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control alt delete | system reboot

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Well, I finally have some semblance of a computer, which did not come easy and were it not for the help of good and loyal friends, this kid would have been totally screwed, so thank god and amen to the patient people who seem to care about me despite my major computer addiction and near nervous breakdown when the operating system crashed and I saw that International Klein Blue color that, yes, at one time I loved, but under these conditions, no.

I have become a friend of the Macintosh for it saved my life for a few days and while I had all sorts of blogging issues; that had more to do with software compatibility issues that many folk here on blogcritic and elsewhere were very helpful with, in particular ms. Mac Diva who offered great advice that worked and guided me to such programs as FickR, which work wonders for uploading photos to the Web should you not be able to access Picasa or Hello.

In the past two weeks, I have learned more about computers than I probably have in the lat two years. I have learned that you need often to reformat your C drive more than once in order to completely erase it and get it in some shape that it will accept a new operating system.

I have learned that persistence and patience are key and that if you are determined, you can get online even if your operating system has crashed by pressing control alt delete and opening the Task manager and using it as a browser. Select New, then change to programs and files and then select the program or file you wish to open. This works because even though the operating system has crashed, the documents etc. and programs are still there in the background – or were in my case – and I just could not get to them through the blue screen. Gateway technical support told me this was impossible. That technically this was not going to work.

Which brings me to the point here, which is do not listen to those negative naysayers who have no personal stake in the situation. If you are, like me, computer co-dependent and are thriving usually and need your documents off the hard drive, short of a total hard drive destruction into little bits, there is always a way if you are patient and are willing to devote hours of your life to this. Granted, that is rather pathetic, but then I have no life, so I didn’t miss much and through using the task manager as a kind of browser I was able to open my web connection and dial in (hah! Take that!) And more, I was able to get my documents off of the hard drive and save everything that I had foolishly not backed up.

I remember years ago meeting this really pretentious but curiously fascinating woman who I shall not name (we’ll call her Philippa) who was nice enough but obviously felt that she had very little to offer as her true self and so had decided to create a whole history and new life for herself; the Philippa from Weehawken was abandoned, saved enough money to visit my homelandin Britain for a few weeks, and remerged back in the United States with an accent that was sort of upperclass, lispy, royal family by way of New Jersey and Kensington. It was quite a curious thing and though she was no friend of mine, she had a thing for my ex and so wanted my approval in some odd way, or perhaps wanted to prove to me how much better (and more English she was than I am, which was really quite funny. I’ll never forget the site of her draped, all stockinged (pantyhose!) legs wrapped over my ex’s lap, as she was all over him like a bad pashmina, and giving me advice on how to travel as a “a writer” (which apparently she also was, tough had never published a single thing was certain that her novel, which she would not speak about so none of us knew what it was about though it was likely about her, no doubt). Philippa took a long drag on her cigarette and dramatically exhaled and told me she said in her very proper, very phony an somewhat adorable accent, “I always travel with my manuscript in a separate valise when I travel….”

It was all very dramatic. I mean, Philippa had acquired a British accent that put my half-brogue/half London mid-Atlantic real deal to shame. This chick sounded more British than me, and although I am Scottish and sound more that than anything, I was really fascinated by this person. Why, I wondered, would anybody hate themselves so much that they pull a Tom Ripley and create a whole new life. It’s the ultimate fake euro-trash syndrome. At least be real euro-trash if you must. Wear those scarves
and drive your bmw and Vespa scooter, but please, only real immigrants please. But anyway, despite, all of this, I now think back and think , Shit. If I had had my articles on a separate machine, it would have been far less traumatic.

As a writer of books and articles myself, I knew the importance of backing up and more. But a separate valise? First, who the hell carries a valise? Did she mean my messenger bag? My leather, backpack briefcase? What the fuck is a valise. Isn’t that some thing that business men carried in the forties – of course I know the literal meaning of the word, but such a curious choice. Oh yes, I do know, but it’s just such a funny word to use. Well, doesn’t Philippa get the last laugh on this one. You see; if I had kept my manuscripts on a separate computer, the equivalent of a valise, or in a separate place, which is the main point, then the operating system not found message would have been slightly less traumatic. Not much, but slightly.

So, I say to you in my best impersonation of Philippa with lisp and all, “always travel with your manuscript in a separate valise.” To not do so, is asking for trouble.

But friends, I am back online. I have now learned how to download every kind of software imaginable. I have become a semi expert in DOS mode, I have become a Macintosh lover and liker for it saved my life when I needed it. I have acquired a cute and adorable Vaio computer that is too small in the keyboard, but light as hell and fits in my handbag, which I love because I can take it anywhere and it’s like carrying nothing. I’ve also learned how to reformat that C drive so that nothing exists and so that you can reinstall an operating system that works.

The one thing that I cannot sort out is why my desktop has no icon that says “My Computer.” Shouldn’t there be an icon there, or has my computer completely gone and I have only Windows XP 2000? I find this part very confusing. I also do not have Word, which is making me nuts, or Nero or Photo Editor or any of the programs that I really need and no money to acquire them. If any of you here can help me with this, please email me soon and let me know. If you know good free downloads for CD burning, shoot the info to me, but most of all, if you know of the BEST virus protection with the cheapest price or, better, free, send me the link right away to sadir_p@hotmail.com.

I have had my mettle tested; I have come out the other end wiser and stronger and faster than before, and I never ever want to experience this again. Indeed, I travel with my Vaio in a separate valise. Philippa may have been one screwy girl with her lispy accent and her funny Ann Taylor clothes and the way she hung herself all about my ex after we broke up as it to say triumphantly that he was hers, which was crap, because he is still mine and I am still his in a way that is far more profound that a mere sexual relationship because kindred is kindred and family is the real deal and he is family. But for all of this, her words echo in my ears. I should have listened, even though it was painful to listen to a girl from Weehawken who played more British than I am.

I guess she never understood that Scotland is always independent. That we don’t really even consider ourselves part of the UK and would still fight for our independence. We are a bloody nation, and I tell you, it is, I’m sure, that because of this fighting spirit that I have come out the other end of the OSNF nightmare and gone at it with a fury because it made my Scottish blood boil that someone had installed spyware on my system and that, I was told, is what made the system crash. I have never heard of such a thing, but there you have it.

Thanks to everyone at Blogcritics and elsewhere who supported me through this nightmare; I have seen the light and it is in a valise a good virus scanner. Help me find one, I beg you.

Sadi ranson-polizzotti

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About Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti

  • the “My Computer” icon is not always on the desktop. You should be able to add it back to the desktop by opening the start menu, highlight the “My computer” icon (but don’t click it), click and hold the RIGHT mouse button, then move the cursor onto the desktop whilst keeping the right mouse button pressed. Let go, and choose to “create shortcut here” or something.
    (you probably know how to make shortcuts but there might well be people reading this who don’t)
    As for what works and doesn’t work when it comes to PCs, thanks to their diverse nature (most pieces of hardware have, over the years, had models made by hundreds of different companies) there are many situations where what you expect to happen isn’t quite what actually *does* happen. Since September 1st this year I have been working as an ICT support technician at a secondary school. We have a network which has clients running Windows versions from 95 through to XP, and the server is currently running NT 4.0
    I find alot of the problems can only be solved with some tinkering of standard solutions. Hence, you only really know if something will work (or not) when you actually try it.
    I am glad to hear you have sorted your problem now.