Monday, April 12, 2010

Computers Suck

Photo: formatbrain, Flickr Creative Commons

The computer I have in my classroom is ancient, perhaps more ancient than my career as a teacher. It's at least more ancient than my time at this school. That's not really ancient by career standards, but it's pretty damn archaic by computing standards. As is common with older computers, this one is slow as fuck. I push the power button when I arrive in the morning and about 20 minutes later, I'm actually able to start using it. That saying about things tasting sweeter when you have to wait for them is total bullshit, especially when it comes to computers. Computers are quintessentially American. They're all about immediate gratification and porn. My work computer, on the other hand, is more about deferred gratification, blocked access, and rage. Mountains of rage.

Quintessential is a strange word. I get the essential part, but what does five have to do with being the perfect example of something? Quintessential is the quintessential example of how English is the kid with traumatic brain injury in the community of world languages.

Getting back to the computer thing, having all that time every morning waiting on my computer to quit putzing around gives me a lot of time to sit here and think. Every morning it's the same thing. My computer grinds away below my desk and I stare into a monitor that shows only limited evidence of progress. I take a sip of coffee and the goddamn computer keeps grinding away.

Actually, that's patently untrue. Usually while the computer is doing this, I'm digging around in a Ziploc bag of generic Cheerios and milk. By the time I've finished breakfast, I only have to wait about five minutes before I can get anything to open and another five to ten after that before I can expect to be able to work without frequent hang ups. Still, it's pretty annoying.

I was going to use this as a set up for a post about some of the more surreal aspects of my time at the alternative school a few years back, but I think I'm done writing for today. I supposedly have real work to do or something.


Hank Gay said...

Don't hate on computers in general just because you're stuck using a crappy one, running a crappy operating system, and running crappy software to slow it down even more in the name of "security".

In summary: tell them to buy Macs or Linux boxes!

Courtney said...

Yep, you're a state employee, so you get whatever crap the state throws at you.

I've often wondered the same thing about "quintessential." English is a weird language.

Cj said...

Speaking of the purpose of computers... you should download the Avenue Q soundtrack and listen to the song, "The Internet is for Porn." Makes me giggle every time.

Julie said...

I can run circles around your computer annoyances. My company's data center went dark on good Friday. Try doing your completely paperless job without a computer and then we'll talk about technology annoyances.

Chris said...

The last four sentences of your first graf are a masterpiece.

I had the random thought the other day that you should publish a collection of essays. I would suggest the title "Tunafish with Saddam." (Did I remember your dream anecdote correctly? Or was it a different sandwich?)

Now I've given you the big head.

Jacob said...

Are you counting "Mountains of rage" as one of the four sentences? Technically, it's a sentence fragment, but it doe have a capital letter and a period.

And I like the title, although unfortunately my writing pales in comparison to David Sedaris, the essayist whose writing style I think I have the most in common with.

You remembered the dream correctly. I've always like that dream essay.