Most of the time, there’s nothing we like better than sitting down to our laptops/desktops to see what’s been dropped into our inbox overnight. We open email and see messages from friends, family, we get notifications from companies that our packages are on the way, or we take note that new posts have been created by bloggers we follow. Maybe we launch Facebook to discover new and interesting updates. We browse the internet researching some component of our work in progress, which then makes us turn to our manuscripts, and if it was a good writing day the day before, we are happy to be one thousand or so words further along.
All looks right with our laptop world, everything is “hunky dory” unless…, as we open emails, the internet, or our ms, we are suddenly bombarded by repeated messages like this:
This is never good. A mad scramble begins to figure out, did my laptop just have a bad night, as if it was out binge drinking, therefore I ignore it, or, this is for real. You’d think after about thirty years of IT work, it wouldn’t take an idget to get that, yes, it’s for real.
Thus ensues another mad scramble. Contact brother-in-law who is a Level III desktop engineer and email him the picture above, with the question – is this as bad as I think it is?
Reply back via email: “BACKUP EVERYTHING IMMEDIATELY.”
ME: “Ummm, well…, ”
BIL: “You don’t have a backup process in place? No Mosey, or other cloud backup?”
ME: “Uh. Well, I do have this little 1Gb portable drive.”
BIL: “Get what you can on it.”
So, I quickly put the latest version of my work in progress on the little portable drive, along with my excel of passwords, and my older work. I then drive an hour to their house and drop off my sick laptop, and I feel like I’m taking it for blood transfusion. It’s sick. It won’t work much longer, and I will lose everything unless I give it up. My sister in law, sensing my loss, lets me use her old one to work on so I won’t be completely without a way to move forward. And then, I have to leave, all the while casting forlorn looks over my shoulder.
The little borrowed laptop did it’s job. I downloaded my ms to it, worked, and made some progress. But, it wasn’t the same. The keyboard didn’t feel quite right, the screen wasn’t the same size, and it didn’t make the same clicking sounds with each key stroke. Even some of the keys (like the Delete) were in a different spot. Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful to have it. I mean, if I had to try to write in longhand, I probably wouldn’t have been able to transfer that work – i.e. it would have been illegible.
I’ve had my laptop for over three years. It’s a re-built Dell D830 my brother in law used to use, and it was given to me back in 2010. It’s been with me for all of the good and bad news when it comes to this writing career. You don’t realize until you have to switch – even temporarily, how accustomed your fingers have become to the landscape of a particular keyboard. Or how you know where everything is, until it gets moved. Or how you took for granted the reliability of the device until it falters. It’s like knowing where everything is in your house, and suddenly, you’re in a stranger’s home and trying to figure out where the bathroom is.
And, would it be weird to say it’s almost a psychological connection? And not having it was like losing a friend, even if only temporarily? As of today, I have my old friend back. I missed it. There will come a time when I have to replace the device because it will only make sense to upgrade and take advantage of all the latest technology. It will be hard – at least for me, because it would seem I’ve formed some sort of emotional attachment. I know, strange, but true.
Maybe I’m the only one like this. Do you get what I mean?