Friday, May 7, 2010

Same Song, Second Verse




It's hard to believe this video was made 40+ years ago, and in some ways, it is a fairly accurate portrayal of virtual life here in the 2000s. The computer on the video, however, looks bulky and boxy, and it kinda reminds me of our previous home computer which finally died (thankfully??) a couple of months ago.

Our own "antique" computer was gi-normous, and the monitor, which was even older, was roughly the size of a small refrigerator. In spite of the computer's great size and its idiosyncrasies and quirky ways, the ole girl had been a good one, and had been with us through thick and thin. It had seen us through dial-up and DSL, through science fair projects and college applications, through Webkinz and Facebook, through Windows 94 and Word Perfect, through Homestar Runner and 1000 views of Single Ladies, and through at least 18 million photo downloads and edits. It had also been around to keep us informed about important stuff like Dolly the sheep, Octomom, the Balloon Boy, and the Brad and Jennifer breakup; and scary stuff like SARS, the Bird flu, Swine flu and two presidential election cycles. Most importantly, it had been around during most of my husband's 13 month deployment to Iraq (email and instant messaging were our lifeline.)

"Old Faithful" started showing its age a year or so ago. The disc drive was the first to go, and then the screen saver went black and it began to get very temperamental. Things really went downhill quickly around Christmas-time this past year; and after months of patience, cajoling, rebooting, virtual duct tape, computer CPR, and "happy, Pollyanna thoughts" it became obvious that nothing could resuscitate the sad hulk of ancient circuit boards and metal. The ominous Blue Screen of Death appeared and everything locked down-- a case of computer lock-jaw, I suppose. So after 15 seconds a respectable period of mourning, we went to the computer maternity ward at Best Buy and came home with a bouncing baby Dell. It's sleek and shiny and oh, so very reliable! It's had all its cootie-shots to protect it from the latest computer-communicable diseases, it doesn't get fussy when I download large files, and best of all, it is still under warranty. The only problem is that we like this new computer so much, everyone has to fight for computer time; and now my youngest kid has begun lobbying for her very own laptop. Maybe we should have brought home twins.

4 comments:

Lori said...

i love how you tell a story...great post Cathy...i hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!!!

Thimbleanna said...

Wow! That video is pretty cool -- funny to look back and see what our present looked like then. I'm sure glad our online shopping interface isn't as primitive as what they envisioned LOL.

Loved your story -- really makes one think of how much our computers are such a big part of our lives. Congratulations on your new baby!

cindy said...

yeahhhhh. I remember back when I was a kid, remember the computer cards, that made em run. Glad you got a new one, that's always fun!

-c
yapping cat

Amy. said...

I just love the way you write. I enjoy your gift with words.
Amy