Computer psychotherapy

In the land of computers, there are few things more destructive or annoying than having to completely wipe a hard drive clean and then reinstalling every piece of software on it. Which, of course, is exactly what Jeff and I did to my computer on Sunday.

I've been having problems with my computer lately.

It's not unlike going to a psychotherapist; it's a serious measure and isn't to be taken lightly. One wouldn't go to a computer psychotherapist and say, "Once a week or so, things just aren't right—I'll open a program and it'll just bomb on me," then dab at your eyes with a pocket hankie.

Dr. Wipe-And-Reinstall generally hears complaints like this: "My computer freezes at least once a day for reasons unknown. It hates these particular programs. When I have Outlook open, I can't always open Mozilla. I have to reboot at least once a day—if the freeze doesn't get me first—because one of my programs has sprung a memory leak."

Thus I spent a careful set of hours on Sunday copying files over to Jeff's hard drive. Preferences. Cookies. Fonts. The 49 megs of archived designs, text files, and errata that make up my domesticat folder; the 15 megs of similar eccentricities that make up my geek-chick folder.

CDs to reinstall programs? Check. Registration keys to allow me to install those programs? Check.

With trepidation, I handed over my baby to Jeff and toddled off with a book. Several hours (and problems) later, everything was gone, and windows 98 was replaced with windows 2000.

The computer was a bit slower (but then again, most of the components are three years old) but everything seems to be running better now. Photoshop, especially, after Jeff ran the 6.0.1 patch that solved the speed problems I was having.

All seems calmer. Here's hoping I can get some design work done now that the silly machine doesn't feel compelled to restart itself at random times.

Silly machines. We geeks depend on them so.

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