Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Fri, Oct. 18

Computer upgrade gets a bit personal<BR>

My faithful old computer has been giving me some anxious moments lately, and I thought I'd better get some stuff backed up here, in case she turns turtle on me and I am forced to upgrade or at least (shudder) reformat.

I bought a wonderful thing that said it would back up everything I even dreamed of creating. I envisioned it sitting here politely, being plugged in much like my digital camera. Not so!! It came with a manual in six languages - none of which I could understand - and belts and wires and screws and pieces. But we discovered that among Marty's many talents is "doing things" to computers. We made a date for Saturday morning.

I was a little nervous about the whole situation. This computer and I have been through a lot together. It was kind of like when your daughter brings home her first boyfriend. This guy was going to touch my 'puter, and he was going to touch her in private places! When the girls brought a new boy home for the first time, Bobby always had the 12-gauge leaning unobtrusively in a corner. I considered that while we waited for Marty to show up.

The first thing he did was carry her out to the kitchen table and undress her. Oh my! One would think - at least this one did - that if something was all sealed up like that it would stay clean inside. Another fallacy. The dust of the ages lay within, and Marty told me it was a miracle she could even breathe. He freed up her fan (I told you she was a lady!) and then they carried her out back and put her on a milk crate. I learned that city-folk go to office supply places and buy canned air specifically for things like this. We do the best we can with what we have, so they fired up Bobby's compressor and did wonderful work. She glimmered like new.

But .... when Marty put her back together again, there was this ominous hole in the front where her off/on switch used to live. He told me I could quite safely stick my finger in the hole and activate the switch. I told him I had learned long ago not to stick my fingers in holes that were full of electricity! You all remember Saturday, don't you? The first non-overcast day we'd had; bright blue sky, sunshine, gentle breeze. And then the sudden torrent! Yep, that was the day. Marty ran out, and we thought he'd gone to roll his windows up. He came back in later, drenched. He had been out in the downpour, looking some more for the button.

The guys had circled the milk crate, blowing air through her from all directions. The drive and work area are all in nice rounded gravel, about an inch in diameter, in various shades of gray. The off/on button was round, about an inch in diameter, and gray! Both Bobby and Marty had looked for the button for a LONG time. But the computer was clean, the new parts installed, and I was a happy camper. I had decided I could stick a pencil in the hole, and turn her on with the eraser.

That afternoon, Joe and Kim came up to bring us a picture of Justin and Abner, the 4H pig. I told Kimmie about the guys getting drenched searching for the lost button. She said "Let me look," walked out the back door, over to the milk crate, looked around, said, "Here it is!" and picked it up. Just that fast. Bobby's jaw dropped in amazement.

I was relating the story to a friend of mine, and Kathryn said, "Hasn't Bobby learned yet that the best man for any job is usually a woman?"

Just kidding, there, folks, but both my 'puter and I are much happier with her belly-button back in place.

(Peggy Swycaffer is a longtime Cordes Lakes resident. Reach her at

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