Sunday, June 17, 2012

It's A Sin

Colin Raphead
determined, unfocused, loser
reliable, gullible, pedantic, well-meaning, asexual, weirdo
constant yet clueless

‘And does it matter what hellistatus you are?’ asked the sinning twat cluelessly.

‘Does it matter?! Of course it bloody matters! Take the SAINTS, for example. They go straight to Heaven, the bastards; we never even get to see them. God sends us a courtesy copy of their life and strife report, anyway, but I never read those ones; not unless I’m having problems getting to sleep. The SLIDERS’ and SINNERS’ reports are far more entertaining. I’ve never seen one as long as yours, mind you.’

‘Thank you. So what happens to the SLIDERS and the SINNERS?’

‘Do you want the good news or the bad news first?’

‘The bad news.’

‘We send them back to Earth.’

‘That’s good news, isn’t it?’

‘Not for Earth it isn’t.’
(dayrealing, ch. 44, It’s A Sin)

So, do you want the good news or the bad news first? OK, I’ll start with the bad news (for me, not you): my craptop packed up again a couple of weeks ago. And now you’re thinking that the “good” news is I managed to fix it, aren’t you? Well, yes, I did – motivation is everything in life, isn’t it? – but the good news is I’m going to tell you what to do if the same thing happens to you. OK, here goes, there comes, whatever . . .

Correct procedure in likely event of laptop failure once guarantee expires

Let’s start by stating the obvious: do not panic. By all means shout, scream and swear at all and sundry, but do not panic. Yet. Remember that nobody ever said life was going to be easy, and that it is your own stupid fault for buying the cheapo model in the first place.
Once you have got over the initial shock – Oh my God! My life’s work! . . . – pull yourself together, pour yourself a nice long whisky, down it in one, and go to bed. Yes, that’s right: go to bed. You’ll feel much better after a bad night’s sleep. Before you crash out for the night, however, why not check that extended three-year maintenance-free guarantee that the bastards sold you at the time of purchase? You’ll probably discover, as I did, that your laptop celebrated its third birthday a couple of months ago. Never mind, it was worth a try, wasn’t it?
No need to set your alarm because you’ll wake up in a cold sweat at 4:44, or thereabouts, with a terrible hangover, and in urgent need of a strong coffee. Now is the moment to take on The Beast . . .
            You’ll probably have received messages like “cannot load”, “corrupt user profile”, “try again in safe mode?”, “this software is not original”, “would you like to participate in our customer feedback survey?”, “this isn’t getting us anywhere, is it?” and so on. Feel free to try manically resetting your computer, unplugging it, reconfiguring your router, updating last year’s antivirus software . . . Deep down, of course, you know you’re on to a loser here. Once you’ve verified that you are well and truly f***ed (pronounced, “f three-stars-ed”, please), and that your life is no longer worth living, resist all temptation to throw you and/or your laptop over the balcony – let’s keep this card up our sleeve for the moment, shall we? – and go straight to Google. Everything is on Google, remember. Everything. If Mr. and Mrs. Google can’t solve your problem, nobody can.
Do a key word search, for example: corrupt system windows disaster despair doomed . . . Now is probably not the best time to remind you that you should input “key phrases” within quotation marks: “won’t start” “won’t load” “won’t work” . . . Sooner or later, you’ll stumble upon a forum in which 25 other poor sods are experiencing very similar problems to yours. The key words here are “very similar” because in computing you’ll eventually come to the conclusion that no two users are ever the same. In any case, it’s great to know that you’re not the only one whose life has been ruined. If you’re “lucky”, you’ll find an “expert” has replied, detailing exactly what you have to do.
First, however, a word of warning about those computing experts out there on the forums. Basically, there are two kinds: the annoying ones who, before going any further, will ask you loads of petty questions – What OS are you using? Have you checked your BIOS settings? etc. – and the no-nonsense ones, who will offer an immediate solution (as opposed to solve immediately). Needless to say, none of the proposed solutions will work on your particular laptop, but that shouldn’t stop you roaming the internet forums over the next 10 nights or so, going to your registry, changing ones for zeroes, zeroes for ones, rebooting, and so on. Eventually, the experts will write you off as a lost cause. You’ll know this moment has arrived when they suggest you “try reformatting your PC”. That’s the time to thank them for their help, and slink away gracefully.
And then one bright day, while you’re sitting on the throne or having a shower, you’ll have a brilliant idea. In my particular case, this simply meant reinventing myself as “Mike 2”. All I had to do was create a new user profile, back up and copy all my documents, reconstruct my desktop, recover my internet links, reinstall all my programs . . . Piece of cake! Only took me 10 days. On a sad note, however, I was grieved to send my beloved Office 2003 to meet its maker. Office 2007 is a nightmare to use in comparison; I think I might go back to Notepad and Calculator.
Of course, when your laptop dies suddenly on you – and, believe me, it will one day – your problem won’t be quite the same as mine, and you’ll need to tweak a little with your bathroom settings before you come up with the right solution.
Good luck!

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