28 October 2010


Part Two of a three part series.

For the remainder of July (for it was July by the time I set the computer up), I added programs and photos with rather reckless abandon, and spent nearly every waking moment either working on my Spider Solitaire winning streak (it ended at 19 games, if I recall correctly), customising preferences, or writing.
Two rather good short stories were born out of this writing, as was the nebulous of a poem of sorts.
In late July, I got an iPod touch (an early birthday gift). After it was purchased, I read the packaging and found that as far as Windows XP goes, it was only compatible with Service Pack 3 or higher.
The computer I had been planning to use it with (the only computer in the house that had both iTunes and a working USB port) had SP2.
For a split second I was horrified... my (very generous) grandmother and I had just spent a collective total of nearly three hundred dollars on this and I couldn't even use it?
Then my mind flashed back to the System Properties dialog box on my new computer. If my memory was accurate, it might just have said 'Service Pack 3.' However, I wasn't sure.
So when I got home, I rushed to the computer and called up The Official Windows Box Of Nerd Stats.
Sure enough, it read 'Windows XP Home Service Pack 3.'
I was elated. All I needed to do was install iTunes, add my music, and hook up the iPod.
Six hours later I had finally installed iTunes and added (I hoped) every song I could think of that I might possibly wish to listen to (it would have taken far longer if I hadn't had a partial backup of the other computer's music files). Exhausted but excited, I plugged in the iPod. And got an error message from iTunes.
It needed to connect to the Internet in order for me to register the iPod and thus, sync it.
Due to lack of finances (or more accurately, laziness preventing us from researching the actual cost), there is no networking in the house. If you want to get onto the Internet, you have to get onto the one computer that's connected to it.
The SP2 computer.
Upon researching the potential pitfalls involved in upgrading that computer to SP3 I (wisely, as I would realise later) dropped the notion. However, it looked as if I would never get to use the iPod for anything more than note-taking.
That night, however, an idea came to me and the next morning I put it in action.
It took me a good half hour to rewire the Internet connection, moving it temporarily from the 'primary' computer to mine. With my computer on the Internet, I registered the iPod, bought a few songs, and synced it before moving the Internet connection back to its designated place.
I had been quite grateful for the computer before, and this only heightened my thankfulness. Without it, my iPod would have been the next thing to useless.
Then dawned 1 August (actually, it didn't even have a chance to dawn; I opened Word and started writing as soon as the clock read 12.00 AM), and I started my novel -- the one about the murder.
I quickly discovered that I do my best writing between the hours of 11.30 PM and 4.00 AM (something I'd suspected, but hadn't yet confirmed).
So, every night, as the rest of the family was falling asleep, I woke up the computer, plugged in my trusty flash drive, and wrote until I could no longer see the monitor for the black spots before my eyes.
The story took shape at a blinding pace, and the computer was quite patient about the whole thing.
For twenty-three days (rather, nights) we worked together, racking up over 45,000 words out of the goal of 50,000.
And then in the proverbial home stretch it choked.

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