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Musing: My Computer Died
My computer died a horrible death. My iMac turned into a fried apple.
At first, everything was fine. My fingers flew over the keyboard, the clicking of the keys rattling like machine gun fire. I slipped into that wondrous zone creatives crave. Images in my mind translated with ease as words painted across the screen. Magnificent sentences emerged from deep within my soul.
A hint of smoke broke my trance. Startled, I glanced at the keyboard. Had my typing speed overheated the mechanism? Had the plastic melted under the fury of my assault?
A spark arced from the back of the computer and danced in the air. Its siblings joined in a colorful display of electricity—a violent thunderstorm on a spring day. The monitor flickered. The case glowed, at first a soft hue of warmth, but gradually brightening into a blinding red fiery ball.
Frightened, I pushed back my chair, backpedaling for safety. The first flames licked out of the casing, tentative tentacles stretching for oxygen. Within seconds, the fire engulfed the box and melted the plastic into a molten lava seeping across the desk.
Black smoke curled up the walls and accumulated on the ceiling. The thick, choking cloud engulfed the room.
Panicked, I dropped to my belly to escape the poisonous gases. Desperately, I spied the exit through the haze and crawled as fast as I could. By the time I reached the portal, I could no longer see my hands. I felt, rather than saw, the door frame and gripped it in fear. With my fading strength, I pulled myself into the hallway.
The moment of relief evaporated as fast as it had arrived. The computer exploded behind me. Shrapnel riddled the walls and shattered the windows.
Gasping for air, I ripped open the front door and stumbled into the front yard as fire trucks screamed to a halt in front of the house. Gallant firefighters leapt into action and ran into the inferno, battling to save what they could.
What really happened
No. Wait. That might not be an entirely accurate depiction of my computer’s demise.
As I regularly explain to you, Dear Reader, my stories are 100% true—except for the parts I make up. This one might be a tad heavy on the imagination front. I confess I exaggerated a wee bit.
Let me try again.
I perused my email, hoping for something to stir the creative juices. Instead, the monitor flickered and faded to black. I stared at the blank screen as the whirring computer slid into a deathly silence.
No smoke. No fire. No heroic firefighters.
Boring. The mental pyrotechnics certainly made it more interesting.
Regardless of how it happened, I’m sad to report my trusty iMac died this weekend. Attempts to resuscitate it failed. It’s too old to invest in repairs. A replacement Mac arrives on Wednesday.
Before I describe the replacement, let me stop (or at least attempt to stop) those of you already madly typing a comment explaining to me the virtues of a Windows machine over Apple. If you want to understand my setup—and why I have both a Windows PC and a Mac—you can read this. This week’s Musing is written on the much newer and still working PC, but my goal was to replace an Apple with an Apple.
The new machine
And I knew just the one. The old iMac grew increasingly unreliable over the last year, so I’ve studied my options as I waited for a good excuse. I’d hoped it would live into next year, but fate gave me the chance to strike. Out with the old. In with the new.
And is it ever awesome. The new machine is state-of-the-art. Magical. Breathtaking. A giant leap in technology.
I won’t bore you with all the technical specifications, but let’s just say the hardware blazes in speed. The processing power astounds, crunching data at an astronomical rate. It’ll make quick work of the most complex video files, the largest image files, the most convoluted graphics. The work is displayed on a wall-mounted 72 inch wide screen with a stunning richness of color and depth.
Not only does the monitor have the most advanced capabilities, but the computer can project images into the room and convert them into three-dimensional holographic works of art.
Not just static visions, but interactive ones. With groundbreaking neural network technology, the specter converses intelligently with the operator—a cogent partner in thought. The included artificial intelligence enhances work to a genius level product.
What I’m really getting
Wait. I did it again. I might have embellished the technical specs just a hair. The less exciting truth is I’m buying a Mac mini.
It’s more powerful and speedier than the iMac it will replace, but it’s hardly the beefiest machine on the market. Since my work is primarily word processing and photo editing, with some light video editing and graphics on the side, I don’t need the fancier bells and whistles.
And, no, it doesn’t come with a wall-mounted monitor. Or any monitor. Or keyboard. Or mouse. It’s a simple square box smaller than eight inches on each side and standing all of an inch-and-a-half high. That’s it. Once it’s on my desk, I’ll barely notice it.
My old Matias Tactile Pro 4 keyboard and Logitech MX vertical mouse work with the new machine. So does my existing Dell Optiplex monitor. My data resides on external hard drives, which are backed up offsite around the clock.
In fact, the only visible change will be the removal of the old iMac monitor from my desk. Yes, I’ll go from three monitors to two. In a way, I’m losing something.
Basically, I spent money and will barely notice the difference.
That certainly sounds boring. Guess I will just have to rely on my imagination to make it far more entertaining.
I can do that.
Gratuitous Dog Picture: Boom Boom Bird
We get bears, deer, coyotes, owls, hawks, and other wildlife of an amazing variety, but one of our frequent backyard visitors is the Boom Boom Bird. Rumor has it that those paws sometimes touch ground, but that’s rare. Mostly they float above the grass.
On The Website This Week
Vocabulary Word of the Week: Retronym
August survey results: Pumpkin Spice: Love It Or Leave It?
Want to participate in the September survey? Which monster scares you the most?
Hope your week is free of technological challenges. See you next Monday with a fresh Musing written with my new computer—no fire included.
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