Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Crash.

Oh poo. My flipping computer has crashed taking everything with it and, should another smug clever clogs says to me, “But Alice, didn’t you back-up your work?”, I swear I’ll thump them. That’s the trouble with computers, no-one cares when they go awry, wiping out years of photographs and documents. When a car breaks down, any number of friends will throw up their hands in despair too, empathising and groaning when you tell them how much it cost to repair. Or, should a washing machine give up the ghost, friends rally around, offering to help either with the telephone number of a ‘marvellous’ plumber or more practically, by offering to do a few loads.
When your computer dies though, you get a minute of someone’s attention and that’s it. Men ask technical questions regarding reformat and restoration dates and the women, or at least the women I know, just say “Gosh how awful, do you want a coffee?” Well, yes actually, I do want a coffee but I also want to know how to mend my laptop. Doesn’t anyone care to enquire how much stuff I’ve lost? Can’t they look reflective for a moment and say, “You, poor, poor thing Alice. Did you lose all your lovely photographs? What about all your letters? And what about the stories you were writing? All gone too? All that work.” It should be enough to make them shed a few tears, but it never, ever does. Wait until the PTA find out though that all the templates and letters that were stored on my PC have been wiped out. They won’t be impressed that we have to redesign the posters for the barn dance and Christmas Fair but ultimately that sort of thing, although a chore, is replaceable. But my photographs, oh my photographs.
Subsequently here I am, hunched over my eldest daughter’s computer, which is completely alien to me and which is making me very cross and frustrated as I lumber my way through it.
Hubby of course is as much use as ever. When I rang him to say what had happened, he too asked all those totally alien questions, then asked if male friends of ours had had a look.
“Yes they have”, I said, desperately trying to be patient.
“And what do they say?”
“That they tried to restore it to another, healthier day in the life of the computer but that when they rebooted it, it didn’t work and that I still lost all my files”.
“Yeah, they are on the plot and hopefully by moving him to London it will free up a sea going position”. Hubby was distracted, talking to the ‘new boy’. It is his handover week.
“Are you listening to me?”, I said loudly
“Not really love. I’m totally snowers as you can hear. Sorry about your PC but really you should have backed up your work” and then he hung up.
My son was equally sympathetic, “Don’t go near mine mum ok? I’ve got it set up just as I want it, besides all the MSN messages will be sent to you and I don’t want you reading them”.
My daughter thankfully has been a little more generous, although I have sworn not to touch her programmes, games and ‘cheats’.
“Don’t veer from the Word documents mum ok?”
Awful though it is to admit, I am quite lost without my computer. I must spend an inordinate amount of time on it checking emails and blogging my virtual buddies, although it goes without saying that it is not the same as flesh and blood friendships. For instance I have recently been privy to the modern marvel that is Facebook. Now, having teenagers in the house, I feel that I am pretty well versed in computer speak and am proud to know what MSNing is, along with Bebo, My Space and You Tube. My children conversely are quite uncomfortable that I email and send instant messages as prolifically as I do, but this Facebook thing is quite another thing altogether and it is so impertinent and presumptuous.
Somehow or other my contacts in my email address book have been released into the ether and so all and sundry have been contacting me to be ‘friends’. Only unlike in the human world where relationships are built up over time over a succession of croissants, coffee, and shared experiences, in Facebook you are ‘poked’ when someone wants to be your friend and several, irritating little emails are then generated saying, ‘such and such’ wants to be your ‘friend’. Yeah sure they do. I have been somewhat startled to find several old lovers coming to the fore, once again wanting to be friends. Wasn’t that the last thing they said to me all those years ago? Curiosity of course gets the better of me and on clicking on their personal profiles I find all the other old girlfriends are listed as their friends too, like a latter day, ‘I danced with a man who danced with a girl who danced with the Prince of Wales’ – just makes me wonder who they danced with last.
I just can’t see the point in Facebook unless I’m missing the point. It seems to be a very visual thing, the young and gorgeous post all their most beautiful photographs on it of when they were in Ibiza with a big tan and little clothing and there seems to be a big deal made of how many friends you have, but actually I can see it as yet another tool to make me feel unpopular or at least inadequate. It’s bad enough when flesh and blood buddies have been having lunch together without me, but to discover that I am a ‘virtual Billy-no-mates’ and that anyone with access to the world wide web can snigger at my meagre cluster of associates, well, it’s truly mortifying.
Well for the time being I needn’t worry as pen, parchment and a book of stamps are the communication du jour.

13 comments:

It's just me said...

I do sympathise with your computer probs. And yep - a back-up would be a good idea in the future, but it ain't gonna help you now!

As for facebook - I don't really get it either. My colleague tried to explain something about the youff and how they meet people for horizontal aerobics, but he lost me somewhere along the way.

I do occasionally throw a chicken at someone. But that's as much as I understand!

Alice Band said...

Ok 'it's just me', you've totally lost me now! You threw a chicken at someone??

Mary Alice said...

You are right Alice. Never much sympathy over the computer, probably because computers render us all helpless, we have no idea how to fix them - at least with a car you can shake the wires and poke hopefully at the battery feeling as though you could accomplish something. Anyway, I would cry endlessly over lost photos and writing. In fact, I have before when my own computer crashed.
Facebook - I think it is another way for people to feel important...."ahha, see my friends? See how every time I get on the site people want to be with me?" Cell phones are the same thing, people always answering their phone or text, gratified to be needed and feel important even if it is only an illusion of importance for others to witness in the local Wal-Mart. And I suppose if I am really honest with myself, Blogging is the same thing too. We yearn to hear from others that our thoughts are justified. What does that really say about us all?
Oh and the chicken thing? I am lost as well; it must be because I am infinitely uncool.

Mopsa said...

Alice B - hope the laptop is back on action - it's a strange life-blood rather than lifestyle accoutrement these days. I thought I was IT literate but what is Bebo?? And Facebook seems to be a horrendous intrusion - no ta to that.

Sally Lomax said...

I think that the problem with computers is the old saying of "too many cooks. First we had PC's". Then we had the internet. tEhn we had helpful people wending messages round the world. Then we had silly people thinking that it might be fun to infiltrate people's personal spaces and started sedning stuff to peoples computers to deliberately destroy them. Then we had teenagers thinking that a virtual friendship is virtually a real friendship - and then they crashed. And we are lost......

Poor you Al.ice. I can fully sympathise, as I keep far too much on my computer.

I don't know a great deal about such things, but as far as I understand it, assuming that the hard disk itself is not destoyed, then I beleive that that can be transferred to a new computer and you will get back your stuff again. Then you can save the pohotos ot an internet based site(something I haven't done, but keep meaning to), put your stories on a private blog (ditto last comment) and then ahve a cup of coffee. Hopefully with me, who wants to make real friends not just this virtual stuff.

Sally Lomax said...

p.s. And one day I'll "preview" my comment to correct the typos first!

Alice Band said...

Mary Alice, Mopsa and Sally - My computer is up and running again and I have actually been and bought myself an external hard drive, which to be honest sounds like a marital aid.

It's just me said...

Ah - Facebook I was talking about. One can poke someone, or one can 'SuperPoke'. This means I can throw chickens or sheep or summat that I really would understand better were I younger...

Sally Lomax said...

Phew!

And have you got all your photos back?

Alice Band said...

sally - Yep I found everything, or at least a geeky friend did. I am eternally grateful.

Alice's son said...

mum without computer. tis like summer without pimms. or this blog without mum having something crap happen during the week. but not to worry that will never happen as if i feel her life has become dull and uninteresting for bloggers and newspaper readers i will do my loyal utmost to do something scandalous. what can i say. im a devoted son

Alice Band said...

My son goes to a grammar school. Who'd have thought it? His grammar is appalling.

Mary Alice said...

Perhaps his grammar leaves something to be desired BUT I thought the sentiment was charming. What a good and devoted son!