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.
I 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.