ES and IT: a match made in hell.

11 06 2011

Gosh, you’re all still there? What loyal readers I have! Thank you! In this day and age of instant gratification there are still a few folks who will remain faithful, even through a two-week writers’ block. You are too kind.

While suffering through my recent mini-drought, I turned 41. (Who would have thought?) And my husband had a really great birthday gift idea – he bought me a new computer.

My new toy.

Of course I had been coveting a new computer for a while, surreptitiously browsing the aisles in our local electronics megastore and oogling all the new technology on display. Today’s laptops all look really cool there sitting in the shelves.

But for months, that is where they remained – on the shelves.

Though somewhere deep inside I knew that my good old Compaq laptop’s days were probably numbered and a catastrophic failure was increasingly likely, I couldn’t see myself investing in something shiny, flashy and new. I mean – a laptop that was state of the art in the summer of 2004 when I parted with $1359 (purchased in Delaware – no sales tax!) and took it home with me isn’t that old and outdated. (Is it?)

My old toy.

It is?

Ancient, you say?

No, it doesn’t have a built-in webcam. Should it?

And a 30 GB hard drive is… measly?



Okay, so I guess I needed a new computer. And my husband (a recent new-hardware-client himself) just cut to the chase and went out and bought me one. Not a moment too soon, turns out – on the day we took it out of its box for the first time, my old Compaq sucked up some kind of nasty Internet virus and has been unhealthy ever since.

R. warned me that setting up the new machine would require a few weeks of intense work, sorting stuff out, while all the updates and service packs and God-knows-what-else would be downloaded (automatically!) in order to prepare itself adequately for the next couple of years of service.

Huh? I don’t remember my old computer doing any of that seven years ago.

But then again, I haven’t really been paying attention to developments in the IT industry. The extent of my understanding of technology is that I need it to function when I turn it on. End of story. And when/if it doesn’t, and faced with the philosophical question “Fight or Flight”, as a wise liberal arts major, I usually end up on the “Flight” side: If something doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to the first time around, abandon it. Don’t waste another single minute on a process where the cards are obviously seriously stacked against you. Do without. Move on.

My husband, however, is the opposite. He (a recipient of a degree in physics) will sit there till 5 a.m. if he has to, in order to figure out what is wrong with a certain application/program/software/harddrive/browser/index/screensaver/mediaplayer/ format/language/taskbar/shortcut and fix the problem. His endurance in all things technical is astounding. The next evening at dinner he will then describe to me in detail his epic battle with technology and all he did to overcome it. I listen with interest, thankful that another electronic crisis has been averted and I still have access to all of my files.

Clearly one reason why there are so many unemployed liberal arts majors out there.



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