So, the cause of my computer freezing four times a day has turned out to be the approaching demise of its hard disk, and after it finally locked me out for ever on Wednesday, with a humorous last message in DOS advising me to key Ctrl-Alt-Del to restart, I have had to give it a heart transplant.
I say ‘give’, actually there is no National Health Service for computers and, as it was seemingly out of warranty by about 30 minutes, according to the smallest print, we start our new life £85 lighter. That’s £25 more than I can earn in a day from doing the little occasional gardening jobs – eight hours pulling weeds in the broiling sun – that keep me, Hualive.nzi and the Cat
Now, you noticed that? I went to type ‘me, Hunzi and the Cat alive’, but instead it came out all jumbled-up? I don’t think it’s my typing, which I have been practising for over half a century. In fact, when I first acquired my pretty little Asus U45V 14-in notebook a year and 30 minutes ago, it had this habit, especially when composing emails, of just putting the words wherever the cursor felt like going, and the fun was having to go and look for them, like runaway . (I have just lost the word ‘teenagers’, can anybody see it?)
It seemed to cure itself after a while, but now it is doing it again, it is no longer fun, it is bloody annoying*.
More annoying still is that, while the laptop doctor did manage to recover most of my data – there are some odd holes, where you ask for a file and it tries to connect you to the Interweb thing to obtain a licence – I lost all my installed programs and had to spend yesterday trying to remember what they were and how to install them again. This tedious activity was enlivened by frequent interruptions from the beanbag men at Microsoft closing my computer down unhelpfully without asking, to shove various nondescript updates at me, to expiate their past mistakes.
At one stage, having shut the machine down to allow it to digest some crap from AVG that it wouldn’t stop persuading me to try out free for a day**, I had to wait over an hour while they slowly configured 62 updates. It was like having to politely wait for a chronic stammerer to get out a sentence when you have already figured out the ending.
Is all this garbage worth it? I have just had a decent rebate of the tax I overpaid last year and am proposing to buy a used desktop machine with a proper keyboard and all, that I shan’t bother connecting to the Internet, so that I can get on uninterrupted with my life’s work of bogling to you, dear Spammers, Followers and Likers, without whom… But every time I go to the secondhand shop, I can’t bring myself to buy one. I can’t go through all those terrible setup routines again, it’s just soul destroying.
Do please write in if you would like to sign my petition calling for all computers to be melted down and turned into sculptures of sentience.
* ‘Young Bogler’ writes all the way from China to remind me that I need to ask the touchpad thing to disable itself when the mouse is engaged. I remember that is what we did before, but not how. Oh dear.***
** This refers to something called Tune-Up, where you are offered a means of speeding up your computer while slowing down your battery consumption, one of those impossible things software developers expect you to believe before breakfast. The one-off ‘Free trial’ turned out to be nothing more than a highly suspect diagnostic, whereafter you were requested to pay £25 to actually fix all the many worrying problems it had found. Refusal to do so results in an unclosable window opening on your desktop. Uninstalling the program produces another window with a pathetic message of grief and loss, reducing the price to £17.50. Too late, AVG, I had already made up my mind to kill you.
*** Many years later Uncle Bogler writes in, to say that it seems that it is no longer possible to disable the touchpad. Not only has the facility been designed out of Asus’ onboard operating program, certainly on this machine, but the download patch seems no longer to exist. Consequently, having lost the utility with the change of hard drive, my keyboard is once again behaving like a performing flea. I despair.
Another century, and I feel the need to update you and all my Spammers on a technological breakthrough I have since made in respect of the Asus touchpad disconnection problem.
The simple but effective solution I have developed (my company is based in the Boglington Circus techno-hub thing and is available to purchase now for about 6 billion units of your favourite currency) is to Scotch-tape a piece of stout cardboard over the touchpad, so that it loses its touchy-feely qualities.
I would call it a ‘patch’, were it not for the fact that use of the word has been pre-empted by MS beanbags expiating their past errors.