Chugging through my day, dealing with the usual…
My office desktop that I connect to in order to run our accounting software pops up with a message that there’s a Windows update it’s ready to install. Okay… I had heard that there’s one out there. The timing’s a bid odd, middle of the day and all, but sure, go for it.
Less than five minutes later, I’m back online. No problem.
About a half hour later, my office laptop, which I use to connect to that office desktop, gives me the same message about a Windows update. Sure…
Less than five minutes, no problem.
An hour or so later, my personal desktop, which I use for about 99% of everything else in this year of “work from home” (which is more like “live at work” sometimes), gives me the same message. Sure…
It goes through the usual Windows update screens with the progress reports and the spinny-balls thing and the warning about not turning of your computer…
And I get this:
Ten minutes later both monitors are blank, but the computer still seems to be on. I’ll wait.
A half hour later, nothing on the screens, no beeps, no error messages, nada, zippo, zilch. Starting to sweat a bit – I’ll wait.
An hour later, having started a new book (pretty good so far, “The Second Star” by Alma Alexander), nothing, nothing, none, nada, zilch. I’ll wait. It’s time for Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist anyway. (WHAT! You’re not watching the show yet??! Jeez louise… Your loss. Best new show since probably Game of Thrones or The Good Place.)
Another hour later, we’ve gotten through the end of Zoe’s “fall finale,” check the computer and find the status quo. It looks like it’s on, but no sounds of any disks running, no blinking lights showing any CPU activity, nothing showing up on the screens. I know it said, “Do not power down your system,” and I’m a big proponent of following computer instructions in bold, red text, but c’mon. It’s been almost three hours.
So I hold the power button until it shuts down, give it a minute for the capacitors to discharge, then power it back up. Only to be met by about twenty seconds of disk activity, a click, and a shutdown.
I blame myself. I’ve got a dentist appointment first thing tomorrow and I hate going to the dentist about as much as I hate getting a colonoscopy, and I had been whining about needing and excuse to not go. It’s that whole “Monkey Paw” thing – be careful how you word those wishes. Having to do emergency computer surgery in order to be able to work from home without doing EVERYTHING on that laptops isn’t quite what I had in mind as an excuse. But I guess I wasn’t specific enough.
Try the reboot again. Same.
Breathe. Think. I’ve been fiddling with computer since (literally!) before there were IBM PCs. I started doing hardware and programming on paper tape on a PDP-8 using 32-bit machine language, one command at a time. I can do this…
Unplug the system and let it sit. Perhaps it’s not quite in a completely powered down state yet. There’s “off” and then there’s “OFF.” To make sure we’re getting a clean reboot, let’s make sure it’s OFF. Wait another fifteen minutes. (What did the Kings do tonight? Lost 4-3 in a shootout. At least we got the one point, but still in last place. I guess now that I won’t be wearing my Chiefs gear I should get out my Kings jerseys.)
Now, once more with feeling and four part harmony…
The system comes back online normally and seems to be working.
Some days the gods are just fucking with you to make sure that you’re not getting cocky. (Those would be days that end in “y.”)