Friday, February 10, 2012

Technical difficulties

Oh boy. When it rains, it pours. Am I right? Quite a while ago (like, before Christmas) the power supply in Shane's computer exploded. (And I mean that in the literal sense. Thankfully, it was small. I slept right through it.) Then, when he was cleaning out my computer, he broke my processor by accident. Not a big deal, in the grand scheme of things. Since his computer was already broken he merely traded out his working part for my non-working part. He has a laptop, which was his graduation gift from his parents. I know, I know, three computers for our household of two! But it has been nice to have the laptop around for things like going on our honeymoon and now, for use when the other computer is dead.
Well, last week the power supply for the laptop died. Since it's sort of a specialty laptop (marketed to gamers, like Shane) it's not like he could just go to the store and get a new power supply. It's thankfully still under warranty, so he sent it back to be refurbished. And our house was down to only one working computer.
On Wednesday, I got a call from Shane in the afternoon. "Your computer isn't starting up. I think something is wrong with your operating system and I'm going to have to do a complete re-install. You don't have anything important on that drive, do you?" Naturally I didn't think, "Yes! All of my photos, all of my important documents..." I said, "No, I don't think so." *Facepalm*
What Shane thinks happened is that the night before, when he was going to bed, it was taking forever to shut itself off and in a fit of impatience he did a hard shutdown via the power strip. What he failed to realize at the time was that it was taking so long to shut down because it was installing updates. He killed it.
So for a while, we went from three working computers to none. Thankfully, Shane was able to get mine up and running again. And our most important photos (like the ones from our honeymoon) were still on the camera. Others I can get from family and friends, or even from Facebook. Most of my important documents have backups (thanks, Dad!) so it's not a complete loss. Just a lot of time that I'm going to need to spend, putting things back in order.
Both of our birthdays are coming up, and we've agreed that it's sort of silly to get presents for each other. "Here, look what our money got you!" or Shane's comment, "You worked really hard, dear, so I spent some of that money you earned." I think our gifts to each other will be more like "You have my permission to go buy a couple of books" or "You have my permission to go ahead and buy new parts for your computer". It's the stuff of jewelry commercials and romance novels, right?
It has been interesting, though, to see how much we rely on our computers. I like to think that I spend less than the average amount of screen time (Shane makes up for it with his massive amounts of screen time, thanks to playing video games) but I felt rather bereft when we didn't have any computers to entertain us. Normally if Shane was doing something like installing an operating system (a long and boring process) we would have turned on a movie on someone else's computer. But of course, we couldn't do that. I couldn't do my normal workout because the video is played on my computer. So we read our books and it was very quiet in the house. I took the dog for a walk to get some exercise, but it's warm enough that I've been doing that in addition to my workout lately and it wasn't a replacement. (Little girl got two walks yesterday because I took her to meet Shane when he was walking home from work, then I took her out again after my workout. She even found some bread in the road that someone had spilled and ate it before I could stop her. It was a good evening to be a dog.)
Whatever computer parts we have to get rid of will be sent to an e-waste recycler. I know that most of the time they just ship the stuff to places like China, because they have lax environmental laws. So I will do my best to find a responsible recycling route. It's not the best option, or even really a good option. I'll need to figure out more what the best and most responsible, sustainable, option is.

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