Monday, April 11, 2011

Unplugged!

I was supposed to have been away this weekend on one of my long, weekend jaunts out west, but plans that had been made before that, but not written on the big calendar on the freezer door, pretty much forced me to stay put.   It's funny how things happen, because on Saturday morning I awoke to some kind of odd Windows warning on my screen.  You know - one of those, "Sorry for the inconvenience, but we're going to shut you down now," kinds of windows.  After that, every computer gremlin in hell was released into my PC.  Programs wouldn't start, but they said they were running in the task bar in spite of never appearing on the monitor.  Programs that did open seemed to have minds of their own, working, or more accurately not working, in unpredictable fashion.

It's a sickening feeling to me when I have computer woes, as if some part of my very body is out of kilter.  I tried restoring the system to a previous working state, but after numerous tries, the problems persisted.  I kept rebooting, somehow thinking that eventually all would miraculously somehow be well, but the day went on with more heavy sighs than words coming out of me.  The Mrs. simply told me to go out and get a new machine.  Tempting, but the thought of reinstalling everything I use often was too daunting to consider it.  All I wanted was for the problems to disappear and for all to go on as usual.

It's now Sunday evening as I key this post on the netbook - in Microsoft Word...

I gave in this morning when I got up after a fitful sleep, once again idiotically imagining that maybe a good night's sitting would fix the PC but discovering to my disappointment (surprise, even) that the devil and his minions had taken over my computer for good.  I waited for Best Buy to open and picked out the Dell that had been advertised in their weekend circular that would best fit my needs.  I got it home, set the carton aside, and then set out to face the intimidating job of untangling the absolute nest of wires that had accumulated under my computer desk over the course of the last ten years or so.  A big thick parallel printer cable was among the tangled snakes and worms of wires.  I hadn't used a parallel port in ages!   I figured it would take a good hour under there.  Guess again.  



Where the PC should be
 
After unplugging the DSL modem, sorting out its cables and then powering it back up, it became apparent that something was terribly, horribly, awfully wrong.  The familiar sequence of blinking lights didn't do its usual thing and hasn't since in spite of having tried everything I can possibly think of to restore the modem to working order.  Yes, there's a dial tone on the line.  No, the back-up modem won't boot up to DSL service either.  I even took the bloody thing to the basement and attached it physically to where the cable coming upstairs originates.  I swapped out each of the cables.  And with every failure I just felt more beaten than I had before I tried it.  I threw in the towel around 3 when I called the ISP and scheduled a service call for tomorrow afternoon.  I paced the house aimlessly.  I tried reading and watching TV.  And every time I walked past the stinking modem I power cycled it yet again hoping for the best.  Around 5 I took off on the scooter to try to clear my head.

It was a nice ride even though my thoughts didn't stray far from the fact that my brand new computer is still in its box.  I figured there isn't much sense in hooking it up because as soon as it boots I'll probably be asked to register it online.



A bright part of the day - the county park
is now open for the (riding) season!

I rode to the county park that's locked from when it gets cold in late autumn till the powers that be deem it warm enough to open the gates again in the spring and was thrilled to find the gates wide open!  I paused to get some pictures and to make a phone call and then headed back because the chill was creeping into me.  Of course once I got back indoors I tried power cycling the modem again, just in case.  Yeah, right!  I fired up the netbook instead and started typing these words thinking that writing this post offline would take up a good portion of the evening.  

It's only 7:30 and I have a newfound appreciation for the lifestyle of those poor folks who lived around the time that "Little House on the Prairie" was set.  What did they do to stop from going stir crazy?  Oh, Pa played some hymns on the fiddle while the wife and daughters quilted or something, but really?  Night after night without the internet?  How did they manage to survive?

So, the game plan here is to finish this up and then post it when I'm connected to the 'net tomorrow at work when I'm on a break.  That's if I make it through the night.  I have a book somewhere, I think, and maybe if I'm really lucky there will be something on The Discovery Channel that isn't a bunch of surly sailors chasing after crabs.  If it works out, you'll possibly be reading this before my 'net service here at the house is restored.  Send up a prayer or two, please - that I might preserve my sanity till all is back in working order.


1 comment:

Doug said...

"The Internet is BORG. Resistance is futile. You have been assimilated."