Tuesday, September 09, 2008

This Post Was Supposed to be About Computers but it Went Horribly Awry

The human mind is an amazing but sometimes maddening thing. Over the years we have been able to take the very simple concept of on and off and turn it into something amazing, computers that can perform functions ranging from adding 2 + 2 to publishing Big Dave and Company at a set time to theorizing how bridges are going to react when solar heating causes their metal to expand. It's really mind boggling if you sit down and think about it. And you should sit down because it's that deep and amazing. But you know what else we have managed to make computers, which really only understand two things, on or off, be? Totally, absurdly, frustrating.
I have been trying to fix up Eric the Red's computer for, oh, say a year and a half. It really hasn't been that long, maybe more like a month or so, and I haven't really been trying that hard except for the last week or two. But it hasn't been an easy fix for me. And it's not because his computer is broken badly. It's not because he has asked me to do too much. In fact I volunteered. I just can't do it. I don't know if four years of Mac use, where you just install things, or plug them in, and they work have softened me, of if it's because I have gone retarded, or if it is because software has become more complex, but simple things that I have done before with relative ease I don't seem to be able to do anymore. And it makes me sad.
We are not talking about brain surgery here, Company. All I am trying to do is take one operating system off, and put a different one on. No big deal, right? That's what I thought. I've done it before. But apparently operating systems have become more sophisticated and I have not. Because this one does not want to let go. It's like a bear trap caught around a hunter's leg. Doesn't want to let go. It's like someone clinging to the side of an airplane before their first skydive. Doesn't want to let go. It's like an overprotective mother whose child is about to date for the first time. Doesn't want to let go. It's like my dog used to be after he would go fetch the ball. It just won't let go.
I guess it's smart, designing your software to be hard to replace. You want your name out there, you want people using your products. But come on. Designing software that doesn't allow itself to be replaced is like designing a car that won't let you put on better tires. I am sure that your tires are wonderful Pontiac G6, but I live in the Great White North, I need some snow tires. And I can replace them. But when I need an operating system that works with all my shit, God forbid I can get that. So now I had to call in the professionals, and by that I mean Christoff, who bails me out on just about every single computer issue that I have, and he will have it done in, oh say, 16 minutes and I will feel like a tool. But he's got the tools and the expertise. I suppose that if he ever needs someone procrastinate badly I would be able to repay the favor. Or maybe someone to plow their car accidentally into his house to collect the insurance money I will be able to start repaying favors to him.
Do you see how computers have me all worked up? Now, I am not complaining. These things happen. I offered and managed to get myself in a little over my head. No big deal. I am amazed at how such a simple little thing became so complex so quickly. Like a white puffy cloud that builds into a raging thunderstorm. Or like simply trying to install a ceiling fan that quickly becomes a whole house rewiring project. Or like trying to move a map cabinet that become a digging expedition. Or like one analogy that suddenly become like eight of them in the same post. I know, I am out of control. But that seems to be how my life is going lately. And all I can do is just ride the wave I guess. I wish it were as simple as yes or no. Black or white. On or off. But then again, look where that got us.

No comments: