Tag Archives: computer issues

ERROR CODE: Sleeping Hamster

Why, Yes Alice, I can speak.

Is there a moon wobble or something?   

        My computer is highly uncooperative. If it were a person, it would get coal in its stocking. Maybe its obstinacy has to do with its age: it is quite young. It rebels in waves, as if it knows exactly those times I need it the most. A little pull-back here, a minor refusal there; like every boyfriend I’ve ever had.  If I really need to get something done and dare to command compliance, it shouts at me with its deafening silence. No need to speak words when inaction works with great efficiency. I’m in a new wave of machine defiance and my every attempt to woo it back to proper functioning falls to deaf cogs.
    A few days ago, it took it upon itself to change my pointer. One night, all was as I expected, blissfully uneventful. The next morning’s boot brought me face to face with a new colorful little icon, mostly pink, and covered with fall leaves, commanding me to “Give Thanks.” That’s what the pointer said: “Give Thanks.” In pink. It was a little big as pointers go, and after a cursory (haha) attempt to figure out where it came from, I decided that giving thanks wasn’t such a bad thing and I let it stay. Until today. Today I decided that I can give thanks when and where I want to and that I no longer wanted my computer telling me what to do. So I went to the control panel and sent it on its way, back to from whence it came, replacing it with a boring default arrow that is better than the pink thing but not as good as what I had before.

   Okay…not that you’re on the edge of your seat or anything…but if you’ve made it this far, I might as well answer the question raised: why didn’t I just get my old cursor back if I liked it better than the boring arrow? BEcause my hissy-fit having machine (no, wait…that was me…) upped the ante and decided I was no longer permitted to use scroll down menus to choose anything. I could only click on “restore to defaults”. Sigh. It is true. And now that I’ve “restored”, I can no longer click! I can highlight and press “enter” on the keyboard and hope for the best; but I’m on crutches here, grasping about byte world, no longer the stealth(-ish) surfer. I feel like the cyber-cheese who stands alone.

    I hobbled my way to Microsoft help forum, hoping to chat with those in the know who, apparently, still loved their machines. It took a few tries to scroll and enter my way through registration. Then, I was at the very last step (after so, so many). All I needed to do was check the “I agree” box, and help would be mine. Except I couldn’t click. I tried to scroll, but there was nothing to scroll- you either agreed or you did not. I adamantly proclaimed to my monitor, “I agree! I agree!” But to no avail.  I highlighted and pressed enter. It laughed at my efforts, mocking my every attempt. I tried to back space thinking maybe if I got a running start…I waited awhile thinking maybe it would forget about me and I could sneak up from behind…but my bag O’ tricks was nothing like Felix’s and my efforts proved pure folly.

  Yes, I raged against my little machine. It paid me back. It dropped my smooth scroll. Now my hamster wheel moves my text in dizzying chunks, forcing me to keep sane by using the down scroll on the right side of the page (which, as an extremely spoiled scroller from way back, drives me insane nevertheless!)

   Sigh. Maybe I dropped too many cracker crumbs in its keyboard while lolling around on the web, an indignity to any proud piece of technology. Maybe I was taking its marvels for granted and needed to remember to Give Thanks. (Mmmm…I wish I had more crackers…) Somehow, this time, I do not think it will self correct. I just know in my heart I’m going to have to treat it to a shiny new mouse, give it a defrag and memory makeover, or whatever it is that is appealing to a fancy box of cogs and wheels. The hamster got tired. But know this: I am giving thanks that it still lets me type out a few words while it snoozes.