Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Spinning Beachball of Death

I was first introduced to computers many years ago, when I discovered a small company in the mid-cities that manufactured the machines. I had no idea how to use one--still don't fully understand everything they do--but I bought one. That was when I was in solo private practice of medicine, so purchases were up to me, rather than having to "go through the system." I carried the box into my office and my assistant at the time says I dumped it on her desk and said, "Learn how to use this." I don't know if it went exactly that way, but the computer did become indispensable to me as time went on.

In retirement, when I've exchanged one profession for another, I've come to depend on my laptop as I write. I also use it for email. Other than those functions, plus sometimes checking out news stories or doing research, that little box on my desk remains terra incognito for me. But I do recognize what some people have called "the spinning beachball of death," the little emoticon that pops up when an app is somehow delayed. And I've begun to notice it occasionally.

As time has gone on, and I've gotten used to faster and faster responses from my computer, I dread the day when I need to replace my faithful laptop, which I purchased some years back. When I bought it, I got one with a memory amount that was high enough that I figured I'd never run out. Now I see that I'm using a large proportion of that memory I thought was enough. Times change (but I'm not thrilled about it).

I'm not asking for tips on what to do. I'm well aware of all of them. Rather, I'd like to know if you've become dependent on your computer, as have I. What is your reaction to seeing that "spinning beachball of death?" Dread? A sense of impending doom? Or another day at the office? Let me know.


Betti said...
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Betti said...

As one who reads, reviews and promotes for a number of authors as well as some publishers, this is an experience I hope to never repeat. I use an iPad and the one I had was about 6 years old with very minimal memory. I was constantly juggling to read the books on time, but unable to store them if they came early. One day the screen went black - it was done serving me! Now I have a new one with lots of memory and hope I won’t have that experience again.

Priscilla Bettis said...

I'm totally dependent on my laptop. My WIP's are on there. I email. I research. I keep up with fun blogs like this one.:-) So when the beach ball starts . . . you know what? it oughtta be a tipping tombstone or something . . . when the beach ball starts sticking around, I feel dread.

Richard Mabry said...

Still occasionally get that spinning beach ball, but yesterday our Internet decided to go down for no apparent reason. Then it came back in a few hours, again for no good reason. Isn't it amazing how dependent we've become on our computers?

Patricia Bradley said...

For the past three days, I have been where internet is not available unless I went outside and pointed my phone toward a clearing, so this is a timely post. lol Since I've been home I've had to deal with over 300 emails, but at least I was able to use my computer to write. So, yes, I totally depend on my computer. My first short story was written on a Hermes portable typewriter. If that's all I had, I'm not sure I'd still be writing. :-)