On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, late at night, as I napped on my recliner, from the corner of my eye I saw some blue text boxes pop-up on my computer screen. But I was too hung-over from a friend’s party to get up and actually see what was going on. I let the alcohol take over my senses and forgot all about my computer.
I wasn’t particularly worried about my computer as it has been acting up since I bought it two years ago. It would never wake up from sleep; it needed to be restarted gazillion times before it worked. I barely shut it down as I was afraid that it would not start.
I accepted it for what it was: A problem child. Moreover, quite frankly I didn’t even know what was the solution. Was I supposed to return it to the online retailer? Or keep on calling Dell customer service and spend hours and hours being transferred from one technician to another?
It isn’t that I don’t have experience with computers. This was my fifth computer in thirteen years. And all my other computers had suffered far more than this one. My first computer, a big-screen VAIO laptop traveled everywhere, got drenched and banged up during commute and flights. Its screen died after five wonderful years. I could never throw it out, so it rests in storage.
Then, on a whim, without any research, I bought a notebook computer. It was impossible to work on it, as it was tiny-er than my palms held together. Still, I took it places and flung it around. It still works, it sits in a drawer, but I know that I don’t intend to use it.
My best experience was with the HP all-in-one PC. It sat majestically on my desk and the twenty-two-inch screen let me do split screens. Everything was just moved fast and smoothly, until the day I needed to upgrade to Windows 10. Of course, then, even the HP got stuck in the loop of installing updates. I cursed Microsoft for innovating. It sits in a box in my garage, waiting to be adopted.
So, my husband (come on now, I need someone to blame) bought the Dell PC. And since the first day, the computer wouldn’t connect to the Bluetooth etc. It just drove me crazy. To combat the unpredictability, I bought two external hard-drives and started taking backups. I was diligent, until I wasn’t.
For the entire year of 2018 I didn’t take a single backup. I wish I could blame this on my husband. But I can’t. It was all me. My procrastination and laziness.
And 2018 had been an aggressively important year. American citizenship, first vote, getting published, vacations, sewing and writing classes. All the pictures and music, all the books and writing. Everything, all my life, all my husband’s and my shenanigans captured and stored in a digital format.
As I awoke on Sunday morning, my throat scratched, I stank of stale vodka, my gelled hair clumped together and stood like bicycle spikes, my stomach rumbled, and my computer gleamed a message: Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart . . .just collecting error info, and . . .
I thought that just like me, my computer had over-partied and needed time to gear up. I spend the day hydrating and controlling my urge to throw-up. And computer spend the day napping and being forced-started. As the day progressed, I recovered but my computer did not.
By nightfall, my husband declared that my computer had officially crashed. I didn’t care if my computer lived or died, all I wanted was my data. But then I learned that to recover my data, my computer needed to live.
So, I started bargaining with God. Recover the pictures, I will not fight with the husband; give me the data, I will be nicer to assholes. I made deals until I had nothing to offer.
Monday I find from the computer repair guys that it is probably possible to recover the data. Decide, if you want to repair the computer. Husband and I rushed to look at Thanksgiving deals, we pushed the shoppers aside as we hunted for my next machine. By Tuesday morning, we paid to recover the data and repair my computer.
Only if things were that easy. It would take days to order the parts, after the Thanksgiving long weekend.
Friends offered solutions. Buy warranty. Do the auto sync backup. Save it in the cloud. Work online only. Buy subscriptions. I wanted to yell that I will do everything, anything, first, please God give me my data.
For weeks, my life came to a standstill. I couldn’t concentrate on things, I stopped going to the gym, I made bigger deals with God, I planned if and how I will regenerate my lost data. I completed my class assignments on my Tablet. But my heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t feel like writing. It was, as if, I lost my mojo.
Finally, last week, I got my data and the repaired computer.
My computer is still not one hundred percent; its brightness control doesn’t work. It has a perpetual notification numbers at the bottom, it hangs when I click pictures. I am learning to live with it. I feel it is matte of time before it crashes again. I am prepared for it, as I have already copied my data, my life. Now, I am so paranoid that I will take the backup as soon as I finish writing this.