Friday, January 30, 2009

An Empty Computer

I have never had an empty computer before. Up until this recent reformat of the XP computer, I had always sat in front of a computer already influenced and altered by others. A particular other. I seem to inherit the equipment my wife has had her way with first. When I first took this one over, it was chock full of chick music, images chicks would save, and it might be my imagination, but I think a hint of lilacs whiffed out of the back when I fired it up.

I am not complaining. Matter of fact, because of the music already inside it's guts, I discovered Ani Difranco, Indigo Girls, and what's her face, the Rehab chick. All great music. Especially Ani "I don't hate men as much as I used to, but they are still flounders" Difranco. I was less impressed with the images my wife thought enough of to save. Where were the images of violent men beating other violent men, race cars, bikes, rock gods playing guitars with their teeth and pictures of chicks in various states of .......? Nowhere. Not one. Well, maybe one or two, but the picture folders definitely needed a man's touch. As did the music library. And I worked hard to rise to the occasion.

Just when I had the place just right, you know, not so tidy or organized, just like I like it, I picked up the damn virus. And though I heroically held the high ground for a couple of weeks, the daily overruns by crazed cossacks wielding destructive programs eventually caused me to call in the cavalry. At the last minute, bugles blaring and an invoice in hand, the cavalry arrived and saved me from myself.

So now I am free to actually visit other blogs or sites without waiting 2 or 3 minutes for the pages to load. The memory is an empty palette. A great big huge vacant place for me to gussy up just how I want to.

This time I told myself, I would be a better steward of the space I have been tasked with caring for. No redundant programs like the 5 or 6 image editing ones I had before. One of each thing needed to do what I want or need to do. I will promise to keep my link list down to a dull roar. Saving a site just because I "might" like to come back is not a good enough excuse. My old link list was so huge with 50+ folders filled with links I had not visited since June of 07, finding the ones I actually visited regularly tested my damaged memory to it's max. "Uh, let's see. Just where the Hell did I save that link? In Temp folder A? Or was it Temp folder AA? Hmm, Temp folder BBB? Maybe in the political folder? Screw it, Google time." I did not count em. But I am sure I had over 500 links saved in what must have been 50 folders. I did save the links list to a memory stick. Something tells me I will not be downloading it anytime soon.

In preparation for the reformat, I spent hours picking and choosing what to save and what to toss. The pack rat in me fought every deletion with a passion. I would sit there and agonize over stupidity like, "Do I need four copies of this image?" Eventually I tired of the process and saved it all. I can pick and choose at my leisure now. Hmmm. Who the Hell am I foolin? I'll never delete the links, the images, old documents or any of the hundreds of emails I saved. They will sit dormant on outside devices and slowly degrade to the point that when I do want to retrieve them, less than desirable downloads will result. Been there done that. I still have floppies from the old Commodore and Apple ll GS days that I am sure are now completely worthless.

It has been an interesting month of blog posting. I stepped up and bragged I would post every day for a month. I was not prepared for the blogging stress the commitment would bring with it. The first week I sat in front of the screen struggling to find rhyme or reason while fighting severe head cold issues. In the second week, the head cold virus was hijacked by Russian losers and downloaded into my computer. And for the last two weeks I have been spending more time on the computer than I have ever before and producing half as much. Yet through all of it, I have managed to meet the required minimum of a post a day.

I have learned some things.

Posting every day just for the sake of posting everyday just does not fit my personality. I tried to make every post at least worth reading. But as I read over some of my entries, I realize I was just treading water with more than a few of them. Quantity does not override quality. Since I know I can come up with quantity now, I will now concentrate on the pursuit of quality. If I ever catch some please let me know.

Taking anything for granted, especially a machine, is setting myself up for serious problems. Ignoring basic maintenance procedures and not cleaning out deadwood regularly is a recipe for disaster. I never want to go through this again.



BBC said...

I've never had a computer that was messed with by others first, other than the crap that came on them when I bought them. and I've had lots of them.

Back in the good old days they didn't put a lot of extra crap on them

Since I know I can come up with quantity now, I will now concentrate on the pursuit of quality.

Ha ha ha, please let me know how that works out for you. If you can do it maybe you can teach the rest of us. :-)

Demeur said...

It's funny you should mention dumping old files. I think it's human nature to save the smallest scrap of files tucked in the far crevice of ones and zeros. Then of course the moment you dump it and without fail six months later a need arises for that exact bit of info.
But then I think was it really that important or has this just become the new version of TV a mindless drug that has you sitting there like some zombie staring at the glowing monitor. But with this version you never know what's on is any good until you go there and read it. By then it's too late.

BBC said...

Oh yeah there's that growth too. But hey not half bad anyway.

Growth, ha ha ha. That cracked me up.