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The Good Die Young

I am frequently called upon to resolve issues great and small with the computers of friends and family. This can be fun because I like to fix computers, and it can be a good excuse to visit with friends. Over the years, I have developed a theorem of computer ownership: A computer owner's attachment to their computer is inversely proportional to that computer's usefulness.  In other words, the older, slower, and more full of dust bunnies a computer is, the more an owner will swear that they can't live without it. Maybe this is because we fear change, or we grow comfortable with our things over time. I don't know, but someone should do a study.

Just last weekend some friends had our little family over for dinner in the hopes of bribing me to fix their computer. (Note: this form of bribery is very efective on nerds). Their computer had to be one of the newest, nicest, and cleanest computers that I have ever been asked to fix - and it was dead. I don't mean, that it needed a new hard drive, or a power supply. I mean that it was bereft of life, ex parrot, motherboard toasted, use it for a doorstop, dead. My [relative who shall remain nameless]'s steam powered laptop with hieroglyphs on the keyboard that I fixed over Christmas was completely repairable with a mere 36 hours of installing Windows updates, but this 2 year old, spotless computer was dead.

The amazing thing was how calm the owners were about their computer being dead. They were ready to buy a new one that day without a look back. On the plus side, the dinner was excellent, but I felt bad for the good little machine that had quietly expired in the next room. Maybe instead of a new machine, I should get them a really old, terrible one that they will curse every day for its slowness, but will never die out of sheer spite. I think I have a few of those in my basement....


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