Rehab for Derek the Laptop

Cartoons 2013
No Derek! Not again! (Photo credit: Robin Hutton)

The bills are paid, the checkbook is balanced. I’ve had a last troll through WordPress Reader, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Pinterest , three different Hotmail-now-Outlook email accounts and Amazon, both .com and The local-to-seven-time-zones-away newspaper has been checked for football (you call it soccer) results; has been scanned a last time. and have been perused for houses. Again.

The time has come. Derek the laptop is being sent away for treatment.

He indulged in some self-help aided by his friend, Mr. Norton, several months ago to no avail which resulted in a short hospital stay. Now a longer stint in rehab is required.

His problems are two-fold. We’ve filled his belly with double doses of music, photos and text files which is partly to blame for his worsening mental functions. None of us perform well after a big lunch. But a rapidly developing early onset dementia is now made apparent by blank screens and infuriating little circles that go ‘round and ‘round and ‘round which indicates I’m thinking before he blurts that tired old message, the only one he can recall, this page can’t be displayed. His instant recall is rubbish.

Not helping his troubled mind, Derek has been at odds with the new AT&T tower next door. He feeds his poorly brain with a 4G Verizon signal but AT&T badgers him so he constantly loses his train of thought.

To give him a break from the neighbor’s harassment I take Derek to the library for a refreshing dose of free Wi-Fi. His condition causes him to repeatedly drop the signal, like a baby with a rattle. He won’t pick it up and I can’t pick it up for him. The other boys and girls are playing happily on their laptops, but Derek made me complain to the librarian despite the fact that he was the wayward one.

The signal is fine. See that green circle? No-one else has complained. I think the problem is . . . . . . . , and she looked at me sympathetically before her eyes dropped to Derek.

Back at home he returns to his meditative state. My brain is always full of chatter but Derek can clear his mind beautifully and just ooooooooooom.

I could put Derek in a home and use the library computers but their browsers aren’t up to date and don’t support spellcheck on WordPress. As  I am a teribul tipist and my speeling is werse I have developed a spellcheck dependency disorder. Which means I am co-dependent with Derek.

And I would miss his warm presence on my lap.

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The nice man won’t operate. I promise! (Photo credit: Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL))

C’mon Derek, off you go. There’s a good lad. The nice man won’t hurt you. He’ll hook you up to life support, run some diagnostics for a couple of days and then put you on a detox.

I don’t know how else to help you.

Have you had too many cookies?

Joanna at Multifarious Meanderings has had her share of problems with Gizmo, the Smarty-Pants Phone.

Are we all in thrall to our electronic friends? Worse still, do they all have names?

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53 thoughts on “Rehab for Derek the Laptop

  1. I love that you named your laptop! We name our cars and, of course, RV, and our one and only TV in our first apartment was named Herb. You brought back good memories. Catching up on my reading and hope to read that Derek is fully recovered.


  2. So funny and I do share your agony, I have been having all sorts of techno problems for the past month and am very fed up with it all. My very expensive laptop has a dodgy video driver which freezes the screen every so often, but the new driver totally failed to install properly and left me with a blank screen, after much time and toil on Google (fortunately we have several machines in this household) I managed to restore to an earlier date and now back to the old(flaky) driver. More recently WP and Chrome have been falling out. I can’t load blogs – including my own – and uploading images freezes so I have to reload the page (so now I save draft before I do anything else). Oddly WP seems to be OK using IE. So maybe Derek isn’t the problem at all. Oh, and if you or anyone else reading this, are worried about viruses then try using an online scanner – several companies have them. Trend, Bitdefender, ESET or Kaspersky. Even if you have anti-virus sw installed it might be an idea to double check.
    I used to be in IT Support so fortunately can resolve most of our problems, but it gets harder! As for Apples… they may be good, but they are expensive as is the sw and also they change the OS all the time and stop supporting the old ones. I reckon that Apples are for people who just love to have the newest gadget, personally I only replace when something is well past its sell-by-date.

    Re: naming inanimate objects, I have a car called Elsie (her reg starts with LC) and the Sat Nav is Florence, but I haven’t named my computers, ever. Though we did used to name the servers at work 😀
    Jude xx


    1. Great tips! Thanks. And from an expert. I will probably not get addicted to apples on your advice. I have enough trouble as it is! Our SatNav was Gertie. I now call OnStar “the other woman.”


  3. When our Dell let us down mightily in the middle of a two-month caravan we found ourselves both inconvenienced and embarrassed we were over three weeks since a backup of HD. A few months later we bought a MacBook, and then replaced the Dell with an inexpensive HP for those programs we refused to run on the MacBook.

    The Mac is creative, fast, fluid, fun. The HP does MS Office Pro, Quicken, and many programs not written for Mac (esp amateur radio apps). Too, the Mac supports iPhone and iPad.

    One thing we will not do, we don’t leave our HP with anyone — just has too much personal data. If we can’t fix it, we’ll migrate all the biz stuff to another PC laptop.


    1. Oh my. So much to think about! Thanks for your tips. I understand your reluctance to let just onyone loose on your data. The first time Derek flipped his wig we were at Sequoia National Park – not exactly near civilization! I do have a trusted computer geek nearby now and I always do a backup before Derek goes for treatment.


  4. This is hilarious, although having computer woes can be infuriating! I’m with MonaLiza, perhaps an apple is in order. You know what they say…”an apple a day keeps the doctor away”! 🙂


  5. Love the way you put this… maybe it’s time for a replacement and to retire Derek to a cupboard for safe keeping… or maybe get an external drive to store most of your photos etc, so that he has enough space to regurgitate more info to you…


  6. Poor Derek. He should be happy he’s not in our household. The techno geeks in my life would want to put him out of his misery and replace him with a shiny new model. They have no respect for the old and tired 🙂


  7. I had to take my laptop to the computer doctor last year and it really has never been quite the same since then. The piece of technology that drives me nuts is the smart phone I have and I swear the thing has bugs or gremlins or something. It turns itself on and off, goes right to camera mode or calls the last person I talked too – it is creepy and gives me a little insanity – ha! Gotta love technology:) Happy Weekend!


  8. Loved your post, chuckled through it. After Derek acted up last time, I wouldn’t have given him a second chance! Naming my critters? Only Big Mac and Laptop, I did name my RV though – Harvey!


  9. LOVED this post! We’ve named vehicles (our current Toyota Scion XB is known as “Fugly”, and the GMC Sierra with all the bells and whistles is “Einstein” ’cause he’s smarter than we are), but your post has made us look with fresh eyes on our computers. My laptop might have to be Daisy Duke ’cause she’s mighty, but a touch flighty (I sometimes have to work hard to keep her keyboard focused as she tends to send the cursor all over the screen without any input from me). Everett’s “laptop” has a 19″ screen for his enjoyment, but it’s a few years old (5). I think he’ll be known as “Tank” from now on.


    1. Fugly, Einstein, Daisy Duke and Tank! Love it! Now we’ll have to name our truck. Every one says it’s pretty and the guy at the Chevy dealer called it Cream Puff, but it’s a big black pickup truck! That can’t be right. We’ll have to give it some thought.


  10. Maybe time to divorce Derek… Or just cheat on him a bit with Teddy the Tablet?

    My damned (new) iPhone spontaneously turns itself off (then back on) for no apparent reason. I haven’t named it yet. I just refer to it as f&*ker every time it does the unplanned shut down.


      1. I hear you. I’m juggling two SIM cards, which I swap out north and south of the border, to avoid roaming charges equal to mortgage payments. I can’t even imagine how many missed calls and texts there are. People must think I’m so unresponsive. 😦


      1. If you use Norton, then that could be the problem. It’s a brilliant protective suite, but one the most invasive and heavy system using programs on the planet. I dumped it years ago as my pc always had problems. None since…


            1. Thanks. I’ll look into that. Thing is . . . Derek has slowed down considerably over the last few months without a change to his virus protection. Still, I know Norton is weighty so will look into a change.


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