Technology Makes Life Easier: NOT

So there I was in my little office at Northeastern University, lamenting the extreme oldness of my shared computer and how it takes roughly ten minutes just to boot up. And the following day I was in my little office at MIT, lamenting…you get the picture. English departments are pretty much by definition never the first to get the fresh fruit of the technological boom that is the twenty-first century, alas.

And then, hooray hooray! I find out that we are getting brand spanking new (as opposed to second hand from a fancier department) computers at MIT! Woohoo!

Except it’s never that easy. The New Mike from IT (as opposed to the Old Mike from IT—I think it’s like how all barbers are named Bud) came in and switched the computers and set my mail up and all that stuff back on Monday and I come in on Wednesday and I can no longer access anything that I was accessing on Monday: not my mail, not the Writing Center online scheduler, not Safari (btw, yuck; I much prefer Firefox as it has a much, much better bookmarking system, etc.).

I can still use Word, thank the gods, but that is pretty much it. And I can drink my Protein Zone shake/smoothie thing because, again thank the gods, breakfast still isn’t computerized.

Not yet.

A Writer and Her Tools Are Not Soon Upgraded


Having been born in the twentieth century, I will admit that I only ever used a pen-and-ink-on-parchment recreationally (and no, I did not inhale; as a rule, it is better not to). As a writer I have been fond of Zebra pens and colored felt tip Bic markers, although as I age, or rather, as my hands have been aging, I am being dragged kicking and screaming into the century of the fruitbat and am increasingly doing my first drafts on my iMac. Having said that, I will admit that my iMac is 7 1/2 years old, just six months younger than my cat, who has not yet started slowing down, freezing or losing files, although from time to time, he will knock them off my desk to test if gravity is still working.

Note: it is. Phew. Thanks, Musashi!

My computer, alas, is not so spry. Last night I dreamed that a friend reminded me that this weekend would be Massachusetts Tax-free Weekend, which means no tax on purchases of $2500 or less: perfect timing for Back To School folks to buy computers and still be able to afford, for example, Apple Care Protection. (And for those of you who have ever read while drinking your breakfast coffee, you know how useful that can be. Keyboards are less expensive than they used to be, but still.)

So yes, I am breaking down and getting a new computer before I am in the middle of finals and lose everything. Did that before. Don’t recommend it.

And then there are people even more clueless than me.