Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Villainous Computer

Unfortunately Tuesday was not very productive. I learned that the technicians at the University of Cambridge Computing Center identified my computer as a villain to the network and particularly invasive to their data bases. (Isn't it a bit frightening that the technicians can isolate which computer is posing undesired issues?) It's not a happy thought that I am operating a villainous computer, my Traveling Companion. I was requested to disconnect my Traveling Companion from the network and briefly connect once or twice a day just long enough to read e-mail. Well, now, that was a bit more final than I was prepared to hear. I inquired if there was not another option, particularly having my computer checked by one of the Cambridge University computer technicians. Well, inquiry paid off. Off to the Computing Center I marched. Much to my amazement, a technician spent at least two hours on the computer, cleaning up a number of problems that have evidently been operating for a long time. Four o'clock struck and she was gone. She wants me back at 10:00 AM on Wednesday.

Update: Wednesday morning I was waiting for the technician at 10:00 AM. When she came to look at the computer and to work her technical magic, she placed the computer before her and suddenly the screen became pixelated, discolored, and it turned black. Of course, all operations seized and functionality ceased. I tried to resurrect the computer, but nothing worked. I gave it all I could to resuscitate the poor thing, but my powers were gone. Of course, the technician muttered numerous words and expressions of deepest foreboding, of darkest calamity, and of impending death. At any moment, it seemed, a eulogy should be uttered. Her words were not eulogy-worthy, however. My heart sank. I felt lost. I carefully packed the expiring computer into its padded sleeve and placed the sleeve into its pouch in my bag. As I thanked the technician and walked out the institutional waiting room, I felt as though I were departing a hospital after having resigned myself to the death of a close friend. (Oh, I may be exaggerating just a bit.)

I trudged back to Tyndale House pondering my options. It would seem that the computer is verging on its final days, if not hours. Is there any life left in it? If not, what are my options? A computer is quite essential to most of the research work I have been doing in the library. Well, I suppose that I could put the computer away and either work without its assistance in some limited way, or I could put it away and explore a few parts of Cambridge that I have not yet seen. I decided to give my Traveling Companion one more opportunity to prove itself. It booted up without any screen issues. Now it is functioning, but I do not know for how long. So, I will continue to work in the library as long as possible. And, I will try to fill out my journal as well as I can, given my Traveling Companion's capacity to hold on for my sake.

Update (3/07/07):
When I arrived home, my laptop computer died completely. It is now at the coroner's office awaiting an autopsy.

Update (4/26/07): The computer went to Silicon Cemetary. Fortunately, it was still under warranty, so I received a new Gateway computer to replace the dead one. The new one works wonderfully.