Life halts with computer crash | Wally’s World

The high-tech world that’s inundated all of us since the turn of the century has divided the whole of civilization into two parts: the Pre-Digital Age and the Post-Digital Age.

The high-tech world that’s inundated all of us since the turn of the century has divided the whole of civilization into two parts: the Pre-Digital Age and the Post-Digital Age. The difference is enormous. In the long run, the repercussions of the computer will surely be as great as those of the Industrial Revolution, if not even greater.

This new era is so intimately connected to our daily lives, it’s actually changing the very nature of man. In the space of 10 years, the iPhone and laptop have become so vital, convenient and ubiquitous, we can’t possibly live without them. (That’s probably a slight exaggeration, but not much.)

My computer is still quaintly known as a desktop PC (personal computer). It’s a real antique which, in this rapidly changing industry, means it’s more than two months old. In fact, my ancient relic is actually two years old and only fit for the recycle bin. It has a separate screen, a separate keyboard, a clicker, plus a printer which, through a maze of incomprehensible wires, all plug into one of those “towers” containing all kinds of mysterious disks, lights and aluminium boxes that nothing short of a first-class computer nerd can ever hope to decipher.

During the past several months, it has acquired any number of viruses, which might mean I’ve been watching too much porn. However, people who know about such things – like the previously-mentioned computer nerds – have assured me this may not be the case because porn sights aren’t nearly as “infected” as we’ve been led to believe.   After all, pornographers try to keep their sights clean – that is, “clean” of viruses, not crude expression – because they want our business.

Anyway, the other day my ancient contraption crashed. I couldn’t get on the Internet because the FBI and the CIA and the NSA had seized control of everything. There was President Obama himself pointing his finger at me, accusing this poor, innocent little fellow of all kinds of despicable, unpatriotic stuff and the only way I could unlock things was the pay a $500 fine. Really?

I decided the FBI and the CIA and the NSA would be a bit more subtle than that. So, rather than pay the fine, I carted the tower down to the repair dudes at Xpert PC Plus. You may know them. Guys like Jacob Fruth and Brian Smith. If you don’t know them personally, you at least know the type. They spend their days in that celebrated “cloud” and their nights in streaming dreams of computerized sy-fy.

So, I left my useless pile of junk with Jacob. He called a few days later and said he’d slapped it back into shape.   When I picked the thing up, I asked him what had been wrong with it.

He smiled slyly.   “Apparently, it was a virus in the hard-drive connectors that copied itself and screwed up the routing protocol and traffic priority and, when booting up, brought up a script that blocked key presses.”

Oh.


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Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
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