Me, Myself & Mr PC
A long, long time ago in an apartment not too far from here, a young rebel known as myself purchased a slightly used PC with his wife’s tax returns. It was the best use this young man ever made of anyone else’s money.
The machine he purchased was a blazing 166mhz PC-compatible computer with a whopping 32 megabytes of RAM. With this young man’s primary graphics software, it only took 15 minutes to preview some of the most calculation intensive effects like contouring vectors.
I caught up with this man recently, and I asked him how the PC was doing. He seemed a little confused; he wasn’t sure who I was. Actually, it was hard for me to recognize him, as he no longer had a full head of hair.
Well it seems that more than his look has changed. He told me that his old 166 is in a closet, collecting dust.
I said, "What do you mean?”
He said, "Well I’m going to rebuild it for one of the kids before long. All I need is another hard drive.”
For the KIDS!
"But,” I stammered, "that’s what you planned on making fortunes on. It was your dream machine.”
He squinted his eyebrows together and looked at me as if I’d popped out of the nearest loon farm.
"Listen, I’ll be lucky if the kids don’t whine about how slow that thing is when I give it to them.”
SLOW? That baby was faster than anyone’s when you got it!
I shuddered to think what terrible accident had caused such delusions in this man from whom I had formerly expected such great things. I said, "What are you using for work, if that thing’s in the closet?”
"Oh,” he shrugged, "just a mongrel I’ve been piecemealing over the last couple of years. I just got it up to 768 megabytes of RAM.”
"No,” I scoffed. "OK, OK, you can stop pulling my leg now.”
He just smiles. "Listen, sir, I don’t know what your problem is. But if you want a tour, then I’ll be glad to show you.”
He took me to his home office and fired up this monitor that was almost as big as my TV. While I was trying to fathom how long the RAM test would last, he dug in his closet and pulled out an old, dented computer case.
This is it,” he said. "I can still remember when I was excited about switching to Windows 98 on this thing.”
Before I could ask him what he uses now, the monitor flickered Windows 2000. Holy Moly, I thought. Now I realized why he didn’t have such a fancy car or lavishly decorated house.
I said, "You must have spent every dime you made in the last ten years to put this thing together.”
That loony-farm look came back to his face.
"Hardly,” he said. "This system is turning into a fossil. Soon it will sit over there.” He pointed to another desk with another computer.
Two computers in one room of a house, and another in the closet!!
I had to be dreaming. I said, "What can you possibly do with two computers?”
He paused for a moment, then snapped off a long list of explanations. I caught only a few words like "LAN” and "network rendering” and "file sharing”. The rest of it whirred by me in a dizzying haze of confusion.
He said, "Hopefully that computer is soon moving to another room for a 2 Gigahertz monster.”
I couldn’t take it anymore. It was too much for my brain to process. I closed my eyes and silently prayed, "Please let me fix this. Something is definitely wrong with this. It can’t be real.”
A little message popped up in my head, which said, "No restore dates have been saved.”
I was stuck in this mad world where the computer of my dreams was now a pile of junk the kids wouldn’t even want. And while I broke into a nervous wreck upon learning all this, I did find some solace in the fact that Solitaire and Minesweeper haven’t changed.