story about that here), we got into a conversation about computers. james's friend happened to mention a nasty sounding thing called the bluescreen of death. i had no idea what he was talking about. (these guys know computers inside and out, while i, embarrassing to admit, know absolutely nothing about this electronic device i hunt and peck away on....) he told me that's when your computer instantly seizes up; the bluescreen of death is the grim reaper of the computer world who announces life is essentially over for the machine. there is no cure. i forgot to ask him if the screen actually turns entirely blue, kind of like this patient is suffering, he can't breathe, he can't get oxygen, he's turning blue.
recently, i turned on my computer and instead of my normal desktop and friendly wallpaper, i was surprised to find the screen filled up with lots of alarming numbers and words, meaningless words, words i could not understand. the words were in english, yet i couldn't comprehend them. to me they were gibberish. it was as if the computer was urgently trying to tell me something, but in a foreign computer language.
and that's exactly what was happening. some of the stuff the computer flashed on the screen i could understand. it "told" me do this, do that, shutdown and start up again, press F8, F10, F11, or something like that. i don't recall all the detailed instructions. i do recall, however, the computer caused me great stress and anxiety. nothing on earth makes me want to pull out my hair and scream except a computer that won't do what it is supposed to do! again and again i tried to help the ill-fated machine. the pc was frantically struggling to survive, and even though i did as i was instructed, nothing helped.
then slowly, starting at the edges and creeping along, not all over the screen at first, the computer displayed a frightening symptom: the deathly shade of infectious blue i had heard about over the summer. diagnosis: the never-ending boot loop, caused by the bluescreen of death.
note: happily for me, i am now pecking away on a new macbook. the blog suffered no interruption.