Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By!
An unretouched pic of the inside of my PC tower after
3 years of constant use. Slathering bacon grease
on these gears will get them running smoothly again.

NOTICE: The Not Now Silly Newsroom will be off the air while technicians work behind the scenes to improve your NNS experience.

I’ve been putting this off for so long, because it’s such a monumental chore, but I am about to wipe this hard drive and reinstall a clean operating system. I can’t imagine this will take more than a few days, but just in case it takes a little longer, you’ve been warned.

Here’s the dealie: My PC tower is in serious need of a clean install of the operating system. It’s 3
years old and, in that time, has become very slow because: Windoze.

Not just slow. Firefox crashes
several times a day, occasionally taking unsaved work with it. At other
times the computer just freezes. It just sits there mocking me while I
stare back at it. When that happens I have only 2
choices: I can reboot, or I can wait it out. Rebooting is usually the
wisest choice because there’s no guarantee that waiting it out will
work. Yet waiting it out works often enough that I still try it occasionally, only to marinate in my frustration when the wait turns out to be unsuccessful and I end up rebooting anyway.

Regardless of the recovery process when it freezes, all that time staring at the screen — or waiting for a reboot to finish — is wasted time, unproductive time, time I could be writing, surfing, researching, or just screwing around. I’m tired of it. It’s time to clean this computer up.

This is my IT Tech posing with my current set-up.
The large wheel is used to avoid a hard drive crash.

Therefore, I am currently in the process of migrating all the data on this computer to a portable hard drive, where I already store all of my music: 29,520 tracks of listening pleasure.

One of the first things I did was transfer over 17,638 pics, which represents every picture I’ve taken with my phone since I got it in October of 2012.

Then I started transferring documents, such as articles I’ve written, half-finished articles I hope to finish, and half-finished articles I have no hope of ever finishing. Also among these documents are also dozens of PDFs I’ve saved. Then there are all the documents whistle blowers have sent me, not to mention text files of raw research for future Not Now Silly articles.

All this stuff, along with other sundries I want to save, are scattered all over my hard drive — from the desktop to directories I created on the fly when I needed a place to store crap and didn’t want to spend any time thinking about where.

This process would have been far simpler had I accepted all the Microsoft presets, as opposed to putting things just where I like them. But, I like them where I like them. When the tower is souped up, I’ll probably put them right back where they were before I moved them. I never learn.

At the same time I am also configuring a brand new laptop computer I purchased so that I have something to use while the tower is being refurbished. It’s a Toshiba Satellite.

True story: I asked the guy at the store if that means it connected to a satellite. He looked at me as if I wear wearing a STUPID sign and said, v e r y  s l o w l y, “No. That’s just the brand name.” But, he agreed with me that that would have been cool, especially at that price.

The new laptop is a new exercise in frustration. It uses Windows 8.1 (my tower is Windows 7), so there’s another learning curve. Just to make matters worse is that I am terrible with a touchpad. I keep moving the cursor into areas of the screen where weird 8.1 crap flies out of one of the 4 quadrants. There are some that I have been unable to duplicate.

However, the biggest frustration in this entire process is that this laptop is just jam-packed with bloatware I’ll never use. I am getting rid of as much of it as possible, but it seems to grow like Topsy. It actually pisses me off that one can’t buy a computer with just an operating system installed, without all that other crap. Let me decide what crap I want to load onto my computer, thank you very much.

If you don’t hear from me in a week, send Kevin Flynn in to find me.

The Not Now Silly Newsroom begins radio silence.

About Headly Westerfield

Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.