Thursday, January 06, 2005

On Irony and the Possibility that Jinxes are Real

I'm working at the Memorial Union today, using the free wireless internet. Working at home is difficult for me because my kids are distracting, even when someone else graciously volunteers to watch them.

Working at the Union has its own problems, though. It's kind of a pain to set up the laptop I borrowed (since mine is broken) with all the peripherals. What to do, then, when I need to use the bathroom, get a cup of coffee, or just stroll around a bit?

Well, my savvy readers, laptops have a neat little "suspend" button which keeps everything alive for a few minutes while the computer is folded up. So I generally save my work, suspend everything, and take just the laptop with me, leaving all the cumbersome stuff on the table.

Today I went to go get a sandwich and some coffee, and went through the usual suspend procedure. I stood in the cafeteria waiting for my sandwich and thinking, "You know, I would rather break my brother in law's $1000 laptop than lose my $50 flash drive, which has all my work." You know, I get financial aid in a few weeks, so I could replace the computer, but losing the first 2/3 or so of my law review note just 4 days before the deadline would be an insurmountable obstacle to finishing on time.

So I was a little surprised when I came back to my table and the computer wouldn't start up again. It crashed and then failed to reboot twice. Now, I'm a cheap bastard. When I say my laptop is broken, I mean my laptop has been broken for a long time and I'm just too cheap to fix it, so it's surprising when I decide that some work product of mine is worth more than a new computer.

Long story short, I got the thing going after doing a system restore from safe mode, blah blah, but there was a moment when I was reflecting on the inconvenience of working in a computer lab for the next four days. Tempt not the IT gods, mere mortals, lest you be stricken and your last sight be a blue screen...


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