In the dream, I am standing on a high point – I can’t tell if it’s a mountain peak or a tall building; there are elements of both. I’m looking into the void below and calling, plaintively, “Come back. Please come back. I’ll be so good to you this time, I promise. Please, IBM Selectric, please come back, so I can throw this computer into the void instead!” I’m surrounded by a forest of old TV antennas and analog TVs; they seem to be chuckling. Then I awake.
I see that I’ve fallen asleep, with my head on the keyboard, and the screen before me is covered with ‘alsfjiuJLGHOY NB<Ju ;kr4-2438dme45njf, from top to bottom. The last thing I remember is, once more, starting the download of the on-line manual for my dad’s new wide-screen TV (I’d finally persuaded him to lose the analog). The TV arrived yesterday and came with something called “Quick-Start” instructions which showed where to plug in the power cord and how to insert two (dead) batteries into the remote. All further instructions were referenced to the “On-line Manual” at http//distopiannightmareappliances/operating manual.nutter.
Realizing that all the peripheral electronics, to the TV, now needed new cords or converter plugs, I decided to start the download and run to the store for what was needed. The short version is that it took me nearly two hours to discover that the actual address was http//distopiannightmareappliances/operatingmanuals.nuts, but once the download started, it seemed OK to leave it.
I returned to four overlapped screens:
Unable To Format Disk, Please insert blank disk
Your firewall has successfully repelled invasion!
Website Timed Out
Heaving a deep sigh, I refreshed the website, re-entered the various mfg.’s numbers to access the manual, turned off my firewall, inserted a fresh, blank disk and began the download. Six pages of numbers, company information and indemnifications later, the table of contents appeared and I felt safe going to the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea. When I returned, Windows was closing down.
I rebooted the computer, got back online and located Distopian’s website. For some reason, I could not, now, access the “Manuals” page. Three redirections later, OnLine Help got me linked to the needed manual. Once again, I began the download, this time, determined to guard it like a hawk with prey. I watched, patiently, as it waded through the pre-information information; sipped my now-cold tea as it scrolled through Table of Contents, Set-up, Alternative Set-up, Peripherals, Compatible Peripherals, In-Compatible Peripherals, pages of instructions, Troubleshooting charts, and, finally the Index. My sigh of relief was already half-exhaled when the screen flashed blank and the words “DOWNLOAD FAILED!” appeared, followed by “Disk Corrupted, Insert Blank Disk”, followed by a bright red screen with a grinning devil in the middle, followed by a green screen with a continual scrolling of [eoifu welrvtiyqw3t9p8b7 q3-0[;fj2qot9g@$()^%$&^*<,mHjPpn= . . . followed by me putting my head down and letting the tears drip into the keyboard – who cared!
Now, I contemplate my next move. I wonder where I stored that 12 pound splitting maul?