Things were running slow on the old computer today, and realizing I’d had it up and running for several days I decided to shut it down and restart it.
It wouldn’t kick over, its chrome apple stared at me like a lobotomized hedgehog, the little bar clock spinning and spinning and chasing its tail like the old Warner Bros. Tasmanian devil. I did the time-honored tech support maneuver – shut it down, count to thirty, start again – but no dice. Suze suggested I go about my day for a bit, shop for groceries and take a shower, then try again. So I did.
I knew there had to be a way to do this, to jump-start it and make sure it was okay. There had to be. I hadn’t backed-up my thesis externally and didn’t even want to consider a life of recreating my thesis from scratch. Brainiac that I am, I realized there were other computers in the house and did a quick Internet search for that thing I used to know but had forgotten: the safe start mode. Shift + start. And there it was, all in one piece. A quick disk check revealed nothing broken so I saved my important thesis docs to a thumb drive, shut it down, crossed my fingers and fired it up again.
So far so good.
The week of my last deadline I dropped the laptop and got a nice little dent where it landed on the power cord connector. I spent two days holding my breath that I could get the last of my first draft finished before the internal organs bled to death. I suppose having a full week to get a full diagnostic repair wouldn’t have been so bad – I probably could have pulled files between computers and worked at the library or something – but I’m beginning to wonder if I’m allowing the stress of this thing to cause me to screw things up. I can’t figure out how I managed to mess up the reboot but I won’t write off a crazy errant keystroke combination.
I’ll be glad when this is over and I can work on something nice and sane. Like fiction.