Ostomy Memories of an Unresponsive Computer

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WEDNESDAY MORNING I INTENDED to enter my post at my usual early morning time, only to discover that my computer appeared to have silently died in its sleep during the preceding night. All that came on the screen when I turned it on was a bunch of monochromatic vertical lines. Nothing I could think to do would change that. So I took the damn thing to a local computer repair place. I had to leave it for a day. After I got over the aggravation of the catastrophe, I realized that it was maybe a blessing in disguise. I got a lot of reading done Wednesday, finishing a novel that I’d been poking through spasmodically for a number of days (BURR by Gore Vidal – very good book). I didn’t waste a bunch of time surfing news sites or playing Scrabble online. Thursday the computer place called to tell me there was nothing wrong with my computer and there would be no charge. WHAT? I’ve heard this before because this is not the first time I’ve had an inexplicable computer experience; “it was a glitch.” My dictionary defines “glitch” as a sudden, usually temporary malfunction or irregularity of equipment. It is a favorite euphemism of I. T. techs who otherwise have no earthly idea what caused the problem. I was grateful that they were honest enough not to make it out to be something in particular and charge me for it. But, in the aftermath of all this, the feeling that I came away with was similar to the one I’ve had in the past at the hands of mechanics, appliance repairmen, medical workers, and assorted others who possess a technical knowledge that I lack and can, if they are so inclined, maul my wallet. One is held captive by one’s own helplessness. In today’s post-truth society, it seems extraordinary to happen upon a relatively straight-up encounter.

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Hi Henry a few years back i had a dell desk top pc that would lock up or freeze on a page and no amount of waiting seemed to help, so i would do a hard shut down by unplugging it, i know i,m not supposed to do that but it worked for me.

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A Dell laptop is what I have and that has happened to me too, and the same maneuver you describe is what I did.  Stay well, Ron.


Hello HenryM. 

I too have a Dell, but mine is a desktop computer. About a year ago it would not start, although it did have the Dell logo showing. I unplugged it and when it was plugged back in again it worked fine. The only problem is that I now need to do this as a routine performance every morning. It's just one of those many annoying things about computers that we seem to be lumbered with in the 21st century. I am almost looking forward to the time when technology has advanced far enough for us to be able to do away with these things altogether. 

I often ponder on the thought of going back to pen and paper. However, thus far, the spelling and grammar checker still outweighs the inconveniences of the malfunctioning technology so I'll just have to grin and bear it. 

My wife does all her computer stuff on her phone but my fingers are too big for the keys so I invariably hit two or three at once and the auto-correct is so hopeless it's almost humorous. 

Best wishes



I have a HP lap top and have had it freeze up a few times. I have had to unplug and shut it down completely and then start it back up and it would be fine. I also have trouble with my phone it is so sensitive I have called people I did not mean to when I would go to swipe the screen to go to something else. Best wishes and stay safe,


Hi Henry

"in today's post -truth society"... I felt that!! Never heard it described that way, very clever and poignant and I'm stealing it!


Thank you...and you're welcome.  

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