I’ve been here before. I know what to do. You press the power button for a while, and eventually it wakes up, complains about being unexpectedly killed and resurrected, and then grudgingly boots and gets on with it. This sometimes involves protracted white-on-black gobbledegook diatribes, to which I am occasionally ordered to press ‘enter’ or ‘spacebar’, or some other key, within 45 seconds, OR ELSE! I’ve once or twice been scolded that I should defrag my disk, whatever that means: I respond, shoutily, ‘That’s your job, mate!’, then sigh and do it anyway.
This morning, none of that worked. Nothing. Nada. Ziltch. Niente. [Insert your own Local Hero quote ad lib.] It’s finally snuffed it, I decided. So I hauled myself upstairs and hauled down my fallback machine, an elderly XP Toshiba that hasn’t been used for at least three years, and weighs a ton. I plugged it in and booted it up, and it worked! Well, after a few Rumpelstiltskin moments, including having to upgrade the anti-virus software, which took three days’ work compressed into ninety minutes; but it worked! The important email wasn’t there.
One of the things about me is that I’m quite dogged, and quite analytical. (That’s why I’m so good at crosswords.) So once I’d sorted out the anxiety (that’s another of the things), I worked out that this computer’s problem was that it had been overfed with electricity. Switching off the power might have worked in the past, but we were in Mr Creosote territory here. So I unplugged the power cable and took the battery out. That’ll teach you, I thought. I let it all cool down, put it all back together – and here I am, typing this.
The thing is, though, (and here I muffle this machine’s ears and blindfold it), it’s going to have to go. What replaces it is a question for another day. I don’t have tribal loyalties, but I also don’t want to have to switch allegiances nor relearn how to walk or run. I’ll be doing this within the next seven days – feel free to help.