New Device Phobia

There are moments in my life when the technoflop in me leaps out in all her spandex and tinfoil brilliance, and I just want to crawl under a rock, refusing all digital modes of communication. Yes, I got a new laptop. The moment I saw the matte black surface, still in its plastic, something in me cringed and started sucking its thumb.

“Do I really want to do this to myself?” I thought, thanking my husband profusely. (First World ingrate here.)

I bravely took on the beast…on day 3. It was right after Realm asked, “Have you even turned it on?”

I just laughed. “I keep meaning to,” I told him. Inside I was crying, ‘No! No, I haven’t turned it on! That would require courage comparable to storming the living room and taking down the Christmas tree!’

I turned it on and found it wanted to get to know a little bit about me: my name, my occupation, my shoe size, any moles or important identifying marks… I tried to be open and answer all the questions honestly. After all, we would be friends for some time, providing I made it through the setup wizard.

The questions became more restrictive after that: Did I have an Outlook email address? I took the “alternative email” option, which it accepted for about three seconds, then returned me to the Outlook email prompt. Twice.

‘Fine, I’ll register for your sponsor’s account. Satisfied?’ I thought. Because, hey, I can always use an extra email account! I only have 306.

Armed with my new Outlook account, I entered the inner sanctum, the desktop. Oooooh, ahhhh. I was enthralled for a full ten minutes before I discovered how much I hate Windows 8.

1024px-Blue_Screen_of_DeathI was in the midst of giving my new laptop a gentle facelift when it happened. My laptop decided to update and needed to restart. So it restarted, I swirled the touchpad to enter my password, and it blue-screened me. Yes, it wielded the blue screen of death with its simpering frown-y face, informing me it would restart again after a few corrections. The cycle of powerlessness had begun.

I sparred with that patronizing blue screen for a few days. I learned a lot of new things about the virtual innards of my laptop. Had the blue screen continued, I would have become well acquainted with its actual innards. In that time my laptop began to take on a personality. At first it was smug, rejecting my “foreign” email address; then it was sullen because I ditched its ready-to-go software and changed its boot-up preferences. It became downright malicious when I installed open source—not open source! For shame!—software. The white frown-y face stared at me, impassive, but I didn’t flinch.

“You will not sabotage this relationship, Wizfect,” I whispered to it late into the night after the fortieth reboot.

It seems Wizfect the Laptop has a sensitive touchpad and didn’t want me to know. Since I have always found the touchpad an annoying bane of smooth typing, I had no qualms about disabling it. I think that’s when Wizfect began to learn to trust me. I have no doubt we’ll be making great stories together.

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Author: Rilla Z

I'm a scribbler. I'm genuine. Sometimes I'm too genuine. My topics of interest are: this world, the worlds inside my head, and the world to come. Oh, and cups of tea. Yes, I write about my cups of tea.

12 thoughts on “New Device Phobia”

  1. It’s always daunting when we get a new piece of technology hardware, especially when the operating system changes. I’m not looking forward to when I have to leave Windows 7. It’s been good to me. 🙂 Have fun playing around with your new ‘toy’!

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  2. New tech scares me, too. That’s probably why I do so little with my new iPad mini and have yet to get a smart phone. Hang in there, though. Sounds like you have it on the ropes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I told Realm I want to take some tech courses (mainly for web design). Don’t know when I can find the time and money for it, but I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for online opportunities.

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  3. I do love new tech but find it a pain when they misbehave. I have an iPad and iPhone plus the pc running Windows 7. I abhor having to move to Windows 8…7 was bad enough but finally learned same.
    iPad mini has decided to just stop. I have to turn it off and then turn it back on again to reboot. I have learned to dislike it very much. The iPhone 6+ is much better.

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  4. I have the same problem. I like my gizmos, once I get used to them, but I never use them to their full potential. I learn just enough to get by and do what I want to do. (Actually, it sounds like you are better in that area than I am) I had to seriously consider a smart phone a couple of years ago when my husband offered me one for my birthday. At first I hated it, but now I would go into withdrawal without it.

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  5. My husband’s computer has 8, and we both detest it. Rumor has it that “9” will be more like 7, so I’m hoping my 4-year-old laptop keeps going strong for a few more years. If not, I may break down and pay for a business-oriented model that will keep running 7 for a few more years!

    Be strong, and show that computer who’s boss!

    Liked by 1 person

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