Sunday, February 18, 2007

Emergency Surgery

The instruments were sub-par, the lighting wasn’t ideal, and the surgeon was plying his technical trade for the first time, but against all odds, the surgery was a rousing success.

In the grueling pre-operative moments, I went through many emotional states. There was disbelief: I can’t believe this is happening (again). There was sorrow: I can’t imagine what I will do if I have to suffer this loss. There was anger and denial: But I’ve done everything I can, I’ve taken all the precautions and safety measures, I’ve performed all the maintenance and follow-up. This can’t be happening to me.

In the end, though, an eyeglass repair kit hastily purchased at 7-Eleven and the two sturdy hands of my intrepid husband proved enough to perform a delicate operation on my sickly little Powerbook G4.

The bizarre DOS language that took over the screen, the incessant kernel panic message that froze and crashed the computer every 10 seconds, the horrible shrieking sound it omitted whenever I tried to run a disk repair, the terrifying hieroglyphics that appeared where a lovely Microsoft Word document had flourished only moments earlier—in the end, all these malignant forces were no match for the two of us, battle-weary and used to the wily ways of the shifting internal network card whose movement wreaked havoc for my hard drive.

We’d experienced cataclysmic moments with it before, we’d tasted fear and considered the worse-case scenario, so we thought we were veterans by now. Nothing could have prepared us for the full onslaught of last night’s carnage and disease, the symptoms of which first appeared at the corner coffee shop around 8pm and whose groans and machinations did not end until this morning. For the first time, I really thought all hope of salvaging my beloved little titanium wonder was gone.

But with a flick of his wrist, the turn of impossibly tiny screws, and the re-alignment of one pesky, wriggling network card, John brought my computer back to life. Since my G4 is almost an appendage at this point—I use it easily 14 hours a day during the week and only a little less on weekends, and practically twitch if it isn’t in my vicinity at all times—the prospect of losing it was inconceivable.

Luckily, my computer is again whirring and clicking away as it should, the picture of health…and life for me can go back to normal. You gotta love it when acute triage solves the problem.


Lyrehca said...

Great post!

Kim said...

My dear, we are Macintosh Soul Sisters. I'm on a great new(ish) MacBookPro, but my little Powerbook G4 still putters away without a problem on my husband's lap.

At one point we had 5 (yes, FIVE) Apple computers in this house.

Computer as appendage, ah...I know it well! : D

Laurie said...

Glad to know you feel my computer-as-other-limb pain, Kim!!! I'm trying to get my husband to cross over to my side, but he's still plugging away on a PC.

I hope your Macs keep running smoothly, but if you ever get a kernel panic message and diagnostics find nothing wrong, make sure your airport card isn't out of place. Even 1 mm can make a huge difference in disrupting the hard drive. Learned that the hard way, but better to shove it back in than replace the hard drive!

Love your blog, btw!

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