By Sunny Glessner
My eight-year-old computer was dying, and it was worse than losing my beloved dog. After all, I spent more time with my computer than anyone else, and he knew all my intimate secrets. I tried purging his system. I tried defleaing, er.. defragging. I would have tried byte-to-bite resuscitation but didn’t know how.
My playmate had been signaling he wasn’t well. Responses were as slow as a basset hound’s. He tried to perk up when I freed memory but couldn’t. It was time for Buddy to go—after all in human years, he was 120.
After the end of the work week, conscientious as always, he shut down—literally. He sent me a message that this was probably his end, a notice I’d never seen before. The blue screen said he would try one more time and if this was the first time I’d seen this message, he might return. It was as though he was circling in his bed, trying to find his final resting spot. He limped back to life but over the weekend, I felt that I had to be humane and end his struggle.
I saved many memories, introduced him to his successor, Sparky, and shut him down for the last time. I couldn’t believe how emotional I was about a collection of metal and plastic. I wanted to kiss the screen goodbye but then realized that wasn’t where his core was. A tear escaped when I couldn’t bring myself to kiss his CPU but I knew he would understand.
One of these days I’ll run Kill Disc after I tell him the new pup is starting to obey but can never replace his father-board. At least there won’t be any ashes to hide in the closet.
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