Monday, July 18, 2005

The Land of Errors Revisited

To be quite honest, I'm not terribly motivated for computering this week. So this post will be short.

Now perhaps some of you might have thought that I was exaggerating in my previous post about living in the land of computer errors. I wish I was. As the story of my still rather new dual processor G5 Mac turns out, the TIger OS was corrupted - corrupted by causes unknown. So I spent the whole past week erasing/reformatting the drive, then slowly, one by one, reinstalling all my programs and migrating back all those gigs of files that I had backed up to DVD. Then came reconfiguring all the settings in those programs in order to recreate the environment that is my "home." And that's what it's like when you have to erase and reconstruct your system - like your home burning down and having to be rebuilt.

I did learn one important lesson, far more important than things like why we should repair permissions. Our trepidations about the machine going awry really boils down to two fundamental anxieties: separation anxiety (being disconnected from online living).... and.... anxiety about loss (losing files, perhaps permanently).

Actually, those two really boil down to one, because anxiety about separation is anxiety about losing the connection to others.

So there you have it. It's all about loss. Cultivate a healthy Buddhist attitude about how all things must pass, and you'll never get anxious about your computer again. I can imagine a modern Zen master instructing us on how every program and every file on your machine is a little piece of your identity that you don't have to cling to. Just let go.

As for me, I've got several gigs of images to migrate.

Perhaps in my next post I'll say a little about phone calls to tech support. I learned a lot about that this week also.


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