My Computer is a Dear Friend
I have been using computers since 1977. In the beginning, they were not user-friendly and their operators were required to expert knowledge in order to perform simple operations. As technology evolved, computers became larger parts of our lives. Then, the miracle of the modern age occurred. The Internet changed everything.
I now use my computer to talk to friends, pay bills, provide endless entertainment and learn. At work, I use a computer to simulate circuits, organize data, send emails and develop endless reports.
When I began my writing journey, I took my first step on a computer. It serves as my sentence file cabinet, primary research tool, the communications hub, and marketing powerhouse. The idea of writing a book on a typewriter is inconceivable in the modern world.
During the writing process, my computer quietly accepted all my input and did a great job of displaying the result. While my computer had minor issues, it never lost data, judged me or let me down.
Three weeks ago, I updated the Bios to fix a major security flaw. After the update, it worked for 20 minutes and then I got a big blue screen. On reboot, it immediately came up blue. Disaster! I put back the old Bios, but the damage had been done. The update corrupted the operating system and despite every effort, I could not restore it to normal operations.
Fortunately, the computer worked well enough to back up my files, bookmarks, email contacts, and system information. As I needed to completely reinstall windows, I purchased a new RAID hard drive controller card. Unfortunately, it took two weeks for the card to arrive, four days to install and configure everything else.
Being without my main computer proved difficult. I could not easily contact my friends, do research or write. This situation depressed me and I longed for the return of my valuable tool. When I finally got my computer working, it felt good to have this key part of my life returned. I got back into writing and settled into my normal grove. As I did, I reflected how much I missed my computer and how central it has become to my life.
My love of writing returned stronger than ever and I expanded my creative side. Then disaster struck. I turned on my computer and it came up to the configuration screen. My new RAID controller had failed. This prevented me from recovering my recent files and left me at a crossroads. Should I erase all my recent data? After some experimentation, I discovered that my motherboard had been damaged and this and caused the RAID card to fail.
The worst part about this is an issue is that I caused the problem. I felt as if I had betrayed a friend. How can I tell an inanimate object, “I’m sorry. I only tried to help.” I could only break out my checkbook and buy replacement components. I suppose in the cosmic sense, I did apologize to a box of circuits.
During this time, I used my “test computer” to write and communicate. I keep an older computer around to test new programs and run other programs that take a long time to complete. It’s slow, has restrictive security settings and is difficult to use.
Last night, I tore my main computer down and installed a new motherboard along with a new RAID controller. It felt really good to see the Windows logo.
I spent the rest of the evening backing up files, getting data from my test computer and catching up on emails. I felt as if a cherished family member returned from the hospital in good health. Life began returning to normal. Of course, not everything went smoothly. I spent two evenings on the phone with Microsoft tech support getting the windows license manager happy. Gahhh. Why is it so hard? I’m not a computer pirate. Stop accusing me.
I now realize that my main computer is a large part of my life. I consider myself lucky to be alive in this modern age where I am permitted to own such a marvelous machine. With some luck, my updated computer will work fine for the next ten years as I try to write something amazing.



You’re the best -Bill
August 21 2019
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