The diagnostic testing was inconclusive so there is no treatment plan. Derek is slower than ever and I can only conclude that he’s sulking. The tech was too kind to say but my diagnosis is senescence as many of you have suggested although there was a degree of prejudice against his kind where a preference for an Apple exists.
Derek will be destined for an old people’s home while I find a toy boy, technologically speaking that is, but until we decide Which Way Now – USA or Europe – we will hang on to Derek as well as Bill and Bob the naughty 2G phones that refuse to play with the new cell phone tower next door.
Derek thanks everyone who has shown concern for his welfare but has been quite distressed at the number of people who feel I should trade him in for a piece of fruit.
Now he’s been mesmerized by this slide show of white-tailed deer at Ochlockonee River State Park in Florida:
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 .co.uk. The local-to-seven-time-zones-away newspaper has been checked for football (you call it soccer) results; BBC.co.uk has been scanned a last time. Zoopla.co.uk and Zillow.com have been perused for houses. Again.
The time has come. Derek the laptop is being sent away for treatment.
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.
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.
Sometimes I feel we just don’t get out much. But when we do . . . .
This time, we stood scratching our heads in front of a pay-for-your-parking machine in the street at Rehoboth Beach.
Jimmy had parked opposite a likely looking bar called the Purple Parrot. “It says $1.50 an hour. If I put four quarters in that should give us time to get a cup of coffee across the street.” He put the four coins in and a digital screen asked us for our parking space number. Conveniently, the number was under the car.
Not sure who was at fault there – Jimmy for parking on it, or the man with his paint pot for putting the number in a dumb place. Jimmy entered the number of the space in front of us – which was empty – 43. A young man stood behind us, waiting his turn to pay.
“What do I do now?” Jimmy asked me.
“I don’t know. I haven’t got my glasses on.” Helpful as ever I bent over, squinted at the screen and shook my head to confirm my uselessness, too idle to root around in my handbag for my glasses. A young woman drifted up and stood behind the man. This put pressure on us to look like we knew what we were doing.
“I’m sorry to hold you up.”
“That’s OK.” The young man smiled at us, not a pitying smile, but a patient one.
We hunched together and muttered to each other in a vain attempt not to look stupid. “Where’s the ticket?” We were looking for the ticket for the windshield.
“I don’t know. Did you press enter?”
“Of course I did!”
“I can’t see where it comes out.”
At this point, both of us flummoxed, Jimmy had to abandon his man behavior and ask for help. He turned to the chap waiting behind us, “I’m sorry. Do you know how these things work?”
He grinned. “We have tech support right here.” He stepped aside and the young woman, apparently his girlfriend, came up to the screen and peered.
That was gratifying. He didn’t know how it worked either.
“Let’s see,” and she pressed the screen, “You’ve put in one dollar and you’ve got 38 minutes in space 43. She looked up to see the empty space 43 in front of us all. Again we got the patience-with-old-people smile.
“I’ll move the car,” Jimmy blurted, only too happy to exit the embarrassing situation. It seemed pointless trying to explain why we’d paid for an empty parking space. To their credit, neither of them seemed exasperated with us, especially when I said, just to confirm . . . confirm what . . . my cluelessness? “So there’s no ticket then.”
“No. It’s all computerized.”
I shrugged, grimaced and raised my eyebrows in a golly gee sort of way and said apologetically, “We don’t keep up,” while Jimmy moved the car from what I could now see was space 42. That would make sense as it was next to the two empty spaces 43 and 44 but we’d been too rattled to work that out.
Only 10 minutes of the already paid for 40 had been wasted.
My laptop decided five days ago that it didn’t want to play. Windows was just too much for it. It wouldn’t open it and insisted on a restorative System Restore. It asked politely but gave no other options, not even a choice of restore points. As it cranked slowly through the process I sat nervously hoping it knew what it was doing. The use of System Restore had always been my prerogative. Eventually that nice blue screen with my user name popped up, but it . . . let’s call the laptop Derek, it is so impersonal . . . . Derek had decided to shed himself of 12 Windows updates, numerous Norton updates that left me hideously AT RISK, an Acrobat Reader update and thankfully Google Chrome which had slipped itself into Derek when I had carelessly not unticked a box that I hadn’t seen. I laboriously reinstalled all the updates.
Poor Derek. He just hadn’t rested enough so two days later insisted on more restoring with all the same consequences, only this time his friend Mr. Norton decided he wasn’t satisfied with his lot either. Beneath a large red scary looking X Mr. Norton urged me to download a program to uninstall and reinstall himself.
Uninstall the virus protection? I didn’t like the sound of that. I read and reread the screen. Do I? Don’t I? We were miles from anywhere but giant sequoias, 2,000 miles from the geeks I trusted with Derek and it was out of office hours to telephone. Shall I hit that download button? Derek was preventing me opening Internet Explorer to research a fix. Are computers capable of sabotage? Will the lazy bad boy implode? I had absolutely no idea. Screw it. Most of my files were saved on an external hard drive hidden in my underwear drawer. I clicked download.
Apparently Derek and Mr. Norton knew what they were doing and restored and uninstalled and reinstalled to their heart’s content. Derek then seemed content but had one more trick to play. He stole my Word 2010 and told me I could retrieve it in Control Panel. Well I can’t. More specifically I don’t know how and he probably knows that.
Soon Derek will have a hospital stay at the shop where I bought him. He doesn’t deserve my care and concern, the naughty boy, but in addition to my missing Word program he’s limping a bit which is slowing me down as well.