The Last Byte

My nine year old laptop has given up the ghost.
It owes me nothing.
After learning that most laptops last four to five years at best, I am grateful to have had nearly a decade of service.
It did fire a warning shot across the bow.
It was dumping me out of websites with a “Kernel Data Input Error” message popping up on the screen.
I took it into the computer repairman.
He could not find what was wrong with it.
An undiagnosable problem.
He did back up everything onto an external hard drive.
A few weeks after that, I could not turn it on.
The message “Scanning Driver C for Errors” popped up.
And that was that.
The computer repairman said it was unsalvageable.
Once the drivers go, that is pretty much that.
I mourn its loss.
On that screen, I watched my brother take his final breaths via Zoom after his ventilator was removed.
On that screen, I video chatted with my mother via Skype at her long term care facility during the pandemic lockdown.
I worked at real estate on that laptop.
Sent emails.
Googled interesting websites.
Studied. Learned. Researched. Was entertained.
But it owes me nothing.
Nine good years.
And a couple of Windows updates later.
I understand that drivers just die.
Unable to carry out the tasks that are asked of them anymore.
Such is the price of technology.
I am so grateful everything meaningful was backed up.
Including an obscure Sound Recording file onto which I had recorded all of my brother’s last voicemail messages to me.
The computer repairman had managed to find that file, where it was hidden, and backed it up onto a flashdrive, and the external hard drive.
All of my desktop files, my brother’s estate information, my dad’s estate information, all of those things, thankfully backed up.
All of the historic websites that I liked to visit however were lost.
Perhaps that is okay.
There were a lot that I had saved onto my favourites list.
Too many.
And a lot of programs and apps that I never even used anymore.
They had become outdated. Redundant.
I am thankful that I randomly purchased a refurbished laptop computer just weeks before.
For no apparent reason other than one can never have too many laptops.
And it has come in handy.
A cute little HP ProBook 6360 with a locking lid.
It even has a built in DVD player. And a non-glare screen. And Windows 10.
So far, so good.
Meanwhile my ol’ Acer, may it rest in peace, awaits its fate, silently sitting in an old laptop briefcase.
Awaiting to cross over the Rainbow Bridge to where old computers go to die.


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