My Computer Died…But I’m Not Too Upset

Unlike my previous post, where I bemoaned the failings of my printer at work, today I will not be railing against my dead netbook.  Am I growing up and learning to not to be so dependent on technology?  Not really.  I’ll add some more filler to my statement.  My inexpensive, travel-only netbook died for the second time…but I’m not too upset, because unlike the first time it died, I didn’t have anything important saved on it.  My netbook did its job, and I’ll remember it fondly.

Netbooks aren’t great for anything heavier than internet browsing.  I realized that after I took it to Washington DC with me and had to write a 35 page thesis…on WORD PAD.  That really sucked.  But netbooks are great for when you’re traveling, because who wants to lug a laptop around in their bag?  Or when you’re too lazy to leave your bed but you want to watch some TV. 

The first time my netbook died was in Taiwan when I spent a summer studying Mandarin language and culture.  A typhoon decided to hit that summer, the strongest one Taiwan had experienced in 50 years.  Though I was never in fear of my life, it was still pretty intense; we couldn’t leave our dorm because of the heavy wind and rain, and trees and power lines were falling down everywhere.  My room was at the end of the hall, and some genius decided to put huge screens at the end of the hallway, instead of walls.  It’s nice when there’s a breeze.  It’s TERRIBLE when there are typhoons.  Our hallway became flooded as a result of it, and my doorstep was the worst off.  There was a little gap between the doorstep and the door, so the wind kept pushing water into my room.  I went through about 6 towels that weekend.  In retrospect, I should have just left my room, but I didn’t.

Clearly, the damp air, fueled by the small lake forming in my room, was too much for my poor netbook, and it died, taking along with it the photos from my first month in Taiwan.  I learned a lesson there: always back up valuables!  I was upset, but what can you do?  Life happens.

And now it’s time for a vaguely related tangent/story: One night, my friends and I decided it would be fun and thrilling if we ventured out into the typhoon.  It felt like we were in a disaster movie; wading through ankle-deep water, seeing flickering lights, avoiding falling branches.  It wasn’t very safe or smart of us, but hey.  That’s what you do when you’re young, right?  (Which I still consider myself, by the way.) 

The main building is built like a hollow cube; there are rooms along the sides, with open hallways looking down into a central courtyard.  There are two hallways on the ground floor that are “open”; one end opens into the courtyard, and the other opens out to the rest of campus.  I made the mistake of stepping out into one of these hallways.  The wind was so strong that the hallway acted like a wind tunnel, and I started to move against my will.  I should mention that the floors are marble, so that plus rain equals very slippery floors.

My friends jumped to my rescue- literally.  They tackled me to the ground, and for a few minutes, we huddled on the wet floor, screaming our heads off.  One of my friends’ sandals got sucked off of her foot; it was like a scene from a movie.  It slipped off and we saw it fly away, disappearing into the darkness.  And she never saw it again.  (Cue sad music.)

I Hate Technology

Sometimes.  Obviously, if I hated all of it I wouldn’t be blogging.

But today, as shameful as it might sound, I got my ass kicked by our work printer.  It’s one of those behemoth printer/scanner/fax machine/booklet maker/giant box with a million doors that you have to open when something gets jammed/paper eater things.

We depend so much on technology that it’s like the world ends when even something as small as a printer fails.  I mean, in the grand scheme of life, it’s very inconsequential.  A nuclear power plant going down?  It’s a big deal on a macro level.  A home’s electricity going out?  Pretty big on a micro level if it’s hot and you have food in the fridge.  A printer not printing something?  Not so big.

But in today’s case, it was very consequential.  It was really important that I photocopied and printed my work today because it needs to go through revisions and then printed and assembled by next week, but what normally would take me an hour at most took about four.  Every time the printer inexplicably decided not to print what I wanted, or to photocopy something that I didn’t put in the machine, or get jammed FIVE TIMES IN A ROW, I felt my blood pressure rise just a little bit.

This post is turning into a rant at an innocent printer, but let me assure you: this printer is the bane of everyone in the office, and if I knew that there wouldn’t be repercussions, I would have kicked the crap out of that evil thing.  I hate how I was so dependent on that printer so that the whole day I was incapacitated and behind on my work and frustrated.  I bet you it actually has a brain and it’s sole purpose in life is to eat my paper.

And that’s the end of my ranting.  Don’t get me wrong; I will be the first to extol the wonders and virtues of technology.  I love totally unnecessary things like heated toilet seats and voice control on my iPhone (Actually, the iPhone itself is kinda unnecessary; I don’t really need all those games…).

On an unrelated note: I  found a 2 pence piece at the bottom of my backpack this morning.  Random?  Very.  I haven’t been to England since 2007 so who knows where it came from…