Maggie Robinson

May 13

Shh. Don’t tell my Dell. This is probably the last blog post I’ll ever type on her beaten keyboard, where the e and the a and the o are almost completely worn away. She has been malfunctioning lately, going black, going bright blue with dire warnings, going going gone. She is the computer I started my alleged writing “career” on almost five years ago, when I didn’t know there was a word count feature or how to copy and paste or clear my cookies.

She’s seen a lot. In her quiet blocky, boxy way, she’s hogged the desk and put up with ignorance and incompetence with insouciance. She was with me as I cried with joy when I finaled in the Avon contest and felt like a real writer for the first time. She’s gloried in the granddaughters’ pictures and the rest of the family slide show. She didn’t judge either me or the agent when I got this rejection: “I would like to see the next project you work on though. This project doesn’t fit my needs, but I like you’re [sic] writing and your credentials are good.” She’s gathered dust and crumbs and never complained. She’s kept me in touch with old friends and helped me make new ones. She’s survived fatal errors and viruses and highjacking. She was the inspiration for Third-Rate Romance, when she went into a coma and I had to write something.

This week she’s getting a new sibling, who I hope will bring me as much luck, lunacy and laughter as she’s provided in this half-decade of half-baked writing. She holds all my secrets, most of which I pray I’ve backed up on my pendrive just in case she can’t be rebooted in her new location. I want to thank her from the bottom of my crusty, shriveled heart for dragging me valiantly into the twenty-first century. Love you, Dell I.

Have you had any computer disasters? Got a warm feeling for your toaster or another appliance? Spill, but not on the keyboard.

12 comments to “Dell-ightful”

  1. Stephanie J
     · May 13th, 2008 at 10:19 am · Link

    It’s so sad to leave an old computer, and yet so wonderful! I still remember pulling out my shiny mac back in March and the joy I felt in that moment! Then again, getting used to new computers can be a hassle as well!

    Why did I have to get that new computer, you ask? That would be because my screen died. And I hadn’t backed up ANY of my files. I had a huge panic moment thinking of how I might have lost 4 years worth of pictures and a resume that I spent hours perfecting. In the end, it was only my screen that died and I was able to extract all my documents and pictures by hooking up to an external monitor. Whew!!! I’d like to say that I’ve learned my lesson but the horrible truth is that I’ve only backed up my WIP and my pics are still at risk. Hmm. Maybe I should head to the Apple store this weekend!

  2. terrio
     · May 13th, 2008 at 10:51 am · Link

    This has me feeling the extreme desire for an external hard-drive.

    This is timely since I’m replacing several old and beloved appliances in my house. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a new television. Lovely 32″ LCD flat screen that still does not have a stand of her own. My other tv didn’t die or anything, but she’s 13 years old and rather small. It was just time.

    Shortly after that purchase, I had to venture out for a new microwave. The one I had was nearly 20 years old and finally gave out. I tried to nuke my child a corn dog (yes, I’m a terrible mother) and after one minute of cooking, the middle exploded while the ends were still frozen.

    So now I have this shiny, bright red microwave sitting where the old used to be. It looks very out of place but I’m hoping to continue the progress until her surroundings come up to her level.

    A toast to that trusty Dell that brought you to the rest of us, Maggs. We’ll be forever grateful.

  3. Janga
     · May 13th, 2008 at 12:26 pm · Link

    I’m with Terri, Maggie. Cheers for your old Dell and for the EJ board drabbles and the Fanlit chapters and the someday-soon-to-be-published creations you produced with its support.

    I have been looking at new computers, but a new washer and dryer are my next major purchase. Mine are at the about-to-give-up-the-ghost stage. More RAM will have to do for the computer.

  4. J.K. Coi
     · May 13th, 2008 at 2:31 pm · Link

    Maggie, I feel your pain of the last few days. My screen went black and my computer just shut down for no reason TWICE in the last two days. And since the last time it happened, I can’t turn it back on! Don’t know what the hell is going on, but the computer is only 6 months old! I’m freaking out

  5. Maggie Robinson
     · May 13th, 2008 at 9:47 pm · Link

    Steph, glad the post was a public service announcement, LOL.

    Ooh, Terri, a red microwave might actually make me want to cook something. And you are not a terrible mother. Corn dogs are divine.

    Janga, I fear my W & D are on their last legs too. I hate doing laundry (almost as much as I hate to cook now).

    Kris, it’s funny that a couple of weeks I said I wanted to spend less time online. Guess Dell heard me and is just helping me out. *g*

  6. MistyJo
     · May 14th, 2008 at 8:29 pm · Link

    I’m afraid that I may be doing the same to our big computer, meaning non-laptop. Bill and I purchased the Sony in 2001. I won’t ever forget Bill and I standing in Best Buy and Bill proclaiming that it was the perfect computer for us. He was working at Best Buy at the time, and I told him that if he truly thought that it was the computer for us then he had to “sell it” to me with his salesman skills. I was a paying customer, and I deserved the same courtesy. Our Sony has been around the block or two, and I believe that it is on its last leg to Hannah’s horror. She considers it to be her possession since Bill and I each have laptops.

    I LOVED my first computer. I bought it in 1998, and it was a Gateway. It was my connection to the rest of the world. Literally. That computer should have had a “blushing mode” for some of the e-mails and chats that the Brit and I had. I left it with my mom and stepdad when Bill and I married. When it finally went caput, I wanted to bury it in the backyard.

  7. Tiffany Kenzie
     · May 15th, 2008 at 6:24 am · Link

    I tell you, Macs might be more, but the last one I had, lasted ten years. And I could have kept going on it. though occasionally she would shut down for the fun of it, without saving what I wrote… I leart early to hit command s often… usually every time I stopped typing…

    I hope your pen drive has everything too!

    I lurve the luxury of a laptop!

  8. Maggie Robinson
     · May 15th, 2008 at 7:23 am · Link

    Misty, I’ve already wondered what to do with the tower if we can’t clean it up. But because I was raised in the television age, I still think of the screen as being “the computer,”, LOL. The new one is a flat screen which will take up much less room.

    Tiff, John has a laptop I can use if we travel, but I’m so silly—-I ‘m used to my little room and can’t seem to think anywhere else. Of course, there are some who don’t think I’m thinking here, either.

  9. Elyssa Papa
     · May 15th, 2008 at 10:38 am · Link

    I have so many horror stories from my last computer right before it died and when it died. It froze a couple of times as I wrote and I couldn’t retrieve the file no matter how hard I tried. And the old computer would kick me off IM and internet which was so frustrating. And then one night the screen went black and it died. I got a new laptop from Best Buy and I love it.

  10. irisheyes
     · May 16th, 2008 at 5:56 pm · Link

    Maggie, I’m very familiar with computer issues and problems. The DH is in the business and so we usually have state of the art equipment (or at least he does, the kids and I get his leftovers!)

    It’s hilarious to see the complete outrage and panic descend on our whole household when there are computer issues. The DH’s computer acquired a virus not too long ago and there was hell to pay! Since then the kids have been banned from using his system. I honestly do not know what we would do without this whole system. We don’t watch all that much TV and the kids use it ALL the time for school, among all the other things. It’s amazing… probably how our parents felt about telephones and TVs.

    I would definitely say, though, that I don’t think I could do without it anymore. I’d give up my TV before my computer. And I’d definitely give up my stove – I hate to cook! (not my microwave, though, even though mine’s not red!)

  11. Maggie Robinson
     · May 17th, 2008 at 1:19 pm · Link

    Irish, it is amazing how addicted I am to my computer, considering I had no previous experience in school with one (I’m a woman of a certain age, as we all know). Even when I worked in an office, there was little computer literacy for me. It wasn’t until I started designing brochures and flyers for a non-profit I worked for ten years ago that I started fumbling my way around. Now I feel like I’m connected with a feeding tube, LOL.

    Ely, I lost a whole bunch of stuff once when we moved, and somehow after the old computer was reconnected it was just….gone. Thank goodness I really hadn’t started to write yet. Now I back up everything.

  12. Gillian Layne
     · May 17th, 2008 at 1:38 pm · Link

    My computer knowledge extends as far as a call to my husband. 🙂

    I love my computer, it has a huge widescreen monitor so I can view pages side by side. And watch movies when I’m just being lazy.

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