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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

My Computer: Freedom through oppression

Posted on March 18, 2010 at 5:13 PM

We have two computers in our house. A laptop which is used almost exclusively by me for my writing and which I consider “mine" and a desktop in our bedroom which used to also be “mine” but is now primarily used by Dana to read and print every blog on couponing and thrifty shopping and Lauryn to play games at Nick Jr. My laptop runs Vista, the much maligned operating system which has never given me even the slightest hiccup of trouble. It has traveled the country with me to tradeshows and events, written many stories and never been anything short of a good friend. The desktop however, runs XP Media Center edition and is cantankerous and curmudgeonly and would shiv you in the back if given the opportunity.


While I’m not going to come right out and say that or infected the desktop with a virus, what I WILL say is that the computer has been running like ass. Even my mom, perhaps the most technologically challenged person I know and who is living proof that any kind of A/V knowledge skips a generation, complains about how slow it is. I tried the simple steps that I know of to resurrect performance. I downloaded some free Spyware software and scanned (and scanned...). I compressed the hard drive. I defragged the hard drive. I deleted unnecessary programs. I deleted all the (thousands) of cookies and tracking histories. I rinsed, I repeated. Nothing. 


It all came to a head last night. After taking like 20 minutes to boot up, the computer totally locked up when just dragging the mouse around. I made all that cool tiling artwork you get when you’re dragging a window around and it just smears all over your desktop. Control-Alt-Delete took like 5 minutes to pop up. And the hard drive just spun and spun.

And I could tell that Dana was in deep withdrawals from going an entire coupon-blog freeday cold turkey. And she was eyeing my virgin laptop like those new inmates coming in at the beginning of Shawshank. “You lookin’ awful purty, li’l laptop. Why don’t you come over and sit on my lap. Let mama be sweet to you...”


So, it was time for some hardcore, pipe-hittin’ fixin’: a full system restore and Windows reinstall! I stripped that bad girl down to XP day 1, and I have to tell you, seeing a desktop that had been totally littered  with icons fresh as the morning dew is…..well, it’s liberating! All that junk that I couldn’t get rid of on my own was just washed away. It was like a digital version of Clean House or Hoarders. “Wait, I kind of wanted….” Gone! “ButI love that…” Deleted! It was a digital clean slate.


After the hours of Microsoft downloads, updates and installs, my biggest quandary now is getting all of my iTunes music to come back. I can see my 8500 songs, but after hours of reindexing my music collection, the computer only sees about 9 albums worth. Drama....


Categories: Mar 2010, Electronics, Computers

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Reply Malia76
6:29 PM on March 18, 2010 
You should have just said "IT". Because we all know it is true. Instead of the strip it all down and start over route, we just decided to buy a new one, so I guess we have about another 4 or 5 years, or until whenever the computer lords have decided we have on this one.
Reply Dana
3:38 PM on March 20, 2010 
The "coupon monkey" is strapped to my back once again. Oh happy day!