Bill Cutshall’s Weblog

August 22, 2008

I Can’t Believe That Actually Worked

Filed under: Things I am too Lazy to Categorize — billcutshall @ 11:15 pm

I hate computers. That’s a pretty odd thing to hear from somebody that chooses to make their living writing software but its true. I hate computers. I also wouldn’t live without them.

Computers are frustrating, infuriating, impossible, unreliable reflections of the worst shortcomings and habits of their owners. In that way they are exactly like cats. Computers require care, feeding, and maintenance to stay in top condition. I don’t tend to devote the kind of time that I should to care and maintenance and thus mine tend to get pretty flaky after about a year of use. I used to strip my computers down and rebuild them from the ground up once they got this way, installing the latest hardware and a clean operating system. That got pretty tiring. It was something I did while I still loved them. Once I lost that love my computer became a mere appliance to me and I started replacing them rather than rebuilding them. I also switched from a desktop to a laptop around that time furthering my dismal habit of system disposal over maintenance.

Compounding the issue, I suffer from computational ADD. My system is littered with gadgety software that I install in fits of curiosity only to ignore as soon as I sleep a night. My start menu (yes, I am a PC user and I will always be a PC user. I am not interested in your Mac-vangelism) was three columns wide before I started grouping application groups together. To be fair, I have quite a few development tools installed as well as media tools, graphics software, and a host of office applications. It is a work machine and it does do it’s fair share of heavy lifting.

Anyhow, I filled it up. Chock full. I couldn’t eat another morsel; not a single wafer thin mint. Needless to say it was slow and useless and I was faced with the choice of chucking it in a bucket or upgrading the hard drive. Maybe I hit some kind of personal critical mass of installed applications that would require re-installation on a new machine. Maybe I like my current laptop more than anything I could buy right now. Whatever the case, with trepidation in my heart I decided to replace my hard drive.

I don’t expect things to work right. I just don’t. I’m in marketing and I realize that the outside of the box is filled with campaign promises that are broken or heavily qualified the minute you open the product. I work with software in the Internet age where shipping a broken product and relying on a download-able software patch is preferable to being second to market. I also firmly believe that if there is a way something can go wrong, I will find a way to make it happen. That is why I was completely surprised when the process of cloning my hard drive and replacing it went flawlessly even though one of my beautiful daughters walked through the mess of cables I had draped over the kitchen table.

My new-and-improved computer feels faster than ever.

I can’t believe that actually worked.


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