It's been a long three weeks since I blogged. I was doing well, some even suggested I was prolific (had to look that one up) and then, well then I poured myself a glass of wine, sat down at the computer, and within seconds everything changed. My hand went one way, the wine went the other, and the laptop screen went white. For two days, I remained in a state of acute denial, turning the laptop on, waiting for it to fire up, after having dried out, and to no avail. Finally, I had to admit - you've gone fried your laptop dolls.
The call went out to friends - I needed help to resurrect my old laptop, the one that I'd shoved unceremoniously under my bed when the new latest fandangle machine appeared. I pulled it out, wiped off the dust and made a list of things I needed to make this thing come alive. First things first, I needed a power adapter. Don't ask me where the other one went to, I have no idea but it soon became the most asked question in the weeks to come. I naively thought that all that was required from me was a make and laptop model number - surely finding a power cable would be easy peasy, surely! No. Two people hooked up with a computer company in Auckland who supply people like me who loose vital pieces of computer equipment and they promised to send an adapter that would work. A week later, and without any access to my "cyber world" I almost jumped into the lap of the poor unsuspecting courier man when he delivered my wee parcel.
I ripped at the plastic courier bag and spent approximately 20 nerve shattering seconds trying to jam the damn thing into the back of my laptop - a bit like trying to shaft a really agile weasel really. Nothing doing. I then spent the next day on the phone with said computer company skirting around serial numbers and product key codes and even placed a call into NEC where the computer was initially purchased. I'd have had more luck breaking into the Pentagon. They were not "at liberty" to tell me the voltage, amp thing, or any other detail of the adapter I required unless, of course, I was intending on purchasing it through them - which, of course, I wasn't and only because it was three times the price and needed to be shipped over from Australia, at my expense. So much for that.
In the end, said computer company in Auckland sent a replacement for the replacement and that too was the wrong adapter. Now I had two wrong adapters and was no further in my quest to get back online. Then a friend of mine mentioned, in hushed tones, that he might know of a guy who might be able to help me out. Dodgy Chinese dude was his name. We exchanged information, money, and he dispatched from his dodgy homebased warehouse an adapter. However, impatience had set in by this stage as well as severe doubt - I mean, if a reputable computer company can't send the right adapter with the same information given to Dodgy Chinese Dude then what were the chances that he'd get it right, right? So now that I'd justified my position, I set off on a quest of my own, down to the local computer store, armed with laptop, and purchased a universal power plug adapter thing. Cost $95.
Impatient to get home and feeling like I was about to conquer Mount Everest, I raced home with my prized possession, walked in the door, and was greeted by Dodgy Chinese Dude's package. For a laugh, I told myself, just a laugh, I'd see if his adapter, his dodgy synthetic clone of an adapter would work...um, it did. I was so pleased that I quickly neglected the fact that I now had four bloody adapters sitting on my desk. I'm now in the process of returning the two wrong ones to the said reputable computer company and the other one, not even 24 hours old is non-refundable but hey, I get $95 credit in their store - a computer store that sells things like adapters and plugs and all sorts of other shit I hopefully will never need again.
In any event, my laptop was starting to come alive. I had power. Firing this old thing up, I tried to remember why I needed to replace it in the first place and before anything surfaced in my brain, up popped half a screen. Now I remember....
Stage 3.5 of this Frankenstein project was to get it to a stage where I could actually see things on the screen and preferably without having to look around a ruddy big black line right through the centre of anything I wrote. I know, I said to myself. "Just get a new monitor, plug it in the back of this thing and voila, Bob's ya uncle." I followed my instructions to the core and so now I have two screens. One with a ruddy big black line through the centre of every thing write and another...not doing much at all really except take space on my fast becoming cramped desk. Another call into a friend who is super intelligent about all things wise, saw me flipping through control panel options, pushing buttons, sitting back and swiftly placing any of his profound knowledge in my "too hard basket" where it remains to this day.
So it is that I now write with my hybrid machine, a concoction of all sorts of brands and models, a laptop used purely for it's CPU usage, another monitor, separate keyboard, a wireless mouse, some other company's modem and a black wireless box, here somewhere, transmitting data from me to you and it only took three weeks.
I love the Internet. I love the concept of reaching people without moving a single butt muscle but I loathe technology, the preciseness of it all, the fact that computer models don't like each other, the snobby nature of monitors that don't like laptops, keyboards that aren't wine proof and wireless mice that get lost under piles of rubble. But I'm here now. I'm back. Well, I'm back for as long as this little Frankenstein can keep it together. Fingers crossed.