By Mir
October 2, 2005

I’m pleased to report that with the expert assistance of a friend, my new computer is now fully operational. This morning I dove under my desk and first chiselled away at the drifts of dust bunnies, then started untangling cords and unhooking the limping dinosaur that was my former computer. First I removed the old monitor and CPU, then I just started unhooking cords randomly because there seemed to be lots of things just plugged in and laying around.

The new machine claimed to be “plug and play,” and it was, sort of. We plugged it in, and it turned on. Then there was just the little matter of spending the next two hours making it act like a useful computer and not a very large and shiny paperweight.

That was, after I stopped sobbing over the single dead pixel on my nice new LCD monitor. *sniffle*

I never really realized before how much setting up a new computer is a lot like coordinating ongoing therapy for a dysfunctional family.

Me: Why can’t you just talk to the system?
Printer: I don’t want to. I’ve been hurt too many times before.
Me: I really think this system will be different. Just try.
Printer: Well… maybe… if it really wants me to–
System: Found new hardware! New hardware found! Cannot install new hardware!
Printer: SEE?? It doesn’t understand me!
Me: I really believe it WANTS to understand you. It’s just going to take some patience on both your parts.
System: Found new hardware! New hardware found! Cannot install new hardware!
Printer: IT doesn’t seem to have much patience!
Me: Alright, alright. Let’s all settle down. System, please be quiet a minute. Printer? Do you have a driver available?
Printer: I have LOTS of drivers available! I have TONS of drivers! But none of them–
System: Cannot install new hardware!
Printer: –are the ones IT wants!
Me: Okay, okay. Let’s just take a look here and see if we can find a driver that everyone can live with. Here, see this one? This one looks nice. What do you think? System?
System: Cannot install new hardware!
Me: Right, yeah, I’m clear on that part. Nevermind. Printer?
Printer: Fine, I’ll try it. I’m ALWAYS the one making accommodations.
Me: Well, ah, that’s, admirable… the way you try to get along… and uhhh… System? You okay?
System: Found new hardware! Installing new hardware! Printer found! Hi, Printer!
Printer: Oh, um, hi.
System: Wanna print a test page? Let’s print a test page! Wanna? Let’s!
Printer: Sure, I guess. Oh! Printing!
Me: I guess I’ll give you two a minute alone….

Me: Scanner! Front and center. What’s the problem?
Scanner: I don’t know.
Me: I need more. What’s going on?
Scanner: I did everything it asked me to. It still won’t talk to me.
Me: System? Is this true?
System: Found new hardware! New hardware found! Cannot install new hardware!
Scanner: See? Asshole.
Me: Let’s ummmm, try to stay civil here. And figure this out. Did you retrieve the correct driver?
Scanner: Yes! It told me what to do, and I did it, and it’s still acting like I don’t even exist. I don’t get it.
Me: System, what’s happening with the driver?
System: Found new hardware! New hardware found! Installing new hard– ERROR! Hey, found new hardware! Cannot install new hardware!
Me: Wow. Um. Okay. Scanner, is it possible that wasn’t the right driver?
Scanner: Well how should I know? I thought it was!
Me: Maybe we can try installing it again.
Scanner: Again? What for??
Me: Humor me. Let’s just try it again.
System: Found new hardware! New hardware found!
Me: Okay, I need you to please just SHUT UP for a minute. Geez. There. Try now.
System: New hardware found! Installing new hardware! Scanner found! Hi, Scanner!
Scanner: Oh sure, NOW you wanna talk. Forget it. I don’t feel like it, now.
System: But… I have a wizard! I can run it for you!
Me: Awww, see? This is where the healing begins.

We were all thoroughly exhausted before finalizing the configuration for the home network. I guess the new desktop and the old laptop will just have to address their connectivity issues another day. And I’m pretty sure the laptop is going to have very little patience for the vapid chirpiness of the new machine, so that’ll be interesting….


  1. ben

    OMG I’m dying laughing over here…

    Scanner: See? Asshole.

    I’m thinking you worked tech support in a former life. Am I close?

  2. DebR

    When they make the movie (there WILL be a movie, right?), I see Robin Williams doing the voice of “System”, Billy Crystal for “Printer” and Janine Garofalo (sp?) as “Scanner”.

  3. Cyndi

    Laptop by Bob Newhart…I cannot wait. This will be great!!I hope you know I nearly coughed up a lung over this…and I have been well for weeks!
    Wait! Who’s going to be Mir??

  4. Trista

    This had me laughing so hard I was crying. I have always personified my electronics, but not quite to this extent.

    I’m glad to got it to work finally. I’ve have been through the hardships of setting up a new computer many a time. They all claim to be user-friendly to set up, but I have yet to find one that actually is. Still, its worth it in the end. I love getting a brand new computer.

  5. Aimee


  6. arghhh

    lol…. your printer sounds like Marvin :)

  7. Nancy

    Okay, tears! In my eyes! So funny! Thank you for the Monday-morning laugh.

  8. Jessie

    I can sympathize with the one dead pixel on the new LCD monitor problem. Just got a new monitor on Friday and it has a dead pixel and I was so bummed about it. But hey, it’s also a much smaller monitor than my old one so I now have actual space on my desk. I think it’s a fair trade-off.

  9. Karen

    Woman, you frighten me.

  10. bob

    you bought the Windows three stooges special edition, didn’t you?

    woop woop woop, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

  11. Heather

    That was soooo bloody funny. Thanks!

  12. Jules

    You know those laptops always think they’re better than the desktops no matter how aged they might be.

  13. The Other Dawn

    Aw geez. Too, too funny. My computer was a little more cooperative than that, but lately it’s been saying “Found new virus disguised as anti-virus software. This will make your computer run faster. Installing now.” Ack! See Dawn click! Click, Dawn, click…

  14. udge

    Thank God for Steve Jobs.

  15. Bob

    AMEN, Udge!!

    My wife just sent me this in an email this morning:

    “Also, the person sitting next to me has been praying and doing the laying on of hands trying to make her computer work. I think we need more mystic computer healers in the world.”

    Maybe if you had the services of a mystic computer healer your computers would be better behaved.

  16. Bob

    followup to the last comment, I just got the following update from my wife:

    “Sorry, its now a Microsoft product called Faith Healer for Windows!”

    Endorsed by Evangelicals everywhere.

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