Allyson Johnson

Pieces of my Mind

A Piece of my Mind: Brain Transplant

I drowned it!  It’s dead!

Stupid. Plain stupid.

If it hadn’t been   Christmas, I wouldn’t have moved my “office” from the corner of the living room to the kitchen table.   That corner is where the Christmas tree always goes, so I did this every year. 

If our housekeeper hadn’t been ill, I wouldn’t have vacuumed the living room carpet and noticed how dirty it had become.

If we hadn’t decided to have the dining room carpet cleaned too, I would have eaten my lunch at the dining room table as usual.

But it was, and she was, and we did, and so I had my sandwich and a glass of water on the kitchen table next to my computer, and when I reached for a napkin I bumped the glass and…

Drowned my laptop. The screen flickered bravely for a moment as I froze in horror. I reached to turn the computer off, too late. The screen went black, and it was dead.  Not even a snap, crackle, or pop. I took the battery out and turned the corpse upside down on a towel in the bathroom. It streamed water as though I had cut an artery.  I aimed my small space heater at the keyboard.  The next day there were still no signs of life, so I was off to the Geek Squad. 

The Geek on duty managed to look doubtful, even behind the face mask.  Eyebrows are amazingly expressive.

“We don’t handle water damage here.  We send it out, and it will be 3-4 weeks before we get it back, IF they can repair it.  But it’s long odds.”

Armed with a list of laptop ratings from Consumer Reports, I browsed past dozens of glowing screens and stopped at the sleek silver entity CR liked best – “Special Sale 30% off!” How seductive! I picked it up – so light! A sales Geek materialized at my elbow.  “Do you have any questions?”

“Where are the USB ports?”

“You mean, USB-A ports? Oh, almost no one uses USB-A ports anymore.  They’ve all gone to C.”  She showed me the tiny slit on the side of the computer.

“But my external hard drive!  My multiple thumb drives! My mouse!  How do they attach?”

The sales Geek managed to look amused and condescending, even behind the face mask.  Eyebrows are so expressive.

“It’s all in the cloud.  Backup to the cloud.  Access anywhere through the cloud.  You still use a mouse? You’ve got a touchpad and touchscreen. But you can buy an adapter that lets you use your USB-A stuff.”

Back to the Geek Squad station.  The Head Geek offered to check to see whether my hard drive had survived, if I would allow him to open the case.  I felt as though I was ok’ing an autopsy on the corpse.  OK.  Fifteen minutes later, he came back, smiling.  Eyebrows are amazingly expressive.

Next steps: Buy the silver sylph of a computer, give it to the Head Geek, along with the rescued hard drive, and in a few days I reclaim my old computer’s brain transplanted to a slimmer, more powerful, more flexible chassis.

The new computer takes some getting used to.  That cloud thing – I don’t trust it, but that’s where the Sylph wants to put all my files.  On the entry screen and in the cloud I am “Allyson”, but to access files on the hard drive the Sylph only answers to “Owner.” Worse, it keeps offering to complete my sentences for me (even more irritating from a computer than it is from a friend or spouse.)

I will wrestle it into submission.  After all, I am the live person in control.  But I remember that Dr. Frankenstein had some trouble with his brain transplant project also.

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One thought on “A Piece of my Mind: Brain Transplant

  1. “We don’t handle water damage here. We send it out, and it will be 3-4 weeks before we get it back, IF they can repair it. But it’s long odds.” This might be word for word what they told my daughter when she killed her laptop with a glass of tea. Who can wait 3 or 4 weeks for their laptop to come back?


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