Computer Hell or How I Came to Hate My PC Even More Than I Used To

by Suw on May 26, 2003

I’d become quite used to my computer rebooting itself, without a by-your-leave from me. The monitor would just go black with a faint click, then up would fade the green energy saving logo and the white text of the computer doing its start up thing. It was irritating, sure. Inconvenient, yes. But I’d got used to it in much the same way as you get used to a bed with lumps in.

I’d also become used to seeing the Blue Screen of Death which would make its presence felt at least once every couple of days. In fact, I’d become so used to restarting my machine when programmes hung or crashed, or when some fatal exception had occurred, that it was almost second nature to hit the reboot button. Or, more accurately, find a pointy object with which to poke the tiny reboot buttonette into submission.

Usually it would go click, hum, whirr and we’d be off again on that rollercoaster of manic saving and praying that the damn thing doesn’t crash at a critical juncture. How I love Microsoft. No, really, with all my heart. Pure, unadulterated adoration.

I sense you don’t believe me. You might have a point.

Despite all this, however, I was not prepared for the Flashing Blue, Green and Red Screen of Death, the one that complains of no signal and which can’t be cured by a good poke with a sharp implement.

Typically, my computer’s death throes happened shortly before I was due to leave the house to catch the train up to London to go see Hot Hot Heat, a band with a singer whose hair is a spectacle in itself. Like a great big copper soufflé that quietly deflates as the gig proceeds.

A couple of vodkas in to the evening and my woes were, if not forgotten then certainly relegated to the back of my mind. Instead, I enjoyed singing ‘Bandages’ very loudly and having a good dance, even when those about me seemed determined to be miserable as fuck.

I don’t know what it is about a London crowd that makes them so stand-offish, but they just mope about like a bunch of prunes, arms crossed, daring the band to impress them as if it’s beneath them to boogie on down and visibly have fun.

I never understood that attitude myself. I mean, have they come out to enjoy themselves or what? And if it’s an ‘or what’, then why don’t they just bugger off home and stop clogging up the bar, so that those of us there to have a good night out can do just that without their wanky London cool getting in the way.

Anyway, their wanky London cool didn’t get in my way. Svetla and I got a good vantage point on the balcony (it was at the Electric Ballroom, in case you were wondering) and I marvelled at the way that the singer’s voice sounded just like it does on the record. Very… unique, shall we say. Damn fine gig. I haven’t seen a mic swung with quite that much insouciance since I last saw Jarvis Cocker play live, strutting his stuff like a peacock with an eating disorder.

So, Friday was spent feeling pretty knackered – not so much from the late night, but more from the fact that I got precisely no sleep whatsoever as Svetla’s sofabed is the most uncomfortable known to man. I would have been better off on the floorboards, frankly, and next time I stay there I might just suggest that as the preferable alternative.

Once home, I got precisely nowhere in terms of diagnosing the problem with my computer. I spoke to a number of IT spods, who between them suggested that it could be the video card, the chip or the motherboard. Or possibly something else entirely. They couldn’t really say over the phone and it would be anything up to £750 to get it diagnosed and fixed. And I’m guessing that’s without parts.

So, I did what any self-respecting businesswoman does in times of dire need, I rang my Dad and begged. Of course, it worked. Saturday he drove up from Dorset with my Mum’s computer, the sacrificial lamb, and transferred my c: over to her box, fixing all that needed to be fixed in order to make the blasted thing work.

By the time he left, it was running like a three legged dog, but it was at least running. I had a dll problem, which prevented me getting at my email, MSN or having a firewall, but that seemed like a small price to pay for at least having a functional computer.

Yesterday I did what anyone would do, and tried to fix the dll issue. I looked up a few articles on the internet, couldn’t really make much sense of them, so did what seemed sensible.

No, really, it did seem sensible. Looking back, I should have known that it wasn’t sensible, but it’s not such a stupid mistake to make. After all, the broken dll is a windows system file. Evesham, in their wisdom, decided not to give me the windows disk when I bought the computer, which frankly shouldn’t be allowed. After all, I’ve bought the bloody software, no matter how shite it is, and I should have the proper cd. So, no Win 98 disk, but I did have some Evesham ‘emergency’ disk.

Well, I thought, this is an emergency. I’ll shove it in and see what happens.

What happened was that it gave me the option of restoring my windows files. And that seemed sensible. It seemed very simple to me – a windows file is broken, therefore why not restore it?

Needless to say, restoring the windows files killed the computer very nearly stone dead. All the hard work my Dad had put in to fixing up this computer to that it was at least 90% functional, and I managed in one fell swoop to reduce that to 10%.

I could have kicked myself. I could have cried. Instead there were several frantic phone calls to various assorted people in an attempt to find a fix, until eventually I bit the bullet, rang Dad and confessed that I’d undone all his hard work.

It took us an hour to fix it, but we did get it done eventually. And this morning I did manage to get the dll issue sorted, so now I have a fully (I think… I hope!) functional computer again.

Although it still runs like a three legged dog. Oh yes, I can download the spanky new trailer for Matrix Reloaded, but I can’t really watch it… not without Keanu looking like someone’s got him on strings. Although that may possibly be because they actually did.

I’m going to leave my Matrix rant til after I’ve seen Reloaded, I think. I only saw The Matrix last week for the first time (having been comatose in Dorset at the time that it came out, I think). I loved it. I loved it to bits. Hugely. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting, and I think my timing was pretty good for a change as I’m hopefully going to go see Reloaded on Friday, so I get the full wham and bam, and only have to wait til September for the thank you ma’am.

But I won’t get into what I think of it right now, suffice to say that Keanu Reeves in skintight black really is a nice sight. Oh yes. Start spelling hot with a w and several ts…

Right, I’ll leave it there then, shall I?

Endnote: I really want a Mac.

A visitor March 23, 2004 at 5:25 am

ya, i hate pc because macs are alot cooler. 1 reson is that my girlfriend likes em' MACS RULE!


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