I hate technology. This is unfortunate, since I also need it to make many things I enjoy, from reading and writing to knitting, easier. But still I loathe it, and here is a story about why.
When I got to this country, my computer broke. The keyboard got stuck, and half the keys did not type. Since this computer was all but brand new, I had warranty and I needed to do something, and fast. I did not get a global warranty at the time, because I ordered this computer in February when I had zero inclinations of going to be here for a year, so why pay for the added warranty?
Why pay, indeed.
So I had about a week to decide what to do, before I put it in the hands of one of my orientation teachers who was heading home to the Chicago area. She mailed it to my parents, who sent it to IBM. Except before they did, my mom emailed me with a form that she had to fill out before they sent it. This form regarded the memory of the computer.
Now, as most of my readers probably already know, one of my life ambitions since before I was literate has been to be a writer. Therefore, you can imagine my computer is something of a shrine to all my ideas, stupid and genius, and so I had about 2 1/2 novels’ worth of chapters on this thing, plus poetry, short stories, and also essays and other schoolwork-related assignments. Many of these things had already been rescued from Alfred, my older model IBM computer, as he was getting on in years and really needed to quit the butler job once and for all. Anyway, this means I had huge amounts of work on this computer already in its short life, and I needed these things desperately. So of course I told my mother no, they could not wipe my hard drive, figuring if it stopped them from fixing well then I guess I’d just deal with my keyboard not working, at least until I could get an external and take back all the data.
Well, they didn’t wipe my hard drive.
The only problem is, they did wipe my Operating System.
This being a brand new computer model, it came with Windows 7 Professional, which might be the best operating system I’ve used. None of those Vista shenanigans. Well, I opened up my computer yesterday. turned it on, and…blank screen. Blank, grey, annoyingly-coloured-to-perfectly-give-you-an-eye-ache, emptiness. What? I thought. I turned it off, removed the battery, put the battery back in, turned it on, and…same. I panicked. Then I looked at the service sheet, which states that “Replacement of HDD/Reload of Factory Installed Software is needed but we did not perform this repair per your instructions.”
Per my INSTRUCTIONS? I asked them to not delete my life’s work, not to give me back an inoperable laptop. I emailed my mom, who called them and was confirmed that no, they didn’t kill my data. I’m not sure if I’d been totally clear to her prior to this that the operating system was gone but it probably was fine otherwise, because I was at school at the end of the day and I was supposed to tutor but actually ended up cancelling and was otherwise panicked. But now I am going to try to call them myself, tonight, using someone’s skype, because I tried to call them on my piece of turd phone and it cannot do 800 numbers. My phone can only call within the country, I am almost certain now.
I also emailed my roommate and told her the tale, and several of my fellow teachers. Thus I have this to do as a plan of action:
1. Call Lenovo and say, “o HAI I can haz Operating System?”/”ARGH YOU GAVE ME MY COMPUTER BACK BUT NOW IT IS WORTHLESS!”/some happy medium between these two.
2. If that does not get me some sort of solution, I can download Linux onto a flash drive, and put it on my computer. I have never used Linux, I am not nearly enough of a geek to try to use Linux voluntarily, but I will do it if that is the best way to get an OS without spending a gazillion dollars I don’t have.
3. Get a copy of Windows 7 from someone, either bootlegged or from the states. I know at least last year they were giving a deal to students to get Windows 7 super-cheap, and it just so happens I still know a lot of US college students, so hopefully someone would be helpful in that manner.
4. If I still can’t access my data, there is a whole sundry of people who could help me- the guy who works for the school and is here once a week to do computer things, the friend of some of the other teachers who is a self-professed computer geek/wiz/gets paid to do this stuff, a student of mine who is a computer savant and helped some other teachers once, and also at least one recommended computer fixing company.
5. There is also, according to one of the teachers, a guy at the International Church who used to work for IBM. Maybe he can get me something under the table.
6. Give up this crazy modern life and live in the mountains. There are plenty nearby.
Wish me luck, world.