Friday, July 11, 2014

New Computer


Several times a week, I hang up on folks who call claiming to be Dell Technical support. They claim to know some nonsense about my having an infection in my computer that isn’t a virus and can’t be caught by my antivirus program, but that this mysterious person has managed to detect without even knowing what kind of computer I have.

But this time, the caller didn’t feel dishonest. And I had written to Dell about when to expect delivery on my new computer.  FedEx hadn’t logged it in for 5 days, and it had missed its expected delivery date.  So, I asked the caller, “Are you really from Dell or are you trying to sell me something?” 

I know. Dumb questions.  So, of course he said, “I’m really from Dell.”  

I asked, “Why are you calling?”  He said he was calling in response to my email.  Dell Technical Support really does make phone calls. 

He didn’t know about all the fake Dell phone calls.

He didn’t know any more than FedEx did about where my new computer was hiding.  But if FedEx didn’t find it in the next day or two, he’d authorize a trace.

Within minutes of delivery the next day,  Dell Technical Support called to ask if it worked.  I hadn’t even opened the box yet. I promised to email them when I had it up and running.  

I used to think happily about how nice a new fast computer with new capabilities would be.  But that maxed out about a decade ago.  Now, a new computer means I have to find all my backups and program disks and restore them to the new drive.

And before I can do that, I have to uninstall the programs on the old drive so the license will be free for reinstallation.

My hard drive is dying.  The registry is corrupt.  Uninstall doesn’t work.  I found a Mr. Fixit program on the Microsoft website that did manage to uninstall most of my programs.  BUT, it didn’t send word to the companies, so when I reinstalled, the programs said I had already used my license.  Now, I have to phone the companies, and talk with bored humans who must spend all day listening to 36 digit registration codes.  This is not going to be an easy or short process.  

I’m hoping my dying hard drive lives long enough to finish this process.  I am buying my old computer a new hard drive to give it years of more use.  But this computer eats hard drives at least once a year, and it is now out of warranty.

At least Chrome browser remembers my passwords and my bookmarks.  And I no longer have email on my hard drive. Some of the drudgery of moving to a new computer is gone.  But I have files going back to 1983.

In fact, I have things on my hard drive that I don’t care about any more. Funny and beautiful videos friends sent me in emails.  Audios of webtalks that I never want to hear again.  
Picking which files go into my new computer is like cleaning out my file cabinet.   Will I regret throwing that out?  Will I regret keeping it around?  Looking at my hard drive is both a record of my creativity and my time wasting. 

Everybody acts like having things neat is supposed to be easy. I’ll probably wind up keeping things I’ll never look at again.     

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