Tuesday, June 17

Electric blues

You know the scenario... there you are, sauntering along the street, minding your own business and whistling tunelessly. Maybe the sun isn't shining. Birds may not be chirping away in the trees. All may not be joy, jollity and song. But, things are not gloom and doom either. While there isn't a spring in your step, there definitely isn't a droop in your shoulders either. Maybe... err, I suppose you do get it. Anyway, like I said, you are sauntering. Then, it happens. Of course it does. You either walk into a lamp-post or fall down an open manhole.

I contemplated leaving my laptop in Birmingham. It made sense to do so, considering my destination. Apart from the numerous horrible and highly imaginative tragedies that could have befallen it, that laptop is very heavy and I was not looking forward to giving my best Quasimodo impression as I lugged it all over. I discussed the matter with Grandpa. It was one of the days the neurons were firing in that cranium because he eventually convinced me that it'd come of some use over here. Besides, there was a slight lack of enthusiasm among the crew when it came to shouldering responsibility for my laptop. Just a tad, mind you, but it was there.

It came in use alright. The first day I came to work, I was politely directed to a dusty pile of boxes and wires. On closer inspection, that eye-catching arrangement proved to be the computer assigned to me and a keener ocular inspection confirmed my initial fears. Rather than bore you with details, let me put it succinctly - I would not have been surprised to discover that you needed to use punch cards to feed in data into that antediluvian piece. Pinnacle of technology, it was not. Enter the laptop.

After I was assigned or rather cobbled together a much better PC, the laptop stayed home. Not having the internet back in my excuse for an apartment (trust me, a good-sized Godrej cupboard can compete rather well with the floor space I live in), it was used mainly for music and whatever work I needed to bring home. Like I said before... sauntering along.

Yesterday, it refused to start. It got to the introductory screen cheerily reminding me that it was a Dell product. About 15 minutes later, the same screen was leering at me rather triumphantly. Now I don't claim to be an expert at gizmos, but it is a fact that I'm rather good at repairing them. One of the less dubious talents, you might say. But the laptop defeated me. Short of going at it with a hammer, I tried everything. At about 11:30 pm, finding myself absently pleading with the screen, I had to admit defeat. And then I wondered where in this city I'd find a capable comp-tech chap.

Our office technician, on examining it today for about 20 minutes, turns to me and remarks rather brightly that the system seems stuck. I kid you not. This enlightening bit of 'nollij' was delivered after he'd turned the computer on and off about 7 times, mind you. While I struggled to decide between laughing helplessly and swearing colourfully, he suggested we take it to his office and have another crack at it. About an hour later, another bright bean at the aforementioned techno-temple calmly tells me it's a hardware problem and that they'll let me know the verdict tomorrow. Nature, wanting to get in on the fun, decides to pick that moment to announce itself with thunder and rain-showers. Very umm... poetic.

Unexpectedly, a few hours later, I get a phone call from the very same bright bean who monotonously announces that they have found the problem. The culprit is the cd-rom drive which has become corrupt. Thankfully, it is the one part of the laptop I barely ever use, which now that I think of it, may be the reason for the revolt. In protest, as it were.

Anyway, since it couldn't be repaired, the chaps, thoroughly helpful to the end, removed the cd drive. Leaving the laptop with a gaping hole on the side, covered by cello tape.

It could be worse, I suppose...

Song for the moment: Fixing a hole - The Beatles

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