Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Doctor's Diagnosis

By Nichole Giles

This week, my computer had to spend some time in the computer emergency room. I took it in for a power malfunction, expecting it to need minor surgery that would first make it turn on, and then run better.

When the doctor called to tell me my baby might not make it, I was crushed. Not my computer! No, it couldn’t be.

“I’m very sorry,” the doctor said. “Your motherboard has gone bad. There’s nothing more we can do.”

“My motherboard?” I said. “That can’t be right. It was working yesterday.”

The man sighed. “But it’s true. We can’t even get it to power on.”

Well, I wasn’t about to allow my poor, sad computer die all alone, and so I got in my car and drove across two towns to be with her in her hour of need. I walked in the door, hesitant to hear what I knew they would tell me, and said, “How is she?” “Not good,” the man said, a grave tone to his voice. “I’m sorry.”

I took a deep breath, preparing myself for the worst. “Show me.”

They pulled out my cord—first problem, since that was one of the major reasons I brought my laptop to the doctor in the first place.

“Wait,” I said. “It doesn’t recognize that cord. That’s why she’s here.”

“Yes,” the man said. “The cord is definitely bad.” I bit my tongue, having been told by two other people that the problem was a connection inside the computer.

Then they pulled out another cord and plugged it in. I pushed the power button, and lights came on, the screen flickered to life, and my computer smiled at me. (Yes, smiled—though it was weak.) “You see?” I said. “The motherboard is fine. It’s the power source—like I told you.”

The doctor frowned. “That’s odd, it wouldn’t power up at all earlier.”

I could’ve told him that. Duh. They plugged in a useless cord. Plus, maybe she was waiting for me.

“Anyway,” he continued, “there’s still something not right about this machine.” And he proceeded to list several things it should be doing but wasn’t. I shrugged, paid the $20 fee for their failed attempt at turning it on, and took my baby with me. On the way home, we stopped for a new universal cord, and I fixed her myself. However temporarily.

Now, I’m no computer doctor, and I do realize my machine can’t last forever—especially as much as I use her. Considering the problems I’ve been having, I know it’s only a matter of time. I’m backing up everything, and taking this time to make sure my poor baby knows how much I love her, and that I’ll miss her when she’s gone.

This experience taught me that it’s important to listen to your intuition when your computer is having issues, very much the same way a mother listens to her intuition when she has a sick child. I learned the hard way with one of my children that medical doctors aren’t always right. And now I’ve learned the same thing with computer doctors. Sometimes, even when they think the problem is terrible and grave, it’s a minor issue that can be fixed with a little ingenuity and clear-thinking

I think the same lesson could apply to some of our manuscripts. We see issues that need fixing and worry that we’ll have to rewrite the entire book when in reality, most of the time a few sentences or maybe a paragraph are all the story needs. Think about it.

Back to writing.

By the way, do you have a laptop you love? Tell me all about it—literally. I may be in the market soon. My baby’s disease is progressing—it may be terminal.


LexiconLuvr said...

I did have a laptop that I loved but they killed him. Those murderers...

No, seriously, I loved my lappy but his LCD and his HD had major issues. I wouldn't reccommend his company to you because of the shoddy work they do, regardless of warranty. They're replacing it but it's not the same...

Nichole Giles said...

=( How sad for you, LexiconLuvr. That's tough. Keith keeps trying to convince me that my computer is an inanimate object, but it isn't. Not really. And I'll be so sad when she dies.

At least I have some warning, though. And I'll have my research done so it doesn't hurt quite so much when I have to bury her and buy a new one.

Thanks for sharing!


Evelyn Curtis said...

I have never been let down by my Mac book. It is perfect for me because all I really use mine for is internet, and writing. I has excellent battery life, and does not have a ton of problems to keep up with. I have owned a Dell laptop as well, and I have had to replace the hard drive twice in that. I have converted to Mac! They take some getting used to, but in reality, they are much more simple than PC's. Happy hunting.

Nichole Giles said...

Evelyn, thanks for the advice. I'd LOVE a mac book, but know they're pretty pricey. Wish I could snatch up one of those right now! But alas, I may have to settle for a dell or other brand--for now.