Friday, November 17, 2006

Because 2001: A Space Odyssey had a point. Kind of.

Alright, so I don't really understand computers. I know how to do lots of things on them, and I can figure it out if I look around enough. But I don't get them.
My laptop is a man, which might have something to do with it. I learned about his gender during our first year together, in the spring of 2003. He began to do act strangely. Then one day he completely flipped out. I tried calling tech support, but it was all a mystery. After the first call, he worked again--sort of. It only did about half the things I expected of it--just enough to not call for help. He insisted he was fine. When I learned that it was a ridiculous virus, I turned to it and said, "Why wouldn't you just let me call a doctor?!?" Passerby thought I was talking to a boyfriend. I realized then and there that my computer was definitely male. There would be no checkup for this one--he was fine. He didn't need an expert's opinion. Suuuure. He brought home a present shortly thereafter--a NEW virus disguised as some sort of software, which I had declined when a pop-up offered it to me. He brought it home anyway, thinking himself a smart, kind computer. Bringing the little woman a nice gift--and not even on her birthday! Or is it? Oh well, either way. It reminded me of when my father brought home a puppy to my mother--when she had twin infants, an older child, an older dog, and a job to deal with. Nice idea, Dad, but now Mom just has one more thing to clean up after. (For the record, the puppy worked out remarkably well and was loved a great deal. Don't panic.) I appreciated my computer's thoughtfulness in bringing a gift, but it just meant more clean-up for me.
(You might think I named my laptop upon learning his gender and speaking to him as a real person. You would be wrong. A name was too good for him; too good for our love/hate rollercoaster relationship. I merely refer to him as The Bastard in times of hate and nothing at all in times of love.)
I worry that despite his occasional stupidity, my computer knows too much. It's really a trust issue, I suppose. I'm still trying to figure out the source of that. But I'm guessing it might have something to do with his affair with my first printer.

One day I'll tell you about her, and why she's dead now.

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