Does Not Compute

If you told me ten years ago — as I hesitantly, and with two fingers, typed out my first H-T-T-P-:-wait, where’s that backslash… on my very first visit to the internet on my parents’ shiny new Gateway computer — that the future me would be sitting at her desk with three computers running at the same time while she tried to fix apparent registry errors on one and kernel panic on another, I think she would have looked confused with that same blank stare you probably have right now.

Where did I loose you? Was it at “kernel panic” or maybe it was all the commas in the world’s longest run-on sentence?

I have a PC at home, a fine little machine I bought about three years ago. It was working well, I have no real complaints about it, but sadly it has one thing wrong with it. It’s not a Mac. Yes, I drank the Kool-Aid that Apple served up and I’m now completely in love with Macs. I use a Mac all day at work and it suits me perfectly. It’s pretty, it’s simple and clean, and I like that a lot of things are accessed on the left side (sorry, I’m a lefty). So when I updated my work computer from an iMac G4 to a MacBook Pro (seriously, what does Apple have against the space bar?) I bought my old iMac from my employer and brought it home.

My plan was to replace the PC with the iMac. I know the iMac is old, but it’s streamlined and simple, and all I need it to do is go online, hold my iTunes library, and backup my Treo. All of my Photoshop and other memory-hogging programs are on my work computer. I was looking forward to how clean and funky my home office was going to look once the clunky square PC was replaced by the swooping lines of the iMac. And then I updated the software.

The iMac was running an old operating system that doesn’t jive with a lot of things. iTunes, for instance. Every time iTunes would attempt to update, it would lock up and I’d have to do a hard restart. Then the antivirus software attempted to update itself and all hell broke loose. I had a week of daily kernel panic which turned into constant kernel panic and now probably means that the iMac is toast.

Anyone still with me? Helloooo??

I gave up on the iMac and put the PC back in it’s place on my desk. I’d just have to forget about the cute, sleek iMac and go back to my trusty old PC. And then my PC decided that it was pissed at me and developed massive issues out of the blue. It acts like it was infected by gremlins. Whatever it is, my PC now has no short term memory, moves slowly, and keeps losing things. It’s kind of like me.

In anticipation of the PC to Mac conversion I had been deleting a lot of old files and programs I didn’t use any more on the PC. I know this can mess things up so I defragmented and ran a registry cleaner. Hoo boy, that only made things worse. Now I’m loosing files and file access, and yesterday I turned the computer on and it looked like 1987. My Windows XP theme was suddenly gone and everything was ugly and pixellated.

Just like everything else in my life, I Google my problem and get a great simple answer. I find out what file I’m missing and how to replace it (thank you Internet!) and then move on to discover another problem. Most recently, my Windows Media Player wouldn’t work, something was missing so I downloaded the newest version and attempted to install it, only to discover – I bet you can guess – I’ve lost another necessary file! I Googled it and found the solution, only halfway through fixing it, my computer tells me that my C drive is not formatted and would I like to format it? WHA?? NO!! How can this be? If I format it I’ll lose everything, but if it’s not formatted, how is everything still working? I’m so confused and so frustrated I could scream.

I have to bring my MacBook home every night as a backup in case one of my home computers flips out again, and I should probably buy a new, bigger iPod or 8G memory card to backup my iTunes library because I have a feeling I’m about to lose everything on the PC and my 4G Nano can’t hold my whole library. Ug.

I’m spending far too much of my time and energy on this. I think I’m qualified to work in IT now, I’ve been up to my armpits in so many error messages and fixes for the past two weeks. Thank goodness I’ll be on vacation next week and won’t have time to think about this. Maybe if I leave it alone long enough, the IT Fairy will come and fix things while I sleep. Or maybe I’ll take both computers out back for target practice and start saving up for a new iMac.

Anyone interested in reenacting this scene with me? I think it would be highly therapeutic.



  1. How funny . . . that Office scene came up in today’s Marketing meeting. We are planning to turn our old printer into a picnic pinata! Here’s some advice to you . . . never talk about a new replacement anything in front of the thing you are replacing. Like for instance, talking about your next car while still driving your current car. Objects have feeling too and boy do they take revenge. Bringing the old Mac into the office where your loyal PC was sitting was bad news. Poor PC 😦


  2. My dad can totally help you with this if you want. Just pay him in chocolate chip cookies.

    You’re going on vacation AGAIN?? Jeez.


  3. Ohhhh do I feel your pain. When I got my new MacBook last month, no sooner had I migrated from the old ibook that the old ibook started throwing errors.

    One of my good friends who is a mac guru fixed it for me a few weeks ago and now Nate has a servicable “downstairs computer.” If you’re still having issues, shoot me an email with the error messages and I’ll see what he can figure out if you want. He’s also right in Windsor so maybe he could make a housecall. 😉


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