Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Computers, don't you just love them?

Well, yes, I do. For me, my computer has always felt like an extension of my head. Come to think of it, I may have a tendency to make physical objects an extension of myself. Houses, for instance. My cottage in Kings Stanley felt like a part of me and I can remember the astonishment among my friends when I said I was selling. It had to be done, though. I had just accepted a proposal of marriage and we weren't going to fit into the cottage that was already full of my stuff. I had to be almost dragged out of the house when it came to leaving. I vowed never to let a house become that way again, but after my first husband died, slowly this house did become an extension of me. It was a long five years of adjustment living with M before it really became "our" house properly with the living-room redecoration project in January this year.

Sorry - computers. Well, I think this extension feeling accounts for why I feel so stressed when things go wrong with my computer. I won't go into detail now about the trials and tribulations I have suffered with my laptop over the last 14 months but to bring the story near to a close, Dell say that they will collect the thing today and 5-7 working days later I will be in receipt of a full refund.

It's been clear from the beginning that it was a Friday computer. The trouble is that every time it was fixed, I started to really love it again and feel secure. Then pow! and I wished I'd never set eyes on it. Last week M took over some of the tech support conversation and at the end asked that a customer services manager should speak to him and one did duly phone him back a couple of days later. The guy was apologetic and agreed with our complaints of the time. I spoke to him then and mentioned that next time I would be seeking a full refund and he offered me one there and then because he could see how much trouble I had had and to try to give me a better impression of Dell. It worked. So far. Let's see if his promises are kept. So far so good, in that he has responded promptly to my emails.

So yesterday I set about removing myself from the laptop. Removing "My Documents" and therefore the photo that I have as wallpaper was a good start in de-personalising the thing and having also now removed all my software and any traces of me that I can think of, I do feel that I am not 'over there' on the table any more. I now live back in my desktop.

This is itself a slightly precarious existence in that the desktop's capacity is now much too small for my stuff. I await the arrival of a bigger hard drive which I hope will be installed next week. In the mean time some of my stuff is here but some is on an external drive, all wrapped up in a complete disc copy-type backup (I expect there's a proper name for this which I've forgotten) which occasionally throws a slight wobbly when I try to get files out. I'm trying to follow the principle that everything is in two places, so doing manual copying of any folders I worked on the previous day each morning.

Fingers crossed.

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