Monday, January 14, 2008

I am the Murphy Brown of Computers....Among Other Things.........

Which we won't get into just yet.......

Remember that old TV show starring Candice Bergen called Murphy Brown? One of the running gags throughout the series was the fact that Murphy couldn't keep the same secretary in working order for very long - matter of fact in Murphy's case, she had a new secretary every week.

What were secretary's for her are computers for me. I can't keep a computer in working order, it seems, for very long either. I'll let you in on some of the highlights of my computer-owning life. It's not pretty.......

1. My first Apple computer came into my life sometime in the '80's. It had absolutely no resemblance to any computer out there today. I was looking around the hard drive one day and managed to COMPLETELY ERASE everything on my hard drive. The fact that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing certainly didn't stop me! Thankfully a guy at GB's office fixed that.

2. My next computer? A NeXT computer. Didn't have a clue in the world what to do with it. Oh, I could operate it alright, but there were so many things it could do that I had no clue about and didn't really want to know about. Enter a friend of my brother, bbum, who lived in Missouri. He desperately wanted a NeXT computer and they were no longer being made. Bbum asked me if I would trade his friend for an up-to-date Apple computer. Why not? This crazy friend of my brother's immediately jumped in his car and drove straight through to my house - an 18 hour drive on a good day - stayed long enough to eat something, and drove straight back to Missouri! Crazy! And, it also turned out, not completely honest about the up-to-datedness of the computer he traded me for. What did I know??? I trust people!

3. At the time, I thought it was a brilliant idea. It turned out to be one of the stupidest things I've ever done. I bought a Dell. A damn Dell. Oh, it worked fine enough for a while, except for the normal woes most PC's tend to have. (No, I don't dislike PC's completely - I work on one M - F.) And then......disaster struck! I had just spent from around 8:00pm to midnight working on something lengthy - don't remember what, this is going back 10 or so years - when at the STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, I KID YOU NOT, the dang thing just froze froze froze. I had been hit by, (I think it was called) a Trojan Horse, and my entire hard drive - everything was irreparably corrupted. You know, all that data seemed so important then. I couldn't tell you a thing I miss that was on it. Actually, I take that back. I had just started into genealogy and all of that was lost. (Ended up getting the genealogy program that's compatible with Apples as that was my next computer and it is far superior to the program I used on the Dell.)

4. I was done with PC computers for good and replaced it with desktop Apples - two over the years. Then about 2003, I got a brand spankin' new MacBook for Christmas. Had the computer for about a year when my dang dog, Pippen, got tangled in the charger cord and ripped it out of the computer. Of course, it bent the connector part in the computer. From that time on I had to really futz with the charger to get it to work. (The most brilliant redesign on the new Mac?? The magnetically attaching charger cord. Pippen has gotten tangled in that cord, too, but - no harm done!)

5. Had the same computer for about a year and a half when, for some unknown reason, I decided to have a cup of coffee FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MONTHS!! I hardly EVER drink coffee. With cup in hand, I walked over to the kitchen table where my computer was. "What was that? What did you ask? Oh.....oh yes, why yes of course the computer was open!" Only God himself knows how it happened, but all at once the cup of coffee that was in my hands was all over my keyboard. You have never seen a MacBook flipped over and beaten faster in your life! I then ran to my car and tore to the Apple repair shop. You would have thought I had one of my kids in the car with dangling didgets or something else as horrible. They were able to save everything on it before it totally died, but unrepairable it certainly was. Will you explain to me how it is that a friend of my mother's dumped an entire quart of paint on his Mac keyboard and his still works perfectly well, though he's still chipping off paint to this day? Life is simply not fair. Know about iSkins? I don't allow myself around a computer unless it has one.

6. My son, MOS goes to college freshman year and gets a new Apple laptop. Worked fine for the first year. The MINUTE the warranty expires, (my brother warned me to get the extended one. Did I listen? Nooooo!), he starts having major problems with it. Of course, he goes to a PC-integrated college. Of course, the nearest Apple repair shop is 23 miles away. Of course, he doesn't have a car. He brings it home for Christmas break. Off to the Apple repair shop we go. Of course, it can't be fixed. Apple puts out good computers, but every once in a while they put out a real lemon. It found us.

7. I am typing this on my newest MacBook. Love it, love it! Last July, I was trying to install an updated Microsoft Office version. The. Computer. Won't. Let. Me. Install. Office. (Thank you MentalPMama for showing me that oh so clever writing technique!) I am not kidding. I wish I were kidding. I'm not. Off to the Apple repair shop I go.

8. A month later, I open my fixed computer and see a gnat had landed on my screen and met it's demise when the screen was last shut. Or so I thought. I get a cloth and wipe the gnat away. It's still there. I try again. IT WON'T WIPE AWAY! The dang gnat is stuck between the outer layer of my screen and wherever the light comes from. I quickly race to the Apple repair store, and again you'da thunk I had a human emergency on my hands, not just a gnat emergency.

I tear in the store, throw the computer on the counter, open it up and yell to no one in particular, tho Tom would do since he was standing there, "I have a bug in my computer!" Tom replies "Well, that's pretty hard to have, considering you have a Mac." "No, look!" I said, "I have a BUG in my computer!" He looked closer and said, "O my God! There's a BUG in your computer!" The very next thing Tom does is slap the top edge of my computer. I politely asked him what the hell he thought he was doing (I didn't actually speak the hell part, I am polite, but I sure thought it). His answer. "Well maybe it will fall to the bottom of your computer screen and it won't be so annoying every time you look at it." Back home we went, me, my computer and it's gnat. No charge this time, either. I think Tom had begun to actually feel sorry for me. BTW, yes, it is annoying!

How the gnat got into my computer will forever remain a mystery. The fact that it struggled until it was about 3 inches from both the left side and the bottom of the screen astounds me! When it was first discovered, you could see the body and one of it's wings sticking out. Now what's left of the wing stays in the original location and the body has "drifted" to about an inch from the bottom. No, I haven't taken to slapping the rim like Tom did.

9. Same machine 5 days before Christmas '07 and it's wonderful onslaught of company, parties, people, fun, etc. Also the time of year when I truly enjoy my ~quiet time~ on my computer late each evening. My copy of Leopard arrives in the mail. I install it and restart my computer. It won't restart. I try again. It won't restart. Third time's the charm? Nope! Off to the Apple repair store I go!! There's a new gal working at the counter. I tell her what happened. "Oh yeah," she says, "My dad said he's seen this problem. He even told me I couldn't install Leopard at school, but had to wait until I was home soe he could do it." Yipee! Wish I had known that! I had to leave it at the shop. Of course, this is normally a 24 turn-around kind of problem. Of course, it happened to my computer just before Christmas. Of course, there's a 7 - 10 day turn-around. Sheesh!

10. Nope, for now I'm through with my computer travails. I hope there are no more to tell!

I strongly suggest if you invite me to your house, you hide your computers. I obviously give off strong negative vibes to computers, and yours might just break! Just call me Murphy...




  1. (sigh) Sorry about that. I tend to be long-winded. I need to work on my condensing skills.......Reader's Digest where are you???


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