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July 2004: PAUL SMITH - Fcuked I.T. - Right up.
Lots of things come in threes. Condoms, triplets and troubles to name just, err, three. When my grill broke, leading to acute potato waffle withdrawal symptoms, I knew I was in for a tough week. Then my Jag started smoking like the Marlboro Man. At that point I should have been looking at my computer like a worried puppy on its way to the V. E. T. S. I ought to have smelt a rat when my FTP program suddenly ceased working for no good reason - as if it needed one - and like an Alzheimer's sufferer my PC stopped recognising my digital camera.
So I’m typing this offering as a text file on a laptop so ancient the fact it has a maths-co-pro was worth mentioning on the sticker on it. Meanwhile, I’ve entrusted my precious desktop computer (and by extension, my huge porn collection) to a man who looks like a hobbit to fix. Yeah, I tried Safe Mode but no matter which F8 option I selected the damn thing just rebooted itself before Win2k loaded. And all because I tried to update a USB driver, fool that I am.
I want to make a point here. I love gadgets but I bloody hate computers. It’s the opposite of that ‘Love the sinner but hate the sin’ thing. While PCs are undoubtedly the minions of the Devil - If there are Pearly Gates of Heaven, then there must be Bill Gates of Hell - I do like what you can do with them. My loathe/hate relationship started with my Spectrum Plus, the antithesis of an iMac. Here was a machine with all the rounded tactile appeal of a stealth bomber, which made a noise like a kitten in a wine press every time I wanted to play a game on it. Just don’t ask how I know this. I’ve had seven PCs since then (a number based on a quick count of the gutted carcasses in my spare room) and not one of them failed to let me down in spectacular fashion at some point; Terminal HDD meltdown, bizarre motherboard conflicts and numerous Windows blowups, for starters. At least MS-DOS-5 never went wrong. The price we pay for progress eh? I say ‘we’. I mean ‘me’. For you, dear reader, it’s a glittering goldmine that I trust you quarry with all the ferocity of a Tolkienian dwarf. My local Indie has big posters around the shop, proper ‘it’s not our fault if we blank your hard drive and fry your CPU’ repair forms and a vivid banner with ‘Fixed fee - Fixed PC’ on it outside. Judging by the two men who followed me in, also clutching their tower base units as if they were injured hedgehogs being transported to St. Tiggywinkles, it’s advertising that works well. There you go; Like buses, sometimes you wait ages for a customer and then three come along at once.
Paul Smith - Urbane Warrior - still seeks employment Nirvana. Please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org with your offers.
488 Luddite words Dale. I hope they please you.
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