My computer updated again. I couldn’t use it for the better part of six hours, so I frustratedly allowed it to perform the updates overnight.
Sometimes, updates are a wonderful thing. They help you to find files faster or they help you to connect and link other data so it is easier to find. Other times, updates can throw you so far off your game that you end up waiting for hours.
Our first computer, which was Hubby’s work laptop, had the most primitive graphics and often crashed and burned while in the middle of a project. He sometimes used the computer for leisurely activities, like Digger and Frogger. Many times, I hogged the computer in order to finish a game and increase my score. It was decided that we would get a new computer for the household so that I could “make budgets and write Christmas card lists.” Updates were always performed by the IT department, so we thankfully never had to concern ourselves with the task.
The first computer we purchased for personal use was an Emachines special. The monitor looked like a small television set and was so wobbly that if touched, it could cause one to suffer from motion sickness until it stopped its bobbling motion. The base unit sat beneath the monitor, although a newer model that we traded when the original was recalled stood beside the screen. It always seemed to be too hot to the touch. Miles of wires connected printer, scanner and telephone. Our old basement desk looked a lot like the circulatory system of an alligator. It always required updating, which was frustrating because the computer was slower than a cephalopod all the time.
On a rerun episode of Young Sheldon, the protagonist’s mother purchases a computer for the boy genius. That old computer looked a lot like our first model.
After the Emachines succumbed to what is known in the computer world as “the blue screen of death,” we purchased laptops. They were easier to use, required less storage space and were portable. These laptops worked rather well in the beginning, but as time went on and the internal hard drive became crowded with files, they became sluggish and clunky, even with regular updates.
My last computer also went the way of the blue screen, after several months of an inability to turn the screen on. I worked with my neighbor, a computer repair technician, who advised me to get another and download as much information onto an external hard drive before it was too late. I waited too long, and for a moment, I thought everything I had saved over the years had been lost. Thankfully, someone from Microsoft assisted me in the retrieval of my old files. I was able to update the system to a newer version of Microsoft Windows and retained the old files in a folder named “old computer stuff”. It was the one and only time I was grateful for an update, although it took the better part of a full day to complete.
Hubby and I purchased a Dell about a year ago from the Levittown Best Buy. I like the laptop very much, but it often updates unbeknownst to us and I find the screen to be either unrecognizable or find that newer functions are difficult to learn. Something has been said about old dogs and new tricks. I honestly think my Luna could learn to roll over faster than I can learn some of these new updates.
Our daughter, who moved out over a year ago, left several of her older laptops on the floor of her bedroom. One of them was infected with a virus that made it impossible to get to the home screen. That laptop became some wonderful therapy along with a sledgehammer, especially since nothing current was saved on it. We had obtained it for middle school projects long past. The other computer was finally rescued from beside her bed. It had not been used since she worked for a different school district at the beginning of the pandemic. She told me that it still works, though her current district supplied her with a newer model. She also does most of her screen work on her cell phone anyway, so the electronic device has become a bit of a dust collector in her apartment. Hubby told her to update the computer, but I doubt that she has taken the time to do so. Especially if her phone downloads data faster.
There’s a hilarious meme out there regarding computer updates. It is a photo of Liam Neeson with a phone to his ear as seen in the film, Taken. The meme sends out a veiled threat: “I will find you and I will update your PC”. There is another of a man who is “waiting for computer to update.” In the split screen below is a picture of a skeleton. It captions the perfect frustration behind computers in need of updating and the length of time required to wait for the update to finish. I’ve noticed that the blue screen Microsoft offers with the words, “Working on updates. Do not turn off your PC–this could take a while”. Truer words were never spoken.
Patty Servidio is an Anton Media Group columnist.