They're infernal machines, designed to drive us mad with frustrated desire. No sooner do you have one than you're craving more. The price you pay - well, let's say that it's not just money. Once you're hooked, you find yourself losing your time - your sanity - perhaps even your soul.
I'm talking, of course, about computers.
The past few days have been particularly bad. My four year old Asus Eee PC netbook, which I use for e-reading and travel, both for writing and connectivity, is aging. The battery has long been burned out, or so it seems. Now the wireless networking, previously a marvel of ease and functionality, has ceased to work.
Now, I'm a bit of a geek - I make my living as a software engineer - so I spent a good three hours yesterday on the web, browsing wikis and forums, trying to discover the source of this new problem. I tried all the suggestions I found, all without any success. Finally, as a last resort, I used the DVD that accompanied the machine to restore it to its factory settings. Alas, this procedure caused me to lose all my customizations and additional installed software, but I figured that would be a fair price to pay if it solved the wireless problem.
It did not, of course.
So this afternoon I have plans to trudge over to the computer mall and see if I can find the Asus service center. I'd much rather be working on my current story, but what can you do? Will they be able to make more progress than I did? Only experience will tell.
Meanwhile, last night over dinner my husband and I had a major fight over computers. He accused me of harping on all the problems of the Eee PC because I really wanted to buy a new laptop. In his eyes, I was trying to push the little netbook beyond its capabilities, making it fulfill functions that hadn't been in my original specifications.
I protested, assuring me that I had no such hidden agenda - not that I haven't been eyeing the recent crop of netbooks with a certain degree of lust (not to mention flirting with the fantasy of buying a tablet), but I recognized that our finances currently couldn't support such a purchase.
He's been battling issues with his own, much more recent and powerful netbook.(Yes, I admit I'm jealous. Lust AND envy.) He pointed out that while I've been sitting there, whining and swearing, he's been suffering in silence. Basically his position was, put up or shut up.
You see what I mean? Computers have driven a wedge between us! This morning all is forgiven - we both apologized for our angry words - but I see now the dangers of these diabolical devices.
Beware of techno-lust. Don't let it spoil your life and your relationships!
Now, why isn't my sound card working?