19 April 2011

The Blue Screen Of Death

I'm not afraid of the Blue Screen of Death. I never have been.
Oh sure, I heard the horror stories as a child of computers suddenly displaying this mysterious blue screen with 'gibberish' written in white text, then never working again.
I think the reason for my utter lack of fear (or even healthy respect) of the BSOD is because although I knew the stories, the first (and second and third and fourth) time I encountered one I didn't know what it was.
I was about twelve years old at the time and while listening to a CD on our old Windows ME computer I somehow discovered that I could import music off of it into the computer -- and only the songs I liked.
So I pulled a couple of favourite songs off of two or three CDs and was having a wonderful time listening to them when suddenly the music went into a loop about five seconds long and a blue screen with white text came up.
I read it carefully. I didn't understand most of it, but it said 'Press any key to continue,' so I did.
I can't recall if it rebooted or if the blue screen simply disappeared, but at any rate I found myself back at the desktop -- although all the running programs had been closed.
Thinking it was fluke or something (ah, how much I've learned about computers over the years!), I opened Media Player, found the songs, and tried to play them again.
About a minute into the first song the same thing happened -- the music suddenly went into an annoying loop and the blue screen with white text came up again. I read the screen -- in case it said something different this time -- and pressed a key to continue.
Again I ended up back at the desktop with WMP closed.
I was quite stubborn back then and opened Windows Media Player a third time and began to play the music. However, if I recall correctly I did choose a different song.
Once again the blue screen appeared. I was only slightly perturbed at this point (things really have changed since then...). I pressed a key and was dumped back to the desktop.
I decided to try once more. If it still didn't work then Windows Media Player just wasn't worth the time and energy.
So for a fourth time I launched WMP and began to play music. For a fourth time the blue screen appeared and I pressed a key and ended up back at the desktop. I simply chose something else to do and continued on my merry (if somewhat quieter) way.
It wasn't until several months later that I realised that I had seen the infamous Blue Screen of Death that day. That screen I had always feared and dreaded... that apparently heralded the computer's immediate and inescapable demise... I had simply blown past it four times in a row. I had conquered it. The computer hadn't succumbed.
In other words, the almighty and powerful Blue Screen of Death was not a huge monster that would ruin the computer instantly no matter what one tried. It was completely controllable and I was capable of defeating it.
No, the BSOD doesn't scare me.
This scares me:

My apologies for the glare -- my photo editing software is currently out of commission (again...). Photo by Kate.

For the reason, read this, this, and this (in that order). I suppose if you're in a hurry you could get off with reading just the last one though.


Brittney said...

I totally got one of the screens you pictured just a couple weeks ago. I just turned the computer off and on again and it ended up being fine...technology is so weird. XD

Kate said...

I am now officially very jealous of you (at least for a few minutes). Just thought you might like to know.
I mean, I'm glad you don't have to go through the loss of your documents and iTunes and everything, but... how?!?