Sunday, March 9, 2008

Computer Issues

My power went out at approximately half past midnight last night. After using my old school Nokia 6010 tank of a cell phone to light my way in the dark so that I could brush my teeth, change, and corral the dog into the bedroom, I realized that the night was lovely and silent without the hum of the myriad machines that make my life easy.

I enjoy the silence and darkness of deep night; I always have. In college, I drove my rommate bonkers because I had to tape paper bits over all the lights that stayed perpetually on, because they annoyed me when I was trying to sleep. (You know, the little green light on the computer tower and monitor, even when they go into 'sleep mode?' Those. And I stuffed a towel under our dormroom door. My silence requirements drive people nuts, too - when I lived with gaming roomies, and went to bed at odd hours because of my third shift job, I drove them insane with how finely tunes my ears were - I could hear what show they were watching in the basement, or what boss they were killing in World of Warcraft. I was a singularly bitchtastic roommate if I had to go downstairs more than once to request lowered volume. (Apologies, guys!)

So, I enjoyed the silence of last night's power outage, particularly since I was going to bed at that hour anyway, so I didn't mind that my intarwebz were unavailable and that the tv was out. I don't have cable anyway, so there was likely nothing good on. I slept like a baby, and only marginally worried about the month's worth of yogurt in the fridge, certain it would be fixed by morning. (I called the power company to be sure.)

Unfortunately, the price of said power outage is my desktop machine. The Dell I bought back in January of 2002 has been getting more and more wonky lately - MS Word won't work at all, it restarts itself on random occasions, and occasionally makes noises like the elves inside are fighting their version of the Peloponnesian war. When I restarted my computer this morning, the computer sounded a bit like a motor gone wrong (though now that it's been on a few hours the noise level has declined some). I took this as a hint that my sturdy electronic steed would not last me until June, and have now set up my laptop to have access to the internet through an ethernet cable, since I have no wireless router yet.

To be honest, not having the internet at home doesn't affect my writing much, since I'm old fashioned and only work in paper until I get a decent draft finished. What it *does* affect is my ability to bring up the TV Guide for the evening, chat with friends, indulge my Gmail email-checking obsession, and generally feel like I'm connected to the world somehow. I need internet because I'm addicted to my email, chatting with friends I can't afford to travel to see, and because it's primary season, damnit, and I don't have cable.

I am currently typing this post on my desktop, which is grinding with Sisyphian effort in a particularly annoying key. *And* I just realized that I never plugged the ethernet cable into my laptop, so I've been pirating someone's weak wireless signal, explaining the slow ass downloading of the antivirus and firefox. Plugging the cable in, however, did not result in a working hard connection. WTF.

I use computers for work. I can learn new software and usually implement it fairly painlessly. Usually, since everything I use is point and click, for the most part. This is the sort of thing I hate - stumbling through actual hardware setup junkness. And it won't renew my IP address for the hard line to the laptop, wants me to contact my ISP, who will charge me an arm and a leg to do this for me. AUGH. My "plug & play" Linksys Cable Modem doesn't 'play,' and the laptop doesn't see it. Despite the fact that they're connected with a cord.

Both of these computers are becoming more highly at risk of taking a long walk off my short windowsill.

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