With apologies to the late James W. Best for appropriating his image (from his 1935 Forest Life in India)

Friday, 26 April 2013

Musings of an Old Technophobe

Apologies for the absence, but I finally killed my laptop. Not this one, obviously, but my old one. It was something of a mercy killing, in that it had been on its last legs for some time – since I slammed my fist down on its keyboard a few months back, in fact, leaving it somewhat dented and temperamental. When not freezing, it developed the alarming opposite habit of sprouting duplicate windows faster than I could shut them down, until the screen looked like an infinite pack of cards. Then, the other day, its dust-clogged fan started whining like a Stuka in full nose-dive, at which I had the bright idea of getting the Hoover out and vacuuming it. This sorted out the whining problem, alright, and I had a few blissfully quiet operational minutes – until the damn thing overheated and shut itself down. Yep, I’d bust the fan for good. Perhaps giving it a good shake would get it going again. Nope. (Nor would banging it against the side of the desk.) It was now me against the machine – how much data could I retrieve in each ten-minutes-every-hour window between switching it on and it switching itself off and having to be left to cool down again? Not very much, it turned out. (No, I hadn’t backed everything up...) But finally I got there, and so off I went to the shops, and back I came with a brand-spanking new super-duper (budget) model. Which was great – except, bright spark that I am, I couldn’t work out how to access any files. Back at the shop the somewhat bemused assistant tactfully guided me in the direction of the ‘file explorer’ icon. ‘Ah,’ I said, ‘I wondered what that was.’ What an idiot…