Friday, April 30, 2021

Technology Trauma

 My post today is really late because I've spent most of the day dealing with technology. I raced home (driving within the speed limit, of course) to join a Zoom meeting after dropping my puppy off at doggie daycare. I had said I might be a few minutes late. I was actually over half an hour late. That's because it took me that long to get into my email and access the meeting invitation. My computer would take me to the brink -- allow me to click on my campus email. But, then, that dreaded little blue circle that spins around and around went on for long minutes while I wondered if I should try using my cell phone to join the meeting. That was when I realized I didn't have Zoom installed on my phone and would have to do that.

I've had a few bad weeks with technology. Earlier this week, my computer guy gave me some bad news. Yes, spilling half a mug of hot lemon water into the keyboard of my laptop computer was not good. But my laptop might have survived if I had immediately turned it off and unplugged it. Instead, I turned the keyboard upside down and shook it. Then I tried to turn it back on. 

Okay, in retrospect, I admit that I should have realized the water was inside the computer and most of it wouldn't drip back out if I shook it. But I was desperate. 

My computer guy took the laptop apart and set the parts out to dry. That took days. Then he gave me the news. I had the option of replacing what the water had damaged or getting a new laptop. Given what fixing the damage would cost, I opted for a new laptop. But deliveries are uncertain these days. So now I have another week to10 days before my computer guy will have the new machine. He promises that he will set it up on the day he receives it. What was on my hard drive can be saved. 

Still, between drowned laptop and freezing desktop, I am feeling traumatized. I have a mug on my desk, but it pushed far to the side. I reach for it and hold it with great care. 

The worst part of all this is that I'm having a hard time getting any writing done. I work in my office when I have class work to do. I like my desktop with the big monitor that allows me to see what I doing as I set up assignments and prepare Power Point slides. But I prefer to do my Zoom meetings from my laptop while setting at my dining room table. I also prefer to brainstorm and make notes using my laptop. 

I'm feeling cut adrift because I have a process. That process involves doing my fiction writing on my laptop -- except for the occasional moves to the desktop to print out pages. 

Waiting over a week, maybe longer for my new laptop feels like a long and unproductive time. I'm trying to use the lag time for outlining and research. 

But I am feeling deflated because I knew what I wanted to write. I am hoping I can maintain my momentum. It is disconcerting to realize how closely my productivity is tied to the instrument that I use. 

I think I need to break bad and try writing with a pen and paper. 


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