As you may be aware from the rage-filled updates on my Twitter feed, dear galleons, I’ve been experiencing some fun and exciting computer issues the last few days.
We’ll start at the beginning.
It was a balls-ass cold Sunday morning. I had just returned home from work, and was turning on my space heater and attempting to thaw out the ice chamber of my bedroom. I began my morning (which is really more like evening for me… night shift really fucks with your concept of time and with time-related descriptors) routine: checking my email and social networking sites, browsing my news pages, catching up on my webcomics, and reading my blogs.
Suddenly, while in the midst of this soothing, habitual set of actions, I found myself unable to click… on anything. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get Ghiert to register my frantic mouse clicking.
This is not the first time Ghiert’s mouse has spontaneously decided to flip me the bird and stop working. It happened a handful of times at the end of last summer (and about once since then), so I just sighed and did a hard reboot on him. After all, that had cured his mouse-related afflictions in the past.
But that was then, and this is the hellish new now, where my usual tricks are rendered moot. The mouse still won’t register any clicks, nor will the trackpad, though I can move the mouse with the trackpad just fine.
Pissy, tired, and frustrated, I dig out my old USB mouse. I loathe using actual computer mice (unless they are transformers, because that shit’s badass), so I’m now thoroughly grouchy.
It doesn’t help my mood at all when I discover that the left click on the USB mouse is also not registering. Something is seriously wrong with Ghiert. I’m trying to stay calm, but a large bubble of anger-laced panic is building somewhere in the vicinity of my pancreas. I start picturing horrifying, nightmare scenarios where I don’t have a computer for a significant amount of time (i.e. more than 48 hours). I start to get itchy. I’m pretty sure some invisible stress hives appeared on my arms, but as they were invisible, I have no proof of that beyond the long red weals I scratched into my skin with my nails.
The rational part of my brain is disgusted with me. It tells me that it’s just a computer, that I can survive without one, that my overreaction to this is pathetic. The tech-crazed addict side of my brain (which is larger, stronger, and currently blind with rage) bellows a series of inarticulate, screechy anger noises and flies at my rational side, bludgeoning it into a pulpy mass. There is a gurgling, a half-hearted moan, a whispered “pathetic,” and then my rational side goes silent.
I decide that Ghiert is a bitch, and I am tired. I power him down and go to sleep.
Monday morning rolls around. Again, I’ve just come home from work. I turn my laptop on, hoping that a 2011 miracle has occurred, that Ghiert is cured of his mysterious plague. If wishes were horses, right? This morning, I’m feeling slightly more stable (the panic has settled to a dull ache from lack of interwebs and social interaction… limited though the latter may be anyway), so I spend more time mucking about with the system. I discover that the right click button on the USB mouse will register. Which makes it a wee bit easier to navigate around, but not much.
It’s like someone came along and sliced off your thumbs. You can still do pretty much everything you could before, but now it takes you three times as long and you have to do it in a weird, roundabout fashion.
I am not a patient person. This is not working for me. I manage to do a few things on the ‘net before I get irritated and decide to do a full system restore. Some time later, I discover this did nothing to help my clickless situation. I take the battery off and poke around under the trackpad. Nothing. So, I start the irksome process of surfing the web to pinpoint what’s wrong with ol’ Ghiert.
All sites point to a failure in the fucking logic board. There is no way to fix this outside of replacing said logic board.
Fuck that shit.
So, I sit and debate for about an hour. Honestly, this was a really tough decision for me. I appeared to have three options:
- Be a total cheapskate and learn to live with the limited functionality of Ghiert 2.0. Like a significant other who has suddenly become a paraplegic, Ghiert would be a constant point of stress and burden in my life, but I would be the strong, faithful companion who just refuses to leave him.
- Continue to suffer with Ghiert 2.0 for about two months… basically, until I could save enough money to buy a MacBook Pro. Doing so would shoot down all hope of the spring trip I have planned, however.
- Suck it up and buy a PC with my next paycheck (i.e. the one I received today). This would solve my computer problem and still allow for me to visit the Mitten in March.
The answer seems so goddamn obvious, but the fact that I desperately want a MacBook Pro (and am also a miserly bitch) made this a hard decision (option 1 was out, because I’m an unfaithful whore). However, I’ve been leaning toward going back to a PC for some time. And it’s not because there’s anything wrong with Apple products themselves (I happen to really like the interface on their computers, actually), it’s that they still aren’t compatible with all the games I want to play on them. While they’re making good strides (à la Steam), they aren’t quite there yet.
Plus, there’s the price problem. Some people are lucky. Their parents will buy them a new MacBook Pro (a friend of mine who just got one, for example… or my cousin… why can’t my aunt love me more than her own spawn?). But that’s not how it works in my family. I bought my last computer, and I’d buy my next one. Of course, seeing as Christmas and car payments have raped my checking account, a Pro was out of the question.
I chose option 3. I chose seeing the boy and switching back to the world of the PC. I’ll miss having a Mac, but I don’t loathe PCs. I tend to like both camps pretty equally, truth be told. It’ll just be a matter of adjusting (at least I’ve bypassed fucking Vista).
Content that a decision had been reached, I called it a day.
The next morning, after work, I made a discovery. If I didn’t touch my touchpad at all after starting Ghiert up, the USB mouse would work perfectly, left click and all. This is not an ideal solution, mind you, as having a mouse seriously limits the portability of my laptop, and that’s the whole point of having a laptop. Still, it was better than nothing. I was now able to operate my computer in a fairly normal manner. I contemplated scrapping my whole “buy a new computer plan,” but the rational side of me (having limped back into action the previous day and regained strength from my logical decision) said I should just go through with it- better than waiting for Ghiert to completely fail on me. Or catch fire…
It’s for the best that I followed through with my plan and bought a new laptop this morning (pretty much obliterating my paycheck, leaving just enough in the bank for bills and gas). Ghiert must have caught on, as he has decided to start spontaneously shutting off for no apparent reason. He’s not overheating, he’s just being a douche.
Still, I will mourn his passing (a passing that has been coming for the better part of a year, to be honest). Ghiert 3.0 will have a lot to live up to (though I could have done without the burn mark “branding” on my left thigh… explaining that is always fun).