Tuesday, November 11, 2003

I am beset by computer woes at home. My Dell PC celebrated its first anniversary almost to the day by entering a period of serious instability. All kinds of error messages, many contradicting each other, crashes and periods of denying me access to the web. The techs at Dell, particularly when they answered the phone with less than a half hour wait which was rare, were of some help. I was directed to go into device managers, find a certain file, see if it had a particular sub-file and delete it if so. It did, I deleted it and I was assured I would have no further problems. In fact, I did have a 48 to 72 hour period when all seemed to be well. Then it started all over again.

I am in a rare period of actually being able to boot up although access to my high speed cable modem-provided email account is being blocked for no reason I can fathom. More calls to the boys at Dell established that one of the two diagnostic CDs that were supposed to have been in the package of support marterial at time of delivery never made the cut--a new one is being sent. Until it arrives, we really aren't going to know anything substantive.

I am not a heavily involved computer user in the sense that I don't run a website or operate a web cam, download huge music files or edit films. I don't use CAD--I design my productions the old fashioned way, drawing and drafting by hand: I call myself a "digital" designer, as in fingers. OK, it gets a laugh if you haven't heard it before.

I word process like crazy, troll the web for visual images that go into production research files (and yes, other images go into personal files devoted to male erotica), keep personal and family records, that sort of thing. I clean out my unused messages and outbox often, defrag the machine regularly and otherwise keep my turf pretty neat and clean. I really think that one year is just a bit soon for this kind of problem to strike but I also thank the gut feeling that advised me to extend the warranty another two years.

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