Friday, January 20, 2006


Do I look fat in this laptop?

So we finally broke down and bought a laptop. And by 'we', I mean 'Beloved pestered me every single day for about an eon before I finally capitulated and said, "I don't care whether you buy the damn thing or not, but if you read one more Future Shop flyer out loud to me I'm going to sue you for human rights abuse."'

I gotta admit, it's pretty sweet. First of all, it's shiny. I like that. And it's fast. Apparently I have a pretty good desktop in my office (Beloved was admiring it over the Christmas holidays), but the laptop surfs much faster. Here's what flavour it is:

AMD Aflon 64 4000+ processor
15.4 widescreen ultrabright
Operates at 2.6 GHz
1 GB DDR onboard memory
ATI radion x600
128 MG videocard
100 GB harddrive
with a multi-format double-layer DVD burner

I don't know what most of that means. I had to get Beloved to dictate it to me. I vaguely recognize some of the terms from the endless hours of Future Shop and MDG flyers he used to read out loud to me, before I gave up even the pretense of paying attention.

Did I mention it was shiny?

So I figured, since we have this fancy-ass new computer, and since I'd spent a couple of hours one afternoon over the Christmas holidays rooting through our CD collection to transfer some of my favourite songs to my MP3 player (finally!), I'd set myself up on the kitchen table with the shiny laptop and do it during Simon's nap.

Really, I should be a Luddite. Three hours later, and I still couldn't get it to work. The actual ripping of CDs went pretty well, but the first time I uploaded (downloaded?) the files to my MP3 player, only four of the 22 songs in my playlist went over. So I deleted them and started over.

Then I realized I had entered the track name in the album name spot, so I went through and moved the track title to the right spot for all the songs, and tried again. And this time while it loaded all the songs, it put them alphabetically instead of in the way I had arranged (and rearranged, and rearranged yet again, for optimum listening enjoyment. I mean, you just can't leave Prince sitting there in between Freddie Mercury and The Tragically Hip. Pul-leaze. And David Bowie back to back with Barenaked Ladies? I don't think so.)

So I erased the MP3 drive thingee again and transferred each song over individually, in the correct order. And then when I tried to remove the MP3 player from the USB port (okay, so I know a bit of the lingo now), the laptop said no. Well, it actually gave me this message that I didn't really understand, but Beloved was emphatic that we don't remove the MP3 player from the laptop without the laptop's express permission. And by that point I was pretty much fed up negotiating with the laptop and left Beloved to have a conversation with the laptop about relinquishing the MP3 player that involved a lot of words I'm glad Tristan and Simon weren't around to hear and repeat during Catechism classes.

After Beloved and the laptop and I each had a little time out, we did in fact manage to liberate the MP3 player from the laptop, and when I clicked it on I was crushed to discover the songs were STILL in alphabetical order. It was at this point that I considered either opening the help file on the music master program thingee, or maybe reading the instruction book that came with the MP3 player, but it had already been close to two hours and I wasn't going to waste any more unnecessary time. So I started making shit up making educated guesses.

I tried a few more ways of sending music from the laptop to the MP3 player, one of them being seminole signals, and no matter what I did, the songs would show up in alphabetical order. So I finally figured, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, and I renamed every track numerically in the order they were supposed to play. I mean, they're my damn songs, I don't need to see the track name (which, by this point, I had labouriously entered into the laptop no fewer than three times) in the little window on the MP3 player. So I renamed numbered all the tracks, transferred them all over to the MP3 player again, managed to convince the laptop to let go of the MP3 player, and Voilà! - random numbered tracks in neither alphabetical nor numerical order. And that's just about the time I lost interest in the MP3 player and the laptop and their unholy union.

What, you were expecting a happy ending? I told you right off the start I couldn't get it to work. And you wonder why it took me seven months just to try to load a few songs on there. It was fear, pure and simple. Fear of failure.

I have to admit, though, the laptop kissed and made up with me when it invited me into the wonderous world of wireless Internet. Who knew blogging in the bathroom could be so much fun? Wireless ROCKS!