Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fried Hard-drives and Fried Nerves (Mine)

I knew it was going to be bad. It started several days ago when CM2's computer seemed to be on the fritz. It was being temperamental. It was being difficult. It was being incredibly slow. It was being a complete "dick." OK, I know that a machine can't have a personality so without you having to tell me, I do understand hat it was not part and parcel of a personality disorder that the computer was exhibiting. It was simply a machine and machines eventually stop working. But I knew what was going to happen. I knew that it was going to be a scene. I knew that life was going to be awful for quite some time to come once CM2 got home from school today.

I did my utmost to try to fix the computer. I went into system's tools and cleaned it out. I defragmented the hard-drive. The computer even preformed a checkdisk on itself, eliminating untold number of broken segments (whatever that means and whatever they are.)I then called technical support of the computer company and a very nice and patient youngman tried to save my computer. But to no avail. It is kaput. It is finished. It is in computer heaven.

Of course, I had thought that CM2 would then get a Mac. They happen to be slightly more expensive but I have found that they last longer and have less issues than the regular PCs. Well I thought wrong. CM2 made that quite clear during his absolute and utter meltdown upon learning of the demise of his electronic appendage.

I honestly tried to tell him as gently as possible. I told him that I called the computer company and sat with someone for hours. But that the hard-drive is totally gone. That we could try to take it to Staples or Best Buy and get someone to retrieve the data for him but he just wouldn't hear what I was saying. Then I offered to take him to the Apple Store to get a computer and "oh my God, did all hell break loose." Tears, red faced, stomping and running around the house ensued.

Who knew that you can't play games on an Apple computer? CM2 belongs to this gamer site called STEAM and he showed me once he calmed down long enough to download the program into my Macbook that the games aren't compatible with my computer. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that you can't get Adobe Flash Player on Apple computers so if you happen to be a gamer that presents a problem. Yes, I know they make games for Mac, but apparently the games they create for his age group only work on a PC. Who the hell knew this? Seriously this is ridiculous.

So on top of the loss of the hard-drive, which included all the important data for his games, CM2's clueless mother (me), who was trying to make things better, actually made things worse for awhile. Luckily he had his schoolwork all saved on a thumbdrive. Mom is thankful for small favors at times. Yes I know it wasn't the school work data CM2 was worried about nor what caused the meltdown...priorities of 18 year old are still 18 year old priorities.

Finally after CM2 finished screaming, yelling, crying and running around the house unable to find a place to sit still,  we were able to Google the best gamer PCs. You really can find any kind of information on the internet. Up popped several gamer magazines that of course had  best-gamer-PC lists. On another important note, how horrible it must be to be so upset that your entire environment is alien to you and nothing can calm you down. (My heart hurts so much for my babies.)

Now by this time, CM2 was finally calming down, well sort of anyway. He was thinking that he wanted  a PC and I offered to look into it for him. We went through an online support system from that gamer magazine that directed you to the perfect PC for you. Lo and behold, I need to sell a freakin' kidney for this damn computer.

So we went to the manufacturer's website and did the build it yourself version. Of course it came out alot less than the one CM2 wanted, not that it was cheap by any means. I  was thinking to myself  "fine, we didn't have to buy him a computer when he started school, so here it is now." CM2 was also calmer and was willing, albeit not happy, about sitting with me and picking out what he wanted for the computer.

The irony is that he wanted certain things in the computer but he didn't want to take the time to make sure it was all there. Well I told him to get his tuchas into the office and we were going to figure out what he needed. That I was not going to order him a computer, have something he wanted missing and then have him have another meltdown. Nah-ah, noway no how. This momma did not fall off that turnip truck yesterday. If something is missing it will be his fault and not mine.

Meanwhile, brilliant-computer-sis called me back to help me with the specs that were needed for the "gamer PC." She made an important point that since CM2 wanted to be a game designer, and computer science was his "major," we should really make sure that it is a hardcore level machine so he can stay on top of his work and the advancements in his field that are bound to come his way over the next several years. She also mentioned that we didn't want to be buying a new computer next year, when his computer couldn't handle his programs. OK, she was right. CM2 liked the idea. Yep he got all the bells and whistles he wanted. I swear if that boy could live inside a computer he would. There is a reason why Tron was such a hit in the first place. (Yeah Tron Legacy bit the big one, but that is Hollywood's, not the gamer's fault.)

I did make sure he stayed with me while I called the purchase in. So there we sat, CM2 and I figuring out what he wanted in the computer and even what color it was going to of course...Initially I thought CM2 should find some way to add to the cost of the computer. The machine being so expensive I wanted him to have some of his own "equity" in it so he took good care of it. Hence, I was going to make him use some of his bar mitzvah money towards the computer. But hubby didn't think it was right. Afterall, it is for school, yes and gaming, but it wasn't as if the boy destroyed the old computer, or abused the old computer and it wasn't as if he wanted the old one to die. So I told CM2 that as long as he kept up his grades he didn't have to pay for half of the computer like we had agreed and I wanted him to try to get his grade up in computer science since its his major.

Hubby thought I shouldn't have said that. He didn't want to put more pressure on CM2 and make him depressed. Yes, we are always watching out for depression in our boys. One of the side-effects of neurological disabilities, I am afraid. I did remind hubby that he had yelled at CM2 when he wasn't studying how expensive school was and that he didn't have to go to college if he didn't want to study properly.  I said that its not that I am threatening to take the computer away, but that his obligation is to do good in school and an extra special gaming computer was his reward for trying his best. Hubby said he wasn't really sure what was the right way to do it. I am not sure I know either. We just agreed to not mention the money anymore.

So, in the end CM2 got his kickass gaming computer ordered and it is set to ship in a few weeks. He was actually able to download some of his gaming data from the old computer, yep he figured it out, who needs Staples or Best Buy...and he is now doing his homework on the house main computer.

Oh and by the way, his new computer comes with that gaming website STEAM, pre-installed and he has a  1 TB, as in terabyte, hard-drive on the way too. Computer builders certainly do know what is most important to that gamer generation. Interestingly the computer could have also come with World of Warcraft installed, but CM2 has to be the only gamer who doesn't have any interest in WoW, that's CM1's  adventure. Now knowing  CM2, I figure, he already has decided what games and other crap he is going to download onto that new hard-drive. Bet in his head that 1TB is pretty much already filled up....Also as an aside, I swear there is more power in that new computer than is produced by the local electric company.

Meanwhile, while CM2 is happy and doing his homework, I am so tired and exhausted by the events of the day. Fried, my nerves are shot and I just want to laydown. I hate when they have meltdowns. I hate when they get so overwhelmed by reality that they have a hard time functioning. I hate that this entire event, which is truly just a simple everyday annoying occurrence in our world, was so painful for him.

Tell the truth today is one of those days that I wished my New Year's resolution wasn't to give up wine during the week....Frak it...I'm getting a glass of Cabernet....

By the way, the computer company has a one-year interest free program, so at least I can pay it off...I guess I get to keep that kidney afterall.

Until next time,