Friday, February 21, 2014

PC Passion - but Never Saw It Coming

I bought my first PC computer in 1981 or 82 if I remember correctly and it was love at first sight.  It didn’t matter to me that it was already obsolete.  I owned a computer!  It was made by Radio Shack and was officially named the Tandy TRS-80 or unofficially the Trash-80.  My long time mentor Don Trumps was our church secretary and sold it to me when he upgraded the unit.  It came with a massive printer weighing close to fifty pounds and would print two foot-wide sheets of paper running both directions.  It was as amazing to watch as it was deafening and my bride was appalled when I set all of this up on the dining room table.
I am an outdoorsman to be sure, but also one of those nerdish people who are fascinated with computers.
When I say this, I do not mean that I am a gamer who needs 128 gigabytes of RAM memory on my video card to be happy, or an Angry Birds addict.  Holy hard drives, I’ve never played Pacman, Mario, Frogger, or Duke Nukem for more than a couple of seconds before I became bored.
I am however fascinated by how they work and the vast amount of applications and programs they can run at my command.  I am just as intrigued in 2014 as I was in 1981, so much so that I learned to take them apart and put them together.  I’ve built a bunch of them from scratch, tuning them to the machine I felt I needed at the time.  I can remember when RAM chips were $40 a megabyte and how amazed the guys at work were when they learned I was running an astounding 4 megs of RAM in my machine at home.
My home location is what I facetiously call the OCSC, or the Orbiting Command Ship Central and everyone who knows me, knows I call it this.  It’s where I make stuff happen.  At any given time I’ll have as many as 6 laptops, notebooks, and desktops in various states of maintenance stacked on the giant table with hard drives spinning.
My real passion like I said is not in gaming, but in utilities.  I love to root out virus’.  Recently I got my grubby computer-mitts on 3 dead lap-top’s that were stuck back in closets (because it is too expensive to get them repaired, so I just use my Smartphone).  This is a most common refrain, by the way.  I’ll just use my Smartphone, even though I’m still making payments on my computer.
All 3 lap-tops were dead in the water, so to speak.  They had the dreaded blue screen of death, or wouldn’t boot past the Windows screen.  Now I look at an infected or malfunctioning computer the same way other folks look at a blank crossword puzzle.  I am drawn to it like a fly to the hamburger you are fixing to bite into at a picnic.  I find it irresistible.  I’ll swoop in from work with an infected laptop owned by a coworker, tell my bride I’m going to take it to the OCSC before I shower, and an hour later I’m pecking away at it, while still in my Nomex uniform.
Over the years I’ve had about a 90+% success rate and I figure this is very high, based on the machines I’ve received and repaired after someone else deemed them dead.  I figured after I retired I would supplement my fixed income by doing what I love – cleaning virus’ and repairing computers… or so I thought.
I never saw the Smartphone displacing the personal computer as the default go-to device.
To clarify my statement, I am not ignorant of technology and understand that there will be countless iterations of Internet access devices on the horizon, but please explain to me how staring at a little 2 inch screen and pecking on it can possibly be more desirable than a full-sized monitor and equally full-sized QWERTY keyboard for home use?
Plasma TV power supply repair
I have an Android-based Smartphone with a large screen and use it often, but it is no substitute for the real thing, not even close.  I run two 24 inch and one 26 inch monitors to keep everything where I can see it when I’m writing, reading, building, running, or streaming audio/video.  I can’t imagine doing it on a 2 inch screen – well, some of what I do would be impossible to do on my phone to put it bluntly.
I love computers and will always have one, but I can walk away from my PC and go off on an adventure totally unplugged, which I often do.  Smartphones make this almost impossible, unless a person simply shuts it off and disconnects.  After all, who is in charge, you, or your computer?  
Geeze, Bert, you’re mean!
Smartphones should come with a warning on the side in my opinion, which would read “Caution:  Frequent use of this phone when friends are around will make you appear disconnected and anti-social if they do not have their own phone.”
The bottom line is this.  Dig that PC or laptop out of the closet, get it repaired, and when you are out socializing with friends, shut your phone off and disconnect for an hour or two.  You will be amazed what they look like in person.

PC Repair Done Dirt Cheap Facebook page or call me at 832-414-7883


Anonymous said...

Another great article in The Baytown Sun, Bert. I'm sure glad you are writing those again, brother. DDC

Anonymous said...

Bert, Do they know that your fix their computers in your underwear? AEG

Anonymous said...

You know how they say, "you don't miss the water until the well runs dry."? I never missed my PC until it got sick and went in for treatment. Suddenly, I needed to know every thing. All at one time! Banking, weather, how to kill bagworms on Japanese maples. The recipe for cookies I had no intention of making, and the need to connect with friends I no longer actually spoke to unless I ran into them in town. I think the computers are doing a grand job of getting and keeping us programmed to upgrade and prolong their cyber AI lives. SW

It can only happen while shopping!

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