Now, I might as well put my hand up to being unemployed at this precise moment, failing to offer the taxpayer ‘best value’ and possibly even sponging off the state as a ‘lifestyle choice’ (although I do look at the available job offers several times a week, a particularly pointless activity in an area where there is a five year waiting list for the three non-seasonal positions available, but never mind). But this doesn’t mean that I have nothing worthwhile to do with my time, thank you very much.
In particular I have much better things to do than sit around for three days reloading nearly 400 CDs back onto iTunes following the laptop’s decision to spit the dummy just because I decided it could do without some of its surplus software. ‘Do you want to uninstall Nokia PC Suite?’ it asks me. Yes please, I say, given that a) the phone went into landfill when built-in obsolescence and the fact that it was made like a kid’s toy in the first place kicked in after about ten minutes of use as usual and b) it was a particularly crap piece of software which I never used anyway. But did it say ‘oh and by the way if you click on ‘Yes’ we will disable Windows Explorer and you will never be able to use your computer again, evil cackle’? No, clearly it did not.
At this point I expect some smug ‘Apple fanboi’ to pop up and tell me that I should have spent four times the cash on a Macbook with a poxy 13″ screen and half the spec because its outer casing is made of alumino-teflonite given specially to Steve Jobs by an alien emissary who popped in from a next door galaxy for tea and crumpets when he was passing last week. Rather than taking a chainsaw to this person’s kneecaps, I will merely point out that the reason I no longer have all my most vital documents, photos and – most pertinently – music backed up onto an external hard drive is that my iPod (which I use for such purposes, as I can’t think of anything else to do with its ridiculous overcapacity) is currently languishing in a repair shop in Portslade awaiting a new logic board, whatever that might be. I’m sorry, Apple evangelists, but really I expect a bit more than two years use out of a 260€ gadget before it gives up the ghost, especially when it’s been hyped out of all recognition by an organisation which is basically a bunch of geek hippy idealists and not a faceless corporate behemoth in any way, no really it isn’t. Pull the other one.
So after half a day of fuming, ranting, reverting to save points and trying to reload the offending software in a bid to reverse the damage (but no, we’ve disabled Windows Explorer so all you can do is get online and search Microsoft’s useless support site for hours before being told it will cost you £46 for them even to consider answering your question, evil cackle again) I was reduced to taking the thing back to its factory settings, thereby losing anything which didn’t fit onto a USB key. Which doesn’t include 20GB of music files, needless to say.
I like messing with my laptop as much as the next unemployed couch potato (blogs, Facebook, news websites, photos, obsessively checking my bank statement – gosh what on earth did I used to do with myself in the olden days?) but after a day and a half spent downloading antivirus checkers, service packs and plugins, telling Norton and McAfee to piss off for the umpteenth time and trying to find all the stuff I had previously retrieved from the bowels of the system to put on the taskbar where it might be of some use I was just about ready to commit a serious winebox error. And this was before I’d even embarked on the epic music reloading task.
I’m almost tempted to ditch the whole modern computing technology fiasco and go back to the Walkman and the printed page. But I’ll just check my e-mails first. Oh, and I’d better have a quick look at Facebook as well and just see what’s going on over at Natives, maybe glance at the blog stats while I’m on there ….