I haven’t had a new computer in years. I bought the last one around 2009; it was an open box special, heavily discounted from Best Buy. I remember being ecstatic when I brought it home. It had a brand name. It had stuff pre-installed that I could gleefully mess around with for a while and then gripe about later (“Seriously, you wouldn’t believe the amount of bloatware on that thing!”). But it was a hassle from the moment I turned it on. For no reason at all, it would just randomly shut down. It did this from day one, and usually at the most inopportune times. I was forced to start saving my Sims 2 game every five minutes when I was building and decorating because let me tell you, a lot can change in those five minutes and you want to spare yourself all the repetitive work you can.
Considering the fact that the computer is an entirely inanimate object, I have gotten pretty seriously pissed at it over the years. For a time when I was doing website and program coding, I very nearly threw the thing out the window every single day. But since I couldn’t afford to do that, I commiserated with other people who sat in front of computers all day, and we came up with progressively more awful things to say about the systems that sat a few feet away and were unable to defend themselves. We giggled maniacally, and I have no doubt that we were more than a little off kilter. Thankfully, I no longer do the programming thing at all, and html/css have long since stopped making me crazy — I don’t cuss nearly so often anymore. After ten years of this, I think I’ve become immune to disappointment.
Of course, it hasn’t just been inconveniences during gaming. No, I’ve lost all kinds of data to file corruption caused by frequent and sudden shutdowns. I have hundreds of digital picture files that refuse to be moved from the hard drive. When I try to copy them elsewhere, I get notifications about bad sectors, bad file systems, blah blah blah. Thank god all the photos I have apparently lost are from a 13-year window of time that I’d just as soon forget. But the music files…I’ll admit it, those are the losses that really do me in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost stuff over the years. Like, a LOT of stuff. And it seems to magically happen overnight, for no reason at all. I just get up one morning and suddenly I’ve gone from 45,000 tracks to 10,000. It really screws with your head after a while. You start to wonder if the technology really IS out to get you, or if Big Brother is a real guy and this is your back room torture.
My point is, I spent a lot of years expecting the worst out of my computer.
But at this very moment, it sits unplugged and permanently dark on the floor of my closet because MY AWESOME LITTLE BROTHER BUILT ME A NEW ONE from his spare parts, and I have spent the last two days loading that bad girl up with all the files its little 1.5 TB hard drive can handle.
Meet Roxanne, y’all. She has no choice but to turn on her red light. All three of them.
This morning, I’m finishing up the iTunes import (~40,000 tracks), and yesterday I did the 1200 book Calibre import and conversion. Also yesterday, I downloaded and installed Sims 2, 3, and 4 (along with about 30GB of custom content) and spent an hour searching for solutions to a strange issue wherein the Sims 2 patently refused to notice my high-end graphics card and instead rendered everything as though I had no card at all. I ended up actually rewriting several lines of code in the game’s programming, laughing maniacally, and yelling for EA to “suck it.”
Today, I think I might actually play a little. Maybe I’ll even start a legacy family, now that I have hope of actually seeing it through more than a few generations before my computer decides to (randomly and without cause) bork the game.
I really don’t know how I’m going to deal with all this entirely-as-expected computing that’s coming my way, y’all. I feel like I should be having a party. Or singing Gloria Estefan’s “Coming Out of the Dark” at the top of my lungs. I’m doing at least one of those today, though. Definitely.