Monday, May 24, 2010

The Countdown

Yesterday I splashed coffee on my MacBook. At first I didn't think anything of it, but then my keys began to stick and my space bar was acting strange. I quickly called my technology guru (aka: Sal) to give me some advice on how to clean it. I had already taken a damp cloth to it but it clearly wasn't working. Turns out, the best chance I had at saving my laptop was by turning  it off and letting it sit upside-down for 72 hours. Good thing I brought my work laptop home. It's still unnerving though. My backup drive is formatted for Macs so I can use it on my hp work laptop. But I managed to back up all my work and get most of what I might need for three days onto a flash drive.

During this process, I realized just how important my laptop is. I'm pretty much a snob when it comes to computers. I love love love my MacBook. I loathe loathe loathe this Windows laptop. In the two years I have had my MacBook, I have never had any problems with it. That is, until I spilled hot coffee on it and the keyboard went haywire. A birage of thoughts began to stampede through my brain:

"What about all my photos and music? I don't back those up. Dammit I need a bigger hard drive. God I hate using a Windows machine! I have no video chat on this thing. What if I lose everything on my backup drive? All my tax files and what not? I'm sure my backup missed something!"

What device, if any, has ever been so central or important to a person's life? My entire life is literally on this machine. My business. My finances. My saved passwords to any site I've ever been on. My writing. All my writing. Even though I managed to back up my documents, what if I couldn't have? Prior to that backup, I hadn't done it in over 10 days. I would have certainly lost data. And to replace this four year old laptop with one exactly like it would still cost between $500 and $700 bucks, not to mention the cost of a new one. It hurts to think about getting a new one. I don't have that kind of money to throw around.

Today at 48 hours in, I'm anxious. I want my laptop back. I hate this stupid computer. It's big and bulky and freezes when I play video. It's ugly. My MacBook is so sleek and tiny and writerly. I do find it demonically hilarious that my laptop is on the fritz while I'm trying to reconnect with nature. Right when I realize it's possible my addiction to dependence on technology is what caused me to lose my connection with nature in the first place. Did my coffee leap out of the cup in order to force me to write by hand? Did I secretly want to spill on my laptop? I almost never bring my work laptop home, but needed it to run a PC-only program over the weekend. I was not without internet, IM and email for long.

I would like to reconcile these parts of my being. I don't see myself becoming less techy. I think it's beneficial for me as a writer and a teacher to be tech-savvy. Who says I can't cry over spilled coffee on my laptop and still love to listen to the birds outside my window? I have spent less time online though, since I kind of hate using this monster of a machine. I've heard at least five different bird calls in the past few days. Maybe a little less tech-loving and a little more tree-hugging is in order. Yes, that was corny, but rather than make this transition so serious it bores me to tears, perhaps I can find a way to make it fun. Who knows? Maybe I'll learn to take a walk without my smart phone.
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