Tuesday, January 26, 2010

There's something happening with technology

I waited in line Saturday afternoon holding my precious laptop bag while the Geek Squad helped the people in front of me. I shifted foot to foot. Davin spun circles on a nearby stool.

When we got the the front, the woman behind the counter fired up my computer and asked me questions about the problem. Windows look-alike pop ups were telling me "Your computer is infected. Do you want to download anti-virus software now?" They weren't my Windows-style windows ... they were suspicious, with sharp corners instead of rounded ones; blue instead of silver header bars told me the thing giving me warning signs was probably the problem itself.

"You can't even add or delete programs in the system controls," the woman observed. I told her I knew that. Was it fixable?

"I had something like this the other day," she said grimly, and then she quoted me an estimate. For that price, I'll probably just buy a new computer I told her. I signed a permission slip to have my files backed up on an external hard drive.

The same day my friend Lisa blogged about her Mac giving the light gray screen of death. And on the same day my favorite ADN columnist published a column about her coffee pot AND her Mac crashing on the same day.

When I think about it, I think it seems silly to be devastated over a simple possession. But it's so much more than that. It's my pictures — memories, my design portfolio, my wedding guest list/plans, my college projects. All of those are now backed up and ready to load onto a new computer. I'm lucky they are salvagable.

But it's also late nights finishing college papers. And later nights watching TV online when I had no cable, worked the late shift and lived alone in a new city. It's my blogging-ground, my connection to people far from Alaska, my way to waste 20 minutes, my yellow pages, my road map, my answer to what movie I've seen that actress in before.

I'm not sure when we all became so dependent upon technology, but my colleague's column and my friend's blog tells me I'm not the only one.

Friends, back up you files tonight. You'll never know when you'll have cause to be happy you did.

While you do so, I'm off to pick up my external hard drive and shop for a new computer.

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