The Loh Life

A date with Babul

Sandra Tsing Loh has deeply satisfying computer tech experience.

Perhaps it’s a measure of how boring I’ve BECOME in midlife-- But I MUST tell you about a recent EXCITING thing that happened--in my own home! Fabio did not come OVER in a utilikilt, no-- I DIDN’T order a personal massage-- But what I DID have was the most luscious, languorous, and deeply SATISFYING computer TECH support experience EVER.

I’ve owned PC’s for 30 years, and all I can TELL you is for a long time they stayed the same, grunting along on the two disk drives, then they actually started improving, when they came in a tower, then all at once in the late ‘90s they became amazing, what with the aquarium screensavers—oh the vibrant colors of those fish!--then they plateaued, and now, with Windows 7—or whatever came on my LATEST laptop—they are beginning to ever so slowly REGRESS. It’s a very Flowers For Algernon type story.

Of course, I should talk, as my own PERSONAL skill set has MIRRORED this bell curve. Over the years, I have gotten more and more dependent ON my computer to do low-level tasks I used to easily manage MYSELF, from paying my monthly CABLE bill to keeping in touch with FRIENDS.

Now the FORMER activity has disappeared into the Byzantine snarl of QUICKEN, whose various PASSWORDS I can never REMEMBER no matter how basic I make them—from 111 or 222 or Sandra or sandragirl or simply yobuddyitsquicken--? Nothing.

Meanwhile, my SOCIAL life has dwindled into the dogged SLAVE work of de-friending, one at a time, each of the 300 MYSTERIOUS people I’ve blithely friended on Facebook. Why did I friend them in the first place? Because it feels GOOD to have friends, even if I don’t actually KNOW them. But these people keep posting and RE-posting the same STORY on the Susan G. Komen Foundation. That’s why I have a newspaper.

Don’t need to read it here 100 times. I am considering hiring an INTERN at 12 dollars an hour to do nothing but MANAGE my facebook NEWS feed, deleting all of the Susan G. Komen updates, so I can get down to my TRUE Facebook purpose, which is snooping on all of the children. A brave new digital world? I think not.

As much as I complain, however, I DO think that PC’s can provide some real VALUE, and that is of being able to. . . print a DOCUMENT.

Or at least, they USED to be able to do that. I recall a time when you could go to Staples, buy a laptop WITH Windows, AND a Windows-compatible HP printer and, after no more than a week of bitter STRUGGLE, two weeks tops?

You would be able to reproduce some text on a piece of paper. Sadly, this is no longer the case. You now have to call India! I do, next week.


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