Deep breath. Why, oh why is it so frustrating and darn-right hard to get back into the swing of things (again) after being forced to manage without my laptop? I know, it’s not the end of the world, far worse things happen at sea (especially if the computer crashes I would imagine, ha!) but still, I know that you will commiserate with me.
Focusing on the good points, although I still have a broken touchpad and have to keep using a mouse (which rather defeats the point of having a laptop, but there you go) my wiped-clean and restored laptop is now free of all software problems, hopefully.
The other bonus is that I now have a rather sexy-looking robot whose steely good looks pop up here and there on my monitor to remind me that he is guarding against any and all nasty viruses (well, alright, he is rather more androgynous in a metallic sort of way than sexy but he does have a slight ring of the Terminator about him and on a bitterly cold Somerset afternoon I’ll take what I can get).
I’ve tried my best to catch up with most of you and thanks so much for keeping in touch (although one or two of you did have rather too much fun in my absence, no names mentioned!) There are others out there going through similar computer/internet issues and I do feel your pain.
Which leads me to this: We all rely so much on modern technology now and since I started writing in earnest and then blogging I’ve realised that I’ve come to rely on it in a way I never did before. So alright, I admit, it has been a major pain in the rear but compared to the times back in the day when we were a family of five sharing one computer, it has been a walk in the park. On a sunny day.
Back then, it was like World War Three in our house if something went wrong with the computer.
Here is the scenario: Eldest Son comes home from school one day when he is about fourteen years old saying that the teachers have announced that they will no longer be marking hand-written work, such was the state of it that they couldn’t read it, so it was now necessary that all students turn in typed work if they want it to be graded.
Well that’s all fine and dandy then.
This of course meant that we had to get a computer, at huge expense, or so it seemed at the time. I remember we paid twelve monthly interest-free payments for it on our credit card. The fact that it would be a dinosaur within two years wasn’t even a consideration. Bearing in mind that this would have been in the mid 90’s and hardly anybody we knew had a home PC back then. How things have changed.
Of course everyone wanted a piece of the action with our new
expensive, state-of-the-art computer toy. Meaning ex-husband (EH) who thought it was great for playing war games into the small hours. He worked shifts in a tough job, I’ll give him that, but if I ever hear a battle cry accompanied by a shrill horn blowing repeatedly at three in the morning ever again I cannot be held responsible for my actions.
Of course, with the arrival of the computer, so came the arguments. Thick and fast. Both boys needed it for homework (and their gaming too!) and then little Aspie D* who grew up from day one with all things technological and so thought nothing of grabbing the cursor away from me when she saw fit to ‘show me how it’s done properly’.
Forget the ‘Barbie’ horse-riding computer game, she wanted what the boys had, but I had to remind them that when playing such ghastly things like ‘Doom’ or such not to let her watch too!
The kicker was when EH would arrive home in the late afternoons after the day shift (it was so much better when he worked swings) usually in a foul mood and wanting to relax by
sharing a nice cup of tea with me blowing someone’s brains out and exploding a few bombs along the way. Working in a prison will do that to you.
Never mind that Eldest Son was sitting quietly at the computer halfway through a vital homework assignment. Despite my protestations on my son’s behalf, his father took over insisting that it ‘wouldn’t be for long’ and that was when the trouble started.
‘Dammit!’ he demanded to know, ‘Why was the computer running so slowly, and what was all that crap the kids kept downloading and putting on it?’ So you know what he did? He went in and erased all their music and games just so that he could play his games. Never mind all the ‘crap’ that he downloaded. I don’t think I need to explain any more just what kind of effect this had on family relations.
We do actually laugh about it now but back then it was a different matter entirely.
So, with the battle scars very much etched into our psyche, it was not much better when we were reduced to a little family of three after my divorce and we moved back here to the UK. Eldest Son was away at University but me, Nicky and Aspie D were back to sharing a computer.
I set a timetable between brother and sister for equal and fair use of their share of computer time after school. I found a part-time job as a legal secretary in the same town where we lived thankfully as it wasn’t uncommon for me to take a call from one of them up in arms about the latest computer crisis. Always the computer!
One call in particular did break my heart. Aspie D called me up in floods of tears. She could hardly get the words out. Reception was full of clients and I had mountains of work to get through but never mind all of that. I was naturally very concerned at her distress and I could only imagine the worst.
Had something happened to her or her brother at school or on the way home, I questioned? No. Had one of the cats got out (they were indoor cats at the time) and, God forbid, been hurt? No. Had we been burgled? No. At last she was able to tell me the horrific news.
She used to play a game designed for children called Neopets and she had worked really hard to have earned, much to her delight, the much sought-after magic mirror. But when she had gone into her account she was devastated to learn that someone had hacked into it and had stolen her prized magic mirror.
It took me the entire evening to calm her down about that.
Not long after that, we watched in horror as we were held powerless at the mercy of a ghastly virus which caused our computer monitor to turn jet black with a very strange message in red letters appear across it while the CD drive kept opening and closing all by itself repeatedly. I was so freaked about it that I actually called the police.
They were no help to this single mother with her two frightened kids thinking that we were being stalked by some unseen cyber monster.
So I think you can better understand why, as soon as I get any kind of a whiff of computer trouble, my blood turns to ice. I really do think that I’ve got computer-related post traumatic stress disorder.
In fact, I do believe I can hear the distant sound of a battle horn even now…
The very act of writing this post has helped me clear my head somewhat but I apologise that this is not the weekly photo challenge you might have expected, having just committed to producing these on a Monday. Instead I shall do this tomorrow and then, all being well, things will get back to normal for the rest of the week and beyond. Thanks so much for bearing with me and as I always say:
Watch this space 🙂
*Thanks Nav 😉