Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Technologic Tourette's

My computer is on the fritz. It's almost like an evil spirit took up resident in the laptop. The trackpad/mouse cursor now jumps around erratically, even when I'm not touching it. It leaps about the screen, jitters up and down, and clicks incessantly. Using the trackpad is now virtually useless. Even an external mouse only helps for a brief time: eventually, it returns to rapid-fire clicking. I can't navigate the cursor across the screen without accidentally opening five windows, six websites, and two programs.

Troubleshooting on the internet has produced mixed news. The good news: this behavior has happened before. The sensitivity of the trackpad for Mac is both a blessing and a curse. Do something to alter the capacitance (e.g. sweating, humidity, etc.) and you can expect to see bizarre results. It may also be caused by the battery. Numerous people have reported a “bloated battery” as the root of the problem, pressing against the underside of the trackpad to generate a flood of signals that confuses the OS. In other words, it *should* be fixable.

The bad news: it's likely a hardware problem, which means it needs to be inspected by a team of Mac experts in their underground lair. Last I checked, there are no Mac stores in the immediate vicinity of Anam state. Translation: my laptop is more or less disabled for the remainder of the internship.

Such incapacitation is problematic for two reasons: one work related and one non-work related. For work, they technically have desktop computers that are available for use. However, none of them have internet connection, which doesn't fit well with my need for online research re: sustainable design. Additionally, the computers do not have all my existing research and supporting documents. These files can be migrated easily enough (assuming I can tame the trackpad enough to pull off the operation), but it is frustrating and time-consuming.

For non-work, I brought my computer to do DJ prep-work for ECBF. This is my biggest break as a professional DJ, where I will be spinning alongside heavy-hitters Steven, Tina, Jonathan, and Julie. Right now, I feel woefully unprepared for the event. My music library needs a thorough review and categorization. Hopes to acquire new music were already dashed by the abysmally slow internet connection, but at least (I thought) I could work with my existing store of music and gain a better handle on it. Guess that's out the window now, too. My decision to bring my laptop on this trip was almost entirely motivated by the desire to continue preparing for ECBF, so this development is particularly upsetting.

Those are the logical reasons for being frustrated over this hardware malfunction. There is also the emotional component of witnessing the onset of computer Tourette's in a $2,250 piece of equipment that you love and rely upon for a tremendous range of functions. It's hard to not feel overwhelmed. It's even harder to accept that I can't do anything to fix the problem for the next three months.

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