The Thing About Electronics


BlueScreen of DeathEleven computers, one tablet, three headsets and four phones.

That’s my tally since January 2015.  I crashed them, I burned them, I destroyed them.  I had one that I swear hated my guts.  I think that one was issuing a personal vendetta to cause my suffering.

The first computer to go, I gotta say, that laptop checked out with class.  He told me ahead of time with a message that read something like “I’m sorry, honey.  But I will be crashing every system very shortly. I suggest you commence an emergency back-up of all your files.”

My computer knowing son gave me three days to finish the project I was on deadline for. 

The laptop lasted two. I still haven’t gotten to the deadline as technology has it out for me.  However, I did get everything off that sweetie in time then kept the little guy set up on my table so I could walk by every now and then and hit ‘enter’ to see another “I am dead.  Mourn for me,” appear on the screen.

The second computer to go?  The brand new piece of art my husband surprised me with.  Five weeks in, just after the possibility of returning it, I got the blue screen of death.  The thing had been sold to us with a fried hard drive.  The company is still determining how to fix the situation.

Now the tablet … this was personal.  He hated me.  Totally.  When I finally gave up after four weeks of trying to learn it, I pulled all my data off, saving in three places.  When I went to the borrowed lap top (the one I didn’t kill) I found that the tablet had erased all the saved files from my flash drives, except for one.  That file had been rearranged and mangled beyond recognition.  Every sentence from page one on was a new version, not translated from any form of any human language. 

I don’t know what was a better or worse ending of that story.  The file was mangled?  Or the fact when I went back to work on fixing the entire thing—all 562 pages—was gone. Just gone.  I was staring at the blank file thinking the mangling might not have been too bad.

It was about this time my language started to became … shall we say … colorful?

I got a new phone last winter. It was broken by the time I got home.  I had to send it back and they sent me a new one, which I sent back.  Then they sent me one that like … you know … worked.  Until I got my upgrade four months later.  I kept this one, even though it doesn’t work right, figuring I can teach myself to learn its ‘special’ behavior. I cannot face having to reboot another device and transferring over the data. I changed Suri’s  name to Scottie, gave him a sex change and altered his voice to male.  We get along better now.

The headsets?  I’m so not going there.  The one I ended up with is demonic and does things no headset should do. Like call health professionals without telling me, confusing the doctor’s receptionist … who see my name come up on caller ID.

I am more weeks late on a project due to my agent then I care to admit.  The last time I looked at the calendar it was dangerously behind. She’s cool, though I think a little amused at the photos I keep sending of dead screens to prove I am trying even as another device fails.

There tends to be a universe puzzlement of “what are you doing to them to make them self-destruct …?”

My son says it’s because I am an EMP ( Electric Magnetic Pulse). EMPs are used as weapons to take out the enemy’s defenses.  I’m just a smaller version with devices that come in the box.  Because of this, he says that for Christmas, he’s getting me a fifteenth century monk, complete with ink well and quill who I can dictate my projects to. Son figures I can’t possibly crash that.

Yeah.  Sure.  I’m sure the new guy will be perfectly safe.

I’ll take the monk, weird hair cut and all, as long as I can plug fourteen flash drives into him to save every bit of data there is.  Because as hard as I tried, I lost a ton.  Scenes, chapters, new directions of plot gone from my flash drives but still in my brain. The thought of retyping them all is daunting but a task I know I will undertake.

I read a quote years ago. So long in fact I can’t even credit the source. But something like this: there are two types of people in this world. Those who have lost all their data and those who are getting ready to lose their data ….

My advice?  Back-up to as many sources as you can.  Keep an easy to track naming system of the files so you can get into them quick and check.  I’ve been using two flash drives, one external hard drive and the hard drive on the computer and I lost the entire ending of Book Four, the middle of Book Three as well as multiple copies of the Book One I am supposed to have sent a month ago.

I have a new laptop now.  No, there are no programs on it but one: The Word.  There will be no Google searches or YouTube viewing until I get this file sent.  I am not going to give this contraption an ounce of room in attempting a suicide. 

I will open that file my agents wants, head back over to page one and begin reading it again to make sure no damage was done to this version.

It’s a good story.  I love this story. I so don’t want to read it again for the seventh time in five weeks. Though to be honest, not once have I gotten to The End as all the machines died so soon.  So maybe this time, this time I will push on through and prove to the world I can tackle any electronics and win. 





@ Jacqui Jacoby, Body Count Productions, Inc.

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5 responses to “The Thing About Electronics”

  1. Gwyn says:

    Flea market, Ebay, yard sale. Remington. Manual. Write to paper. (You can re-ink the ribbons manually a time or two before they die.) Scan to computer when necessary to share. We’re too dependent on tech, IMO, and it will come back to bite us–and laugh.

  2. Liz Talley says:

    Wow! You’ve had a heck of a time this year. My heart goes out to you. I’ve been fairly lucky to date. And I’m knocking on wood as I typed that. Good advice and here’s to better luck with electronics in 2016!


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