Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm back!

I know, you had no idea that I was gone.

Our computer was consumed with a horrific virus early this week. We couldn't stop it despite our many layers of protection installed on the computer. As we were calling various computer repair shops, though, it became obvious that the thing was particularly nasty. It was going to cost almost as much as a new computer to save the current one. And a number of people said this virus was so bad that they would probably have to wipe the computer clean and start over.

So we mulled it over for a for a few days, trying to decide what to do. Meanwhile the computer sat in the office, massively infected, dying rapidly. We turned it back on to run another safety measure when it started erasing itself. Doh! We backed up as many files as were still left. Later I ran a system restore and wiped it clean.

We have spent the last several days trying to reinstall our programs. We saved most of our documents, but not all. A lot of my pictures are saved at shutterfly. Thank you Shutterfly! We did lose some pictures, but we have hard copies of the ones that were lost. Oh! The extra bonus to all this: our external hard-drive, which we bought for moments such as this, is fried. Completely useless. We backed up all our important electronic information, just to have it be cooked off when the lights went out during a recent storm.

But it has been interesting. Even though it sounds a bit silly and dramatic, I walked around a bit lost for a few days.  I can check email from my phone, but can't open any attachments. And replying to emails is a significant chore since my phone doesn't have a keyboard. I felt a wee bit empty, not knowing what to do with myself. How insane is that? The absence of internet access (and spider solitaire) created a hole in my life.

My son flourished, though. I try so hard to focus on him while he's awake, but sometimes he does find me in the office, looking at/for something "real quick." We were able to have such fun together this week. Life felt more rich.

The day I restored the computer, it took me hours to re-install our virus shield and spyware. At the end I was exhausted. I should have felt some satisfaction at my accomplishment. I rather felt like I had wasted a part of my existence, though.

Nobody else noticed that I was missing. Though I felt a big disconnect, nobody else did. I didn't get any panicked emails or calls wondering why I hadn't replied to an email or posted again on this blog. The world really did keep revolving without me wired into it.

So I'm in a time of re-evaluation. How much freedom is this thing really affording me? How much more connected am I, truly? Is it possible (highly likely) that it may actually have stolen some of my freedom, and even caused some disconnect in my relationships? Do I need to start severely restricting my computer time? I do know I'm not going to toss these questions about while sitting in front of this glowing screen. I'm going to jump back into a book that takes place in 1871. Ah, the pleasure of turning a page. Scrolling can never compete.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

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