who gave it to me if I could go ahead and keep the hard drive and he had no problem with that.

OK, now he knows me really well and I am honored that he trusts me enough to give me a computer with all of his personal information on it. I mind my own business (and wish others would do the same). I told him I would not look at any of his contents, and I didn't. Couldn't care less, really. So I began the process of THE GREAT PURGE. Really basically wiped out half the hard drive. My enthusiasm accelerated as I got rolling, and at one point, I almost deleted some system files. Ooops.


OK, maybe not. And I'm not deaf.
At least this computer is smarter than me.

Here is a humorous anecdote that I'd like to share about my all day project of converting a hard drive from SM to LC. Even after I cleaned up stuff, defragmented, updated, and all the other tweaks, I was still unable to access anything online but the National Weather Service. (HAHA! Go figure. . .) I couldn't get any website without a huge warning popping up, preventing me from accessing a site that "didn't have a valid certificate." My email, Adobe, Mozilla. . .even GOOGLE. So I'm sitting there swearing, thinking, my goodness, HOW MUCH SECURITY DID THIS MAN REQUIRE? I mean, I know he's got little kids and obviously doesn't want them getting on porn or violence, but c'mon. Google? After struggling with this for hours, I happened to notice something strange in the fine print. When the website warning popped up, way at the bottom it said:

This certificate will not be valid until January 1, 2016.

I had reset the clock to internet time, but you know the satellites were doing strange things that day because of all the rain and of course the endless chemtrails. Well, the TIME had reset, but the DATE said January 1, 2007. . . Ooops.

So I reset the clock manually, and by Jove, everything suddenly worked. Back to the Future. . .

So, in any case, I need to now finish loading all the contents of my flash drives onto this computer. Meanwhile, I've decided to hunt for a used motherboard to replace in my old computer. I'd really like to just keep my old hard drive in that one, and use this as a back-up, plus whatever I do with the third one. My goal is to learn to build a web server so I don't have to deal with the idiots at HostGator any more.

Oh, and I almost forgot. My first trip (before Staples) was to my neighbor, Marion, who is quite a whiz. Our other neighbor (who has sadly moved), built my old computer out of spare parts, and taught her to build also. She just happened to have a CD for Windows 8.1, of which, once loaded, can be updated to Windows 10 for free, (because 8.1 was such a disaster). So she gave it to me because she had no use for it and had forgotten to return it. I will most likely reprogram the third computer to 10, keeping XP as a slave.


Incidentally, the day I went to pick up this computer, I stopped at the Giant Eagle in Rootstown and both the packing guy and the cashier were really into programming and building computers, so we talked for a while because it was dead all over on Sunday morning. (I think people forgot to change their clocks.) The cashier made an interesting comment concerning Windows of which I heartily agree. I told her I was going to upgrade to 10, and she said she was hesitant to do that anymore, because everything after XP has been like Microsoft going back to the Stone Age. Vista was a disaster, 8 and 8.1. . . Nothing but problems. She said Microsoft built the perfect OS when they built XP, but werent making any money 'cause everyone was running it, and we all know how much Bill Gates LOVES TO MAKE MONEY. She said, after XP, they hit bottom and are in the process of working their way up again—to XP! She said eventually they will come out with an OS that is actually XP again with a different name. HA! I totally agree with that!


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