Grateful 365 #41 – Feeling Competent

You know that terrible thing when your glowing, globally connected, technologically powered magic box stops working? Well that happened to me the other day at (of course) the worst possible time. The cool thing about my computer crash though was that as soon as it happened, I knew that I could fix it.

It was a nice feeling to say the least, especially when you take a quick glance back at my history with things like computers and vehicles.

WebPixieA few years ago, I operated my word processing video game box with the assumption that tiny fairies on the inside of the case shuttled my commands to and fro– probably carrying them to dazzling crystalline portals too small for the human eye to see. This microchip wonderland’s atmosphere relied heavily on enchanted blue smoke. The pixel pixies needed it like we need oxygen, and thus if the blue smoke started escaping into our world the fairies died. That was why things stopped working sometimes.

During these dark ages, I would rage and despair when things went awry…and finally I would beseech my friend, the technowizard, to come and resurrect the motherland of the motherboard.DSC_0505

As years went on, the technowizard told me a few of his secrets, and gradually the inside of a computer case stopped looking quite so mystical. I mean, it was still super cool and all, but it was less like Narnia and more like legos. This went here. That went there. Little slots and pegs and holes for everybody! Sure, there were still a few magic words as far as the language that made all the chips and dips run, but with help I was slowly able to grasp the basics.

After my tutelage, I installed some ram, assembled my first computer with help, and finally put one together all on my lonesome. I’ve been growing progressively bolder, and although I’m more than aware that I still have a lot to learn, my confidence has soared.

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So when my power source unceremoniously whirred the death rattle of my computer a few days ago, my first thought wasn’t “PANIC!! Call tech support!,” it was, “Well shitballs, now I have to fix it.”

I suspected my harddrive because it’s super old…as in, I’ve transferred it over and over and over already. I had meant to replace it multiple times, but had never gotten around to it. Not a big deal, harddrives are cheap. So I turned off and unplugged the machine, opened up my case, grounded myself, and then turned it back on. I went to BiOS, fiddled with settings, checked all the connections. I felt super accomplished by remembering the “paper clip test” to see if the power supply (I like to call it a computer heart) was working.

Even though I wasn’t feeling well during the process, the ordeal was actually quite enjoyable– I knew I could do it. I had leveled up.

DSC_0518Longish story slightly shorter, I put in a new harddrive and a new video card (it would have been the next thing to go), and installed Windows 7. I managed to retrieve some information left on the old bricked harddrive (all my Steam user data! Hooray!), and sent it off with a mournful tune.

I’m now typing on my resurrected computer and have already been enjoying the improvements! So here’s to feeling competent!

~all the love~

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Grateful 365 #40 – Winning at Technology

DSC_0510Just to mix things up, I’ll begin this entry at the end. As a shiba inu would say: “Computer. Wow. Very fix. Much work. Good run. So satisfy.” My computer not only works, but it works better than it did before. It has a new expanded harddrive, an updated OS, and a better graphics card. The best part? As though following orders from Jean-Luc, I made it so.

Alright, that’s enough backward story telling because my head feels like it’s having a brain baby and thinking too hard makes it kick. Chemo hasn’t been kind to me this round, and yesterday was a great example of just how many things can go wrong with a body at the same time. As I was key-poking my way around in an attempt to pull something of worth out of my addled brain meats, I noticed that things weren’t quite acting right… And then the screen did it’s best impression of that lights-out moment in a slasher flick — pitch black and filled with a sense of impending doom.

It was very doomy indeed.

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I’m going to go into more detail about how the rest of the ordeal went in my next entry “Feeling Competent,” so that I don’t ramble too long. Bottom line though– my harddrive had magically transformed itself into a paperweight. (I have been advised to go rip it apart and take its magnets as trophies, and I’m definitely thinking about it).DSC_0528

From here, the challenge became timing my technological tinkering. The problems hadn’t sent me postcards and so I was left to do piecework problem solving. One test here and a hopeful attempt there– all in the lulls between my body deciding to reject the water I dared to put in my stomach and my bones demanding I lay down before they set fire to my nervous system. I’m not trying to whine either -I’m grateful I had those lulls.

Even more, I’m grateful that I DID it. It’d be a small accomplishment under normal circumstances, but I feel like I just replayed a game on insanity mode. I’ve never felt more victorious.

So I’m grateful for having a computer to type on again. I’m grateful it works because I was able to fix it. I’m grateful that even on a no-good, very bad day, I managed to pull off a win.

~all the love~