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Friday, December 17, 2004

A Pauper's Grave

I wish that I knew exactly how much time I spend working to fix my computer and how much time it “saves” me. If I were to add up all of the time I have spent waiting for my computer to do something, and all of the hours I have toiled fixing something that is screwed up, and the countless days of trial and error figuring out how to work this damn thing, and if I took all that time and applied it to some useful task I could probably be a pretty good juggler by now. I could have learned some cool cards tricks. I could be playing the banjo right now instead of bitching about my computer in this essay.

You can make a good living as a street artist if you can juggle, do cards tricks, or play a mean banjo. Instead of entertaining passersby on a street corner I toil away as a slave to a thin slab of plastic and silicon chips. I feel like some Neolithic hunter-gatherer who has to spend 22 hours a day chasing around my food which consists of a skinny little lizard and a handful of berries which may or may not prove to be fit for human caveman consumption. A more industrious caveman would just win his skinny little lizard and potentially-fatal berries in a game of three card Monty and then take the rest of the day off.

This essay was inspired by a vicious little computer bug I picked up a week ago. It is an ad ware file that my spy ware program was unable to delete. I began a search and destroy mission deep in the bowels of my computer. As I searched I came upon stuff I thought I had eliminated months and even years ago. It was definitely time to do a little house cleaning on my laptop.

Sometimes when you do some really thorough house cleaning you go too far. It is kind of like if you had an illegal immigrant maid cleaning your apartment and she threw away the title to your car because she thought it was junk mail—not that any illegal immigrant would be that dumb. I basically threw away the title to my car and the deed to my house, or whatever the moral equivalent to that is when you just go around randomly deleting files from your computer’s hard drive.

I came home a little after I had deleted the files and my computer looked like a house plant I had watered with battery acid. “I’m sorry, was I not supposed to water the plant with battery acid?” So now my expensive computer is lying dead on my coffee table. Results of the autopsy were inconclusive but the cause of death was cited as human error. Viewing hours are between 1 and 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers please donate to the charity of your choice.

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