I now know where Limbo is. It is at my house. My computer broke and I have no idea what to do with my hands, the right side of my brain, and that butt-shaped dent in the sofa.
About a week ago, while writing, a noise started up in the bowels of my laptop. The disconcerting noise was a loud humming that quickly began to crescendo. I wasn’t sure if my computer was going to a) take off from my lap and fly about the room, or b) just explode.
I couldn’t shut down the files. I couldn’t turn it off. It wasn’t responding. So I did the only thing I could do. I unplugged it, pulled out the battery, and got up to find some food. I figured the malfunction would just go away if I gave my computer some personal time off. I was obviously in denial. However, when I plugged it back in and popped the battery back into its slot, it started up just fine. So I continued to use it.
A few days later, it did it again. But this time I knew just what to do. I de-powered it, waited a few seconds, then booted back up. It worked fine for the rest of the day.
However, when it did it a third time, I realized that I would have to address the problem. I called Val and Sarah in Montana. Val, the Computer Whisperer who can read hard drives through phone lines, told me that it was the cooling fan going bonkers. . . and to hope that I haven’t already fried my hard drive. He instructed me to get canned air and to see if I could clear the fan of any lint, bagel crumbs, ants, hairballs, etc. that might be blocking the fan’s air flow. Then I was to get, in the words of Val, ‘a vacuum sweeper’, and suck the debris out of the computer via the intake vent.
Vacuum sweeper. I pictured some kind of mystery nozzle on the can of air. When I voiced my inner vision, Val tried to respond, but was choking on his laughter. I heard Sarah yell into the speakerphone, ‘Vaccum sweeper is the Yankee version of vacuum cleaner.’
So I followed Val’s directions to the letter, but was only able to dislodge a tiny dust bunny (dust bunny?) from the vent. There was no way around it. I was going to have to take my baby, little Toshiba, to the Emergency. I chose Allied Computers because they offer free diagnostics . . . Besides, they were the first ones to call back.
Compu-man at Allied told me to bring it in. I did . . . and waited by the phone for the test results. Val – of course – was correct. It WAS the fan. But, thank goodness, the hard drive was still fine. So now I will be Toshiba-less until sometime next week. I am forced to use the computers at the local library.
It’s not an easy place to work. They only let you use the computer lab for two hours. Plus, I am the only person in here not visiting singles’ sites.
So here I am, coping with the techno-void in my life by eating vast amounts of sugar, sleeping at odd hours when boredom overtakes me, and doing logic problems when the sugar kicks in.
The sad truth is that, in the two years I’ve had my laptop, I’ve become addicted to keyboards. And until I get mine back, I am in Limbo.