It Happened.

First Published: 1999-05-04

by Rick Lowe

It Happened.

I always knew the day would come. I had become so dependent. In fact, after dinner each evening it became routine to spend some time with her.

There were no unusual signs.

On the previous Monday, having committed to some volunteer work I started the effort in earnest, on what turns out to be that woeful Thursday night. On proceeding to bed all was well. The following morning after breakfast there was nothing out of the ordinary. When arriving home on Friday evening, looking forward to a delightful evening one of my worst nightmares was laid bare before me… my computer mail messaging system had gone down!!!

It has become second nature for me to spend an hour or so each evening at my antiquated 14″ monitor to check the e-mail, browse my favourite news sites, complete the items that time would not permit at the office, and jot a few ideas down for the next “On Second Thought”!

A sleepless night.

In setting up faxes so they will be distributed automatically they are somehow queued (you can tell my technical expertise from that comment I’m sure) for disbursement. As previously discussed there was no sign of a problem on the way out the door to work. However, as luck would have it when I came home – and I can’t complain that my luck is often bad – there was a big red, unforgettable square right in the middle of the screen advising that, in essence, I would get very little sleep that night.

Remaining calm I cleared the message, turned the computer off and restarted everything. Here-s where it got interesting. When the mail program started up, it began the whole process over again. Not to worry I thought, I would just cancel the faxes and all would be well. Wouldn’t you know it, that dastardly, what by now had become most irritating, red message square was back, with an even more annoying sound that accompanies it.

After spinning wheels with the same process for two or three more tries I finally got fed up feeling like I was a failing contestant on a game show every time that aggravating message and noise would make themselves the focal point of my life, I decided I should read the manual.

Panic sets in.

By now its 2:15am on Saturday morning and I am no further ahead, even after a visit to the software manufacturers web site. By now I-m a raging bull at that damn message, with a stomach that’s churning like white-river rapids as panic sets in that I might not be able to deliver on my promise.

So, I decided it was in my best interest to revisit what I felt had become my own personal Waterloo again in the morning.

A new day… a new direction.

To me there is nothing like a new dawn. A morning person by nature, I was looking forward to solving my dilemma and moving on to more interesting things. But that was not to be. There were more error messages and banging gongs.

There was now only one option. Call an expert. Like cars, computers are not as simple as those of us that just press the buttons would like to believe. After the diagnosis and cleaning up the obvious issues (for him that is), more research on the manufacturers web site was necessary. Obviously able to understand troubleshooting guides, a fix was found and I could hit the ground running. Thanks to Mr. Maycock I’m on speaking terms with my computer again and life somehow seems wonderful.

That fateful morning of January 1, 2000…

As I sit at the keyboard banging this piece out, my thoughts keep drifting to the Y2K or the year 2000 issue and what might happen. If my little encounter is an indication of how it will be on the morning of January 1, 2000, I think I’ll be on a vacation in the Abaco cays… and no I don’t have a cellular. But that’s dependent on the computer too, so I won’t be able to use one anyway. Come to think of it, life might slow down for a while. That would be nice.

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