Friday, February 19, 2010

Technology Trauma

I'm going to tell a [kind of long] story about my weekend last weekend. No, this was not my entire weekend, I also went to see the movie Valentine's Day. On Valentine's Day. True. I should also preface that my boyfriend was away this weekend, so I was fending for myself. And yes, I had to fend. Fend off technology disasters. Anyway, the story.

I got home late Friday night to a bizarre clicking noise in my apartment. What could it be? After stumbling around flipping switches and unplugging and plugging everything from my laptop to my hair dryer, I decided to just get in bed and watch TV to drown it out. Turns out the clicking noise was my TV. My cable box, to be more specific. So there would be no drowning it out with TV. I unplugged the cable box and went to sleep.

I woke up wishing this situation was a dream. It wasn't. My cable box was broken and I had a weekend ahead of me where I was planning on doing things like avoiding the cold by catching up on my DVR and avoiding Valentine's Day by watching romantic comedies that would undoubtedly be on TV all weekend. Fail. Anyway, I spent much of Saturday morning on the phone with the cable company and eventually we figured out that my hard drive was broken. Yes, apparently cable boxes have hard drives. I was unaware.
The cable box would need to be replaced. Next available appointment? NEXT Saturday. Or I could bring my box to a local payment center. I scheduled the appointment. About three minutes later, however, I decided I'd just have to bring it in. I couldn't do a week, and I had to face the music: the local payment center was only 5 blocks away, so it really would be pathetic to not go.

Fully prepared to face the line of people carrying cable boxes at Time Warner, I was stopped dead in my tracks. My cable box is set up underneath my TV. As in, my (very heavy) TV rests on top of it. In order to get the cable box out, someone had to lift the TV up. How could I do this by myself? I couldn't. Two people were required. A mere 12 hours went by with Wright away and I already was a disaster. I called him, obviously in a complete panic. He reminded me that Hallie lives in my building and she has a strong boyfriend. They could help me. They did. I was very thankful.

I went to Time Warner. It was unbelievably easy. Within an hour my cable was up and running and back on track. Look at me! Solving problems! I quickly sat down and began setting up my DVR recordings but immediately realized that one channel in particular did not work. Just one channel. And of all the channels, it was the Food Network. Cue "dun dun dun dunnn" music.

Back on the phone with Time Warner, only to find out that this is a normal issue, it would be cleared in 24-48 hours. Phew! And guess what? A silver lining! I had access to ALL channels. As in HBO, Encore, Starz, Showtime, everything! A frenzy of recording movies ensued.

I lasted 24 hours until I had to put in my food network DVDs to make up for the loss. And sure enough, when Food Network came back on Monday morning, all of my movie channels turned off. To be honest, I didn't care. The movies I'd recorded still worked (!!) and Food Network mattered more. I just can't survive without Ina. It's embarrassing, but true. Almost as embarrassing as the fact that I loved the movie Valentine's Day. Or that I just wrote a whole post about my cable box.

Alas, the story does not end there. There is another chapter. There was another crash. Another hard drive crash. Only this time, it was a hard drive I knew about: my external hard drive. The one that holds all of college on it. And all of my pictures. The back up one, that I thought I was being sooo good about having in the first place. Yeah, it crashed on Sunday.

This story is shorter, but much more emotional. It was Valentine's Day. Wright was away. I potentially lost all of the photos documenting our trips, our memories, our last six years together, everything. There were tears. There was panic. There was wine.

Ever-wonderful Wright eventually called back overly emotional Calvine (and by eventually I mean three minutes later, which felt like an eternity) and reassured her that it would probably be fine, and if not we'd just go on all of our trips over again. That made me laugh and I was okay.

As luck would have it, one of Wright's best friends and roommates is a computer genius. I brought the hard drive to Brian on Tuesday, made him dinner and asked him if there was any chance in the world he could fix it. He was not all that comforting, I won't lie. But he got out his tools, which looked so foreign to me it was embarrassing, and began to do things to the hard drive that I won't even try to explain. The important part is, two hours later, we were eating homemade linguine with bolognese and looking at pictures from my trip to Costa Rica with Wright. He saved everything on four backed up hard drives, so this would never happen again, and all was right in the world. Wright came home the next day and life continued.

The end.

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