So, once upon a time when I was like 12, I stayed home sick from church. That worked out great, because I could squeeze in some much anticipated email checking and instant messaging without having to adhere to the "20 minute limit" rule. See, Jackie was 16, Tami was 14, I was 12, Nicole was 9 and Michelle was 5. We only had one computer, and we had to take turns. Some of us emailed. Some of us were instant messenger maniacs. Some of us (like Nicole and Michelle) just liked to search for stuffed animals online or play solitaire. Dad used the computer for work, Mom used it for Genealogy, and Jackie, Tami and I occasionally had to use it for school. Mama Booth, being all about fairness envoked the 20 minute time limit per girl. But that day.. the computer was all mine. For 3 hours!
Now, we were not allowed to be on the computer on Sundays, but I was a shady rule breaker back before my conscience took over my life. I checked my mail, chatted with some boys from school via AIM... and then accidentally kicked the computer with my awkward gangly 12 year old leg. Lo and behold.. a little door on the front of the hard drive popped open. Behind this door, there was a handle. I of course, lifted the handle. Little did I know that this little handle was spring loaded, and by lifting that little bugger, it detached the hard drive from the computer. While it was on.
I nervously pushed the hard drive back in, shut the little door, turned off the computer and went and got back in bed. This, my friends, was going to be bad. Super bad. Tate Banzett bad. I didn't know much about computers at that point in my life, but knew that when they stopped working, Papa Booth had to painstakingly take them apart and swear at it for hours before it would work again.
The family got home, and I inconspicuously mentioned that I had tried to check my mail, and the hard drive popped out of the computer. I had broken the no-computer on Sunday rule, and I swear everyone gave me dirty looks. They all thought I did it on purpose. I was not a favorite among the Booth family that day. This day, we were all introduced to the term "de-fragging" a computer. It took about 8 HOURS.
There was Dad, sitting at the computer desk, watching line after line of code blur by as each little box that I swear represented bits, not bytes, lit up and moved around as the de-frag continued. I wanted to throw up. I did this. I murdered the first Booth Family computer with reliable internet access. It was an unpardonable sin. So I sat there with my dad, and suffered through most of the de-frag situation right next to him. He didn't yell at me, or swear, or chastise me for computer-ing on Sunday. Having everyone else's eyes on me was punishment enough. I actually was pretty curious about what the freak was going on, and so I kept asking him annoying questions like "what does that red box mean?" or "how many of those lines have to be filled up for it to be done?" "what does de-fragment mean?" and I think my guilt driven legitimate curiosity eased the frustration Dad must have felt toward me. Thinking about it now, I can't believe he didn't ban me from the family for life. He was a computer guy for crying out loud, and I pulled the hard drive right out of a running computer. Shudder. Sorry Dad.
Anyway. After my laptop was stolen last year Papa Booth found an old one from his work that they were throwing away. Its been pretty reliable. But... it has had its scares. I even had to defrag it once. Shudder again. So tonight some blue screen came up saying it needed to verify some files that didn't match blah blah blah recombobulate the directory blah blah so I let it do its job. And This is what I had to watch. It brought back this flood of computer-angst ridden memories and I just felt like I needed to share. Ever since that fateful Sunday, system error messages strike fear into the very center of my heart.
But don't worry. The computer is doing just fine. False alarm.