Monday, October 18, 2010

Computer Panic

I use my computer daily. I depend on my computer. I just didn't know how much. I had been working on my first draft, passed the middle, and was clipping right along at a good pace when my computer went on strike. It would freeze and give everything a pinkish background. The error said there was an infinite loop happening. Lots of shutdowns, restarts, etc. I begged it not to crash and burn like its predecessor. I promised it I would treat it right. I said lots of bad words. During the few times I got the computer to act right, I made sure everything was backed up on flash drives, and searched the net for my particular error, no help there. I did all the things you try yourself first.

On Sunday after starting up twice, it acted fine long enough to get on the web. I got Tech Support online and on the phone. Martin said it was probably caused by interruption of an updated install. He had me log off, unplug the printer and cable modem, push buttons, startup, and reattach things. When I restarted it, the computer acted perfectly. Martin said  he thought that would take care of it, but there was no guarantee. All day the computer was fine but I kept waiting...worrying. I visited blogs and wrote some more, worrying the whole time. I couldn't even relax and read for thinking about it. Finally went to my sister's house to get away from it all, I bought doughnuts on the way, the sugar buzz helped. When I came home, I peeked in to see how it was doing.

Oh, how I didn't want to turn it off last night, but I wanted to treat it normally. Would it ever start again? Luckily, no nightmares or tossing and turning. Then this morning I held my breath as I pushed the start button. Whew!

The way I felt during all this, the helplessness of worrying about what will I do without it, the quickly making plans to buy another while this one is being fixed, made me wonder. Should the computer be that important? How about sharing some of your computer panic moments?

21 comments:

  1. Doughnuts are good. They work. So does chocolate. Glad you're back to normal. :) PS/Don't confuse important with necessary. :) Though for some reason necessary feels just as worrisome. (If you decide to purchase new, go with a Mac. Really.)

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  2. I completely know what you mean. Recently my computer has been behaving weird, not always picking up wireless connections. (It's really annoying. I only get internet in my livingroom now.) Since I use my computer (and internet!) for work, writing, and just general stuff, it's been kind of debilitating! I also had that sense, like "this shouldn't be such a big deal."

    But it is. I mean, everything is dependent on computers these days. For better or for worse.

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  3. I feel the same way...then I think back on the days when we didn't have computers/cell phones around. We managed to get by somehow, but it's amazing how attached I am to mine now. My internet was out for about nine months last year before I saved up for a new computer, and I had to go to the library to check email/internet. It was a great lesson in patience!

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  4. Andrea, thanks for the Mac tip. I used one at school then my sister gave me a computer with Windows and Word. It was hard to change but I'm used to it now. This computer replaced that one so I stuck with Windows. I don't know if I could change back. But I will check them out before I buy.

    Amanda and Jess, I know exactly what emotions you went through. Let's hope it never happens again to any of us.

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  5. My laptop is on the verge of death. It could happen any day now. I have my work laptop that is sleek and fast but I still use my old one. Go figure.

    One the worst nightmares I had was when my computer was stolen. It just so happened, I had printed out my manuscript. Now, I back up everything and keep in two separate places.

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  6. Karen, having it stolen must have been heartbreaking. Even though you had a paper copy, typing it over must have seemed like a trial!

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  7. Oh my gosh, you poor thing! I can only imagine the panic mode you were in.

    My time machine back up has gone days without backing up before, and I didn't know it right away. I pay for online back up for this reason. I'm paranoid about losing what I've written!

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  8. When our power cord was damaged and we couldn't charge up the computer, I was ready to cry...because it was three weeks after a virus ended up knocking out everything on the hard drive. We do pay a price for all of our "connected-ness."

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  9. Julie, I've thought of doing that, but right now I'm using CD's and flash drives.
    Liza, that is a horror story for sure!

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  10. Catherine, I really felt your panic on reading this post.

    Last week I had a similar experience when my laptop went 'blank' on me. Lunchtime it was fine, then was struck with a mystery ailment by evening. I blame the problem on some updates. Eventually after lots of switching on and off it came right again but seemed to run slower on start-up.

    Such scares are unpleasant but they do serve as a reminder to be conscientious with back-ups.

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  11. Glad you're backing up, Catherine. Redundant backups are a great idea. Madame Duck, the problem might be a loose wire in the antenna (if you're losing a laptop) or you might need to change chGladannels on the router. Sometimes just turning off wireless, waiting a minute, and then turning it back on restores service in other areas of the house. I lose my connection upstairs sometimes when a plane goes over (a phenom I blame on having an old router, which we can't update because the family computer is a Win98 that won't die and we're too frugal to replace something that works well enough most of the time!)

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  12. Christine, interruption of an update was what Martin said probably caused it. That partial installation corrupts things. Sometimes, even with a full installation, my computer works slower.

    Anne, good advice for Amanda, I'm remembering that one since I'm out looking now for a laptop to replace this desktop--just in case.

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  13. Oh, man, that's the lurking worry always in the background. We never used to be so dependent on these machines, and now we are. Glad you still seem to be in business. Your's is a good reminder that I should be backing things up more regularly :-)

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  14. Exactly, Kenda, after this happened I make sure I back up everything daily. Why do I always have to learn the hard way :)

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  15. Catherine, I understand what you went through. Its something I have undergone several times. What I do is make backup files (copy on CD's) and I have created an email account ( which I don't share with anyone) where all my stories, articles and books are saved. Every time I rewrite I save it into my private email account as an attachment.

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  16. Last year, during NaNoWriMo, I went to open my WIP document and it was a blank empty page - when I knew there should already be over 40,000 words! I was actually shaking. I usually don't back up, but I had backed the document up to my home hard drive, I rushed home not knowing if it would look the same when I opened it. Thankfully it was still there. I noticed that this has never happened with a short one page letter (computers have a cruel and ironic sense of humour).
    Good to hear you back up :-)

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  17. Rachna, I like the separate email account idea.

    Charmaine, that was a heart stopping moment! I'm so glad it was resting comfortable someplace else.

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  18. wow, that would totally stress me out! I do back up my work by sending it to another computer, just in case. But so far, I've been very lucky! Well, I just bought my first computer a few years ago, so I guess it hasn't had time to get old!

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  19. Terry, this one is only three years old, and someone said it may be the video/graphics card (???) They said it "wears out" after 2 1/2 years. What? I'm not a big gamer? Anyway, I'll be checking into that if it goes wacky again.

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  20. Luckily we've got a main family computer, and then I've got my laptop. That takes a lot of the pressure off, especially since for some reason my laptop cords always seem to fray and then I'm stuck without my laptop while I'm waiting on a new cord. I hope your computer continues to cooperate!

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  21. My computer got wonky the other week and in a panic I copied all my pictures onto discs!

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