My Computer Alone
by Peary Perry
often wonder how we ever accomplished any business in the years before computers.
It seems to me that a great deal of our entire daily existence is totally dependent
upon one operating system or another. From the programmed coffee maker in the
morning to the television set at night, when computers and their inner workings
go bad, our lives seem to be placed into levels of stress not achieved twenty
five years ago.
Iím not certain all of the progress we have made is necessarily
for the good.
I donít know about you, but Iíd like everyone in my family
to leave my computer alone, donít mess with it, donít change anything, donít try
to improve itÖ.just let it be. I like the way I have it set up and know how to
use it for the things I need. If I want any changes, Iíll ask for them, otherwise
just donít do anything to it. As far as Iím concerned these things are fragile.
There is nothing like typing a letter, report or a column that you are very proud
of and then have it disappear into the far reaches of the universe never to be
seen again. You have no idea what you did to cause this catastrophic event to
occur and you have no idea how to resurrect what you have lost. I get the same
feeling when I get a letter from the IRS.
Last weekend Iím sitting at
my desk at home, happily working away, when I keep getting some type of upgrade
notice from Microsoft. I didnít want the upgrade and foolishly clicked on the
delete button. Of course this not only deleted the upgrade, but apparently every
thing else associated with it including all of my previous operating files. After
several attempts to start over I go to the Microsoft website and learn how to
download the trial version of the software that I have erased. This is where the
hard part comes in. To download requires me to type in a 35 character password
or product key. Unfortunately for me the 8ís and the Bís look the same so I have
to retype and retype until I get it correct. I also have a problem with the 0ís
and the Oís Ö.but thatís another story. Once you get the code typed in just right,
then you have to wait for several very long (I mean long) minutes for the program
to download. Meanwhile youíre afraid to leave and answer the phone or go to the
bathroom in fear that while youíre gone, some secret important message will appear
telling you to do something that will get you further along. Failing to do whatever
it says may cause irreparable harm and perhaps increase global warming. In fact
Iím certain that anything you do wrong will increase global warming.
have no clue as to whether or not Iím actually making any progress or not. The
little hourglass doesnít give me any indication of how much progress (if any)
Iíve made or how much further I have to go. Iím determined to do this myself and
not call anyone (much less my children) for help. This has now become a personal
point of pride with me. Kind of like going back to the health club for the first
time in five years, you always think you can still bench press 200 pounds, no
matter how old you are.
Finally a little note appears and tells me that
it is extracting files. Panic sets into my brain. To me extraction means the same
as removing, I think Iím supposed to be adding programs and files, not removing
or as they sayÖextracting anything. But the clock is ticking and there is activity
so I best sit and wait in agonizing silence while it does whatever is trying to
do. I should not have had that last cup of coffee.
Finally it says that
it is finished, but nothing appears on my big computer. Instead it has downloaded
everything to my laptop since I had it on as well to help me in my quest for reinstatement.
Once again a wave of defeat sweeps over me and Iím tempted to call one of my sons
and ask for assistance. I shut down the laptop and go back to the big unit and
try once more, holding my breath and praying that somehow, some way it will all
work out and everything will be back as it was. Iím not certain God acts on computer
repair prayer requests, and tend to think He treats them like requests from football
coaches. Someone has to win and someone has to lose, so He just lets things work
themselves out on their own.
However, hallelujahÖ.Iím saved ...everything
is back and working Öfor the moment anyway. I have no idea if I did the right
thing or if God took pity on me and fixed it for me. I think the prayers helped,
I certainly canít see that they hurt anything.
© Peary Perry
From North America - December 9, 2009 column
in 80 newspapers
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