Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The day I met Larry David

I have an announcement to make. No, nobody's pregnant. Why does nobody ever guess that?

I have gathered you here today to announce that for the first time in my life, I have... wait for it... a laptop.

It's a hand-me-down, which was pretty much dead. So I guess that makes it more of a throwaway. Remember when you were young and you would cruise the city streets looking for an old couch someone had set out on the curb that you could pick up after dark and carry back to your place so that you would have an actual piece of furniture? Well, this laptop is my present-day couch on the curb.

I should start off by saying I'm no computer expert. Well, to some people I am: my family, most girlfriends, LJ, everyone at work. My knowledge of computers is similar to my knowledge of cars, in that I know enough to think I can fix what's wrong, and can usually at least attempt to fix it without making things even worse.

As I stated, this one was pretty much dead. The lights would come on, but the operating system would never load and the screen was blank.

A few weeks ago, skating right through that gray area of the - quote - "law," I was able to procure a Windows CD. After several hours over a couple of days, I managed to get something on the screen which resembled Windows, but seemed to only have about 10% of the familiar Windows components installed. For example, the Recycle Bin was the only icon on the entire screen, there was no wireless adapter showing in the control panel, and there was no sound. You know, minor things like that.

Well, what is the point of having a computer with no internet? So I set it aside and decided a new laptop was probably going to be my only option. Day after day I would see it just sitting there in the living room floor, calling to me. (Obviously not literally, as the sound still didn't work.)

Normally, I give up rather easily on anything I can't figure out within a couple of hours. Well, other than golf and girls. But once in a great long while, when the moon and Uranus are both aligned in the third quadrant of the red sun, my propensity for giving up easily is matched, yea, superseded by my stubbornness and unwillingness to admit defeat.

This normally only happens when I'm doing something I think a man should be able to do -- such as installing a car stereo or finding an intended destination without stopping to ask for directions. It happened again this past Monday night. I turned on the laptop to try it one more time.

And wonder of wonders, it worked! A more complete looking Windows came up, though there was still no sound or wireless adapter. So yesterday I consulted a friend who's a bit higher on the computer food chain than I. And through some website that seemed legal, if not entirely in English, I was able to download the necessary drivers.

After umpteen hours of mental sweat and only intermittently wavering dedication -- which is probably the most I've ever worked on any one thing in my life -- I had a working laptop, with Windows, and access to the internets!

Amazing laptop, how sweet the sound! It once was dead, but now is alive. Had no sound, but now can speak. Not that I'm some kind of computer messiah. Not even an apostle. Just one of the multitudes. Sittin' near the back, munching on some loaves and fishes, and spittin' 70 wpm on his slightly used Toshiba.

To say it has been a long and arduous process would be an understatement. Actually now that I look up the definition of "arduous" I guess it's not really that much of an understatement after all. Maybe even an overstatement. Let's call it a labor of love.

Now I can get online anywhere and everywhere! The bed, the couch... OK, so just the bed and the couch, but still! I can surf the 'net AND watch ESPN at the same time! I haven't been this excited about technology since I first played Oregon Trail. I mean, I'm blogging from bed, people!

Did I ever tell you about the day I met Larry David? Well, I always thought the day I finally meet Larry David would be the happiest day of my life. But I was wrong. It's this.

The only possible issue I can foresee is motivating myself to ever move from this position.

"Cause even on a slow day, I can have a three way, chat with two women at one time. I'm so much cooler online..."


  1. I'm the computer guru in my family and I think you are a pay grade above me!

    Oregon trail... now that brings back lots of memories.

  2. So if you meet Larry David it will be just another day?
    Congrats on being a computer expert--at least compared to me. I can't even get my new natural light--20 types of lights to wake up to--to work. The clock yes. the radio yes. But the reason I bought it!!!!

  3. The wife hates it when I go Dumpster Diving and bring back PCs that neighbors have thrown out. If I can get them up & running (and usually I can) what's the problem?

  4. glad that you were able to save this computer that was surely headed to the recycling heap. ya done good!

    I hope you have many happy hours of net surfing while watching tv... you're multitasking!

  5. Ed - Greetings, my fellow Willamette Valley traveler. It's a long journey. Good luck. And watch out for that dysentery.

    Pia - Well no, that'll still be the second happiest day of my life. Unless I meet Jason Morgan. Then Larry drops to third.

    Cap'n John - Well I know one thing, I'll never look at a seemingly dead laptop the same again.

    Renee - Thanks. Now all that's left to do is add a snack for the trifecta.

  6. I'm a computer expert among my parents and their friends. When I still lived at home - or even when I visited and they both lived there - I heard a lot of "Oh, TC can come down and help you: she can do ANYTHING on the computer."

    Just because I can turn it on, type papers, and surf the 'net does not make me Ms. Fix It.

    I could have never done what you did. Bravo!

    PS: Isn't blogging from bed like the best thing ever?!?! :-D We'll expect more posts out of you now. You did realize that was gonna happen, right?

  7. Are you serious? You know how to fix laptops? How about a Dell?
    I have one that needs fixing. no warranty left on it. not worth paying to dell tech guy to fix it. That would cost me more than I paid for it. BUt yet I can force myself to move on.

    When do you want me to send it to you?


  8. "Amazing laptop, how sweet the sound! It once was dead..." I could hear you singing! You're funny and I'm sure a better computer expert than me.

  9. This makes this post for me.Amazing laptop, how sweet the sound! It once was dead, but now is alive. Had no sound, but now can speak.

    I feel your joy at being able to blog from bed, and completely understand how this supersedes meeting Larry David.

  10. Congrats! You are stepping up in the world.
    I would have happily given you my lappy. Ok, not really. But you see, I'm mad at my lappy. The internet will not work, and you know life as we know it is shattered when you have no internet. Can I just tell you that I have not been on facebook for 3 days. I know!!!
    By the way, no one ever guesses I'm pregnant either. I wonder why? Oh right, I can't ever get a date, or a second date. Yeah...

  11. this is hilarious. I have a laptop from my job, and sometimes, I think it would be better if I had fashioned it together with a hot-glue-gun and some pipecleaners. It's such a p-o-s. (a term I haven't used in about 5 years, but it felt good, so I went with it.)

    my favorite part of this story is having the knowledge that you will always be able to claim that you "installed your own operating system" on your computer. which makes you sound very techsavvy. I like it. you'll need to start throwing that fact into 90% of your future conversations.

  12. The only possible issue I can foresee is motivating myself to ever move from this position.

    My laptop is the best AND worst thing that has ever happened to me.

    Glad it didn't get the best of you... you conquered an inanimate object!

    Can you really type 70wpm??? Good lawd.

  13. This just cracked me up. I really thought you were going to go into more areas that you could bring you computer...very glad you didn't share that. :-)

    Enjoy your new green computer.

  14. TC - Exactly. That's sort of what I was alluding to with the computer food chain. There are many levels of expertise or lack thereof.

    PS - I was afraid of that.

    KittyCat - Well, a week ago I would have said I don't know. But at the moment, I'm feeling like I can fix anything :)

    Sage - Perhaps, but the iBone just doesn't have the same ring as the iSage :)

    Cooper - I hereby propose we replace "sliced bread" with "blogging from bed" in the "best thing since" phrase.

    OKChick - Lappy? Is that what the kids are calling them now?

    Let me know if you want me to email you Oregon Trail to pass the time until you get your internet working :)

    Cami - I like that idea! And I could follow it up by going all Napoleon Dynamite: "Yeah, it's pretty much the best OS I've ever installed."

    Robyn - OK, I gotta confess, I just retook the online typing test and only got 66 wpm. BUT, I'm still getting used to this laptop keyboard O:)

    I like it when you say lawd.

    PennyCandy - Well, that briefly crossed my mind, then I quickly thought better of it.

  15. The best purchase I ever made was my laptop! For years, I had a desktop and I was okay with that. But then I got the laptop and was able to surf while watching tv and it was the best of both worlds!! Congrats on getting that laptop to work.