Friday, June 15, 2007

Le portable est mort! Vive le portable!

Big. Heavy. Grey. Metal. Smelling faintly of those cinammon-candied almonds from the sandwich shop 'round the corner from work. These are just a few of the words people used to describe Della, my long-time laptop and dare I say it? Friend.

Yes, friend. For Della was always there for me through long hours of mortal toil. Through untold explorations of the wilds of the internet. Through sleepless nights tapping away to unravel the dark secrets of an essay-setter's heart. Spurned by burglars for her unwieldy size and loathed by baggage handlers for the same.

Very early she developed that endearing quirk of typing multiple letters in random order when her battery charge dropped below 60%, locking me out of any password-protected accounts. It started with the odd repeated comma, then a trickle of extra "V"s and "f"s became a flood of "£${{mTb99q]]"s. The half-bowl of butternut squash soup that was tipped over the keyboard in offering did little to appease her wrath.

Almost immediately after that, the mouse would stop working at the worst possible moment. The pointer would hover, frozen on the mysteriously-streaked screen while I frantically rolled the mouse over surfaces with varying degrees of roughness, and people commented helpfully on the smell of cinammon and almonds. Desperate banging-on-the-desk attempts to shake the pointer loose and free the fifteen-page unsaved document hidden by a randomly-opened folder directory were met with implacable disdain and sneering references to dog slobber on the power leads.

Then the USB port software began to reject all but the most carefully honed requests for retrievable disk access. The CD drive began to make horrible grinding noises when activated. My email began to freeze when opening anything above a certain size, or any attachments. And after the long three years that Della and I were together, she began to look worn. Bits of plastic and rubber would drop off, seemingly unimportant until she wobbled to a new equilibrium on the next flat surface. Small pits and dents appeared from nowhere, and the hinges were never quite the same after she fell out of a first- (ie. second in North America) floor window onto a passing café table.

And finally, Della is no more. She has gone to the gigantic computer superstore in the sky. There at last freed from earthly pain and flying condiments, she is one with the stars, her hard drive lobotomised by a great big mallet.

Requiescat in parts, Della. I'm sorry I had to hit you with a hammer.

1 comment:

Lorna said...

Peril -- I am catching up on reading your blog and this is my favourite. Hope all is well....
Death xx