July 3, 2003

football injury

We haven’t written for quite awhile because we have been having big troubles with our electronic writing machines. These problems have been so big that we have started to pluralize ourselves at randoms. We’s wants our precious.

I broke the computer at work trying to install some RAM. The computer had 128 MB of SDRAM. SD is an abbreviation for “slower than a kitten in a knitting circle.” I think it was originally a German phrase or something. I wanted the computer to have 256 MB of DDR RAM. DDR is an abbreviation for “faster than a sprocket in a locket.”

I wasted a day trying to get the computer to work with a bad stick of RAM. The bad stick of RAM came from a store in The Dalles, which is a 40 mile round-trip from Hood River. If Hood River is Duluth then The Dalles is Superior. By all sense and logic The Dalles should have been the town that flourished. It wasn’t built precariously on a hill, it had mo’ betta’ ports, it was a much bigger town, and it had way more land and forest fires than Hood River.

Now The Dalles has more trucks and gun racks.

As I said, it is 40 miles from Hood River to The Dalles and back again. It is the most beautiful round-trip you’ll ever do for a stick of RAM, good or bad RAM notwithstanding. I got to do it twice in two days because I needed good RAM, not bad RAM. The girl at the counter kept flirting with me, so I really didn’t mind the trip.

Once I was done flirting and I got the good RAM, I wasted a day figuring out that the computer at work has a crap-ass motherboard that won’t work with DDR RAM, even with a good Sprocket. I even tried a stick of mo’ gooder RAM from my personal computer, but to no avail. I was to be stuck with Kittens at work.

While switching RAM around between work and home I blitzed my personal computer. First I broke a DIMM slot off my motherboard. I mean clean broke it off, like a football injury. DIMM slots are where your RAM goes. No DIMM slots, no RAM. Luckily I had two extra DIMM slots that I didn’t break off, so I could still yell in my computer’s face and force him back in the game.

But my computer didn’t want to play the game, so Windows went into an infinite boot-reset loop. Occasionally it would spit out error reports, but these reports were nothing but lies to cover up the real problems. Head trauma. Beaten as a kid. Sensitive to high-pitched noises. It would go boot-reset-boot-reset-boot-reset-boot-reset until I got tired and went to work to swear at the computer there. When I was hoarse from yelling at both computers I would boot into Linux (which worked, of course) on my personal computer and plead for help from my friends through this thing called the inter-Net connection.

I don’t know Linux very well, and it’s amazing how much damage you can do in a real hurry if you don’t know what you’re doing. I wanted to mount my Windows harddrive under my Linux partition so I could rescue my data from it. At this point I was very frustrated and angry and accidentally changed the ‘root access’ password to dsafghsajk or something else so archaic I would never remember in a million years. “No problem,” said my wise ‘nix friend, “for you can boot off a Linux floppy disk, edit the passwd file to delete the password, and login again.”

I booted off a Linux floppy disk. I edited the passwd file. I didn’t know how to quit the edit program so I filled up the passwd file with a ton of gibberish before I managed to escape. Now I didn’t know my ‘root access’ password or my ‘user’ password. Windows was gone. Now Linux was gone.

I booted off a Windows install CD. All I wanted to do was repair my existing copy of Windows. All Windows wanted to do was delete everything and perform a clean reinstall of Windows. I’ll give you three guesses who won that round, and it wasn’t Richard Nixon.

So here we are. Windows is working again but now it is narcoleptic and has forgotten everything about me. I can’t find my e-mail and all my programs have gone missing. My computer boots 10 times faster than it did before. Most of my personal data seems to be intact, but it is hanging out in smoky bars all over town.

Someone please tell them to come home.