My old MacBook Pro went down in spectacular fashion: a burst of sparks from the motherboard that erupted after I had taken the back off the machine and disconnected, then re-connected, the battery in the hardest of hard restarts.
Best we can tell, a cat urinated on it.
And so last week, for the first time this century, I put out a newspaper without the benefit of a computer in front of me.
It actually went faster, I think, because I wasn’t on board to gum up the works.
Within 12 hours of receipt through the mail of my emergency replacement machine, I put my cell phone into my back pocket and then sat down on a hard bench in a Charlotte coffeeshop, spiderwebbing the screen into splintery smithereens.
I replaced the phone later that day, and within four hours I found I had used up all my data for the next two weeks, halving the efficiency of the new device and, in turn, the pleasure I derive from it.
On Monday morning I discovered a problem with the header on our website, then spent half a day down the WordPress rabbit hole fixing it, which required I learn to use an entirely new editing tool and also smoke about half a pack of cigarettes. By the next morning, the problem had returned — but not on my computer, just on everyone else’s.
In the midst of all this, a blinker bulb on my car went out and the driver-side door handle snapped off in my hand. I was able to fix one of them, while the other awaits a new part.
Now, I am not a technophobe. Even after everything I’ve been through over the years, I still believe computers make things easier. And I’ve got skills: I know why your email doesn’t work; I can update the PHP on my server through the cPanel; I can take off the back of my Mac and work on it, often without destroying it in a shower of sparks and flame.
I’m… a techie!
But now I’m reduced to a troglodyte, rolling down my car window so I can open the door from the outside, holding my phone in the air to keep a wifi signal, calling people and asking them to look at my website for me and tell me what they see.
My machines have revolted. And they’re kicking my ass.