Fatal error

I knew this day would come. I just hoped it wouldn’t come so soon, and certainly not at such a crucial time. It’s like watching ‘Marley and Me’, knowing what they’re building up to for the entire duration of the movie. Or the story of RMS Titanic, where that fate is well known by everybody.

Three weeks before I am due to submit my thesis, my laptop has popped its clogs / gone to the happy hunting ground / bitten the dust.

My heart leaps into my throat.

Queue the panic as I push the ‘on’ button, only to be greeted by nothing but dark grey and the sound of a lot of mechanical whirring for a whole hour before the login screen graces me with its presence. The feeling does not decrease as it takes another forty-five minutes for the desktop to eventually limp into life. Every click of the mouse button results in a five minute wait before anything vaguely happens (if the window doesn’t crash in that time, which happened more often than not). Eventually I manage to access my Linux desktop via a VirtualBox and hastily (albeit not rapidly in its current state) make sure I have all my thesis and associated data backed up.

“Why now?!”, I scream at the stupid lump of plastic and metal before me as its death rattle remains audible. “Could you not have waited one more month?! Then you could have died all you liked!” My laments are greeted with no response, save for an hourglass on the screen eternally rotating, seemingly mocking me with every revolution. I sigh, push the laptop away from me, and go and entertain myself for the hour I know it will take to copy 300MB of data onto my external hard-drive. I have to restrain myself from deciding that computer-euthanasia is the best option and that I should just put it out of its misery now, because I know it would only end like this.

So instead, I wait. I click, and I wait. The last-ditch attempt to recover this computational life force of mine is to try a whole system reset. Totally wipe the memory, restore it to factory settings, and try again. My poor little lappy will lose all of its personality, the things that made it mine. The random desktop wallpapers I downloaded when I got excited by its new HD screen. My copy of OpenOffice, because I am too poor to buy Microsoft’s version. Mahjong. It will be like we have just met for the first time (although both of us are a little more worn around the edges than we were in 2010).

And if it still doesn’t work?

Well, even in ‘Marley and Me’ they bought a new puppy. The survivors of the Titanic got rescued by RMS Carpathia. So in a similar fashion, I, too, shall have to say goodbye and find a replacement. Something shiny and new that has more memory than I know what to do with, that can run faster than Usain Bolt on roller blades. But it won’t be worn down just underneath the keyboard from three years of entertainment and astronomical research. It won’t have the scratches on the lid put there by Rogue when she was a kitten. It won’t have the odd grain of La Palma sand stuck in the keys.

No, it will be all brand new. And given that this phase of my life is now drawing to a close, so too will the experiences that will go with it. Let’s see what memories become imprinted on that one when its time also comes.

Hasta la proxima,


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