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By Staff | Oct 9, 2009

After many long years together I had grown tired of her. It didn’t help that she had become recalcitrant and had begun to make weird noises when she woke up each morning.

She was also starting to have memory problems. We all experience such glitches as we age, but for some reason I found this issue especially irksome.

I’m a typical guy: I like to look. But my eye began to wander more than usual, particularly at the mall where I would steal lustful looks at the sleek young things hanging out there. They all seemed so “now” and so exotic and so – fast!

The irrevocable end came recently when she refused to do a simple little chore for me. She didn’t say it, but I could tell she was thinking, “Why should I file these stupid documents for you while you sit there and giggle like a baboon at those ‘Roadrunner And Coyote’ videos on You Tube?”

That did it. Some major changes had to happen. The most difficult part, obviously, would be telling my wife.

I decided to avoid a scene by delivering the news while dining at an upscale restaurant.

“I’ve been thinking,” I began as I poked at my Whopper with a French fry.

“About what?” asked my wife.

“I don’t know … this is difficult. It’s just that I want …” The look on her face was causing me to lose my nerve.

“Don’t tell me. You want a new one, don’t you?”

“Well … I, um… How did you know?”

“Wives have an intuition about these things. Besides, after being married almost 30 years I can pretty much read your mind. You just go ahead and do whatever you want. I’m not going to stand in your way.”

An that’s how, with my wife’s blessing, I came to own a new computer.

Don’t ask how old my old machine was because there’s no correct answer. It evolved over the years, with a new thingamajig here and an updated doohickey there. The only part that’s entirely original is the outside case.

My old computer was starting to frighten me. A huge part of my life resides on its hard drive, and that hard drive was beginning to make strange hammering noises. It sounded as if the tiny man inside it was angry about something and was furiously pounding on his tiny abacus.

It was exciting to unbox that new, high-octane machine fire it up for the first time. “Hold onto your butts!” I muttered as I mashed the power button.

The new computer rocketed to life and immediately began to download updates. And more updates. And then some more. I began to wonder if I had initiated a time-space vortex that was pulling in the entire Internet.

After it finally finished updating, I embarked upon the most critical phase of the operation: transplanting all my stuff from the old computer to the new.

I don’t pretend to understand how computers work. I just wish they were similar to a John Deere “A.” Then I would know how to fix things by tapping on the carburetor or fiddling with the magneto. Sadly, there are no such features on modern computers.

Having no knowledge or experience has never stopped me before, so I plowed ahead. Besides, how much time could it possibly take?

It took two full days to get everything transferred. Creating convenience can consume cosmic chunks of chronology.

Part of the problem is that I’m easily distracted. For instance, after transplanting several gigabytes of family photos, I spent several hours scrolling through old snapshots, lost in the labyrinthine loops of Memory Lane.

My old hard drive grunted mightily as it dumped files into a memory stick. I could almost hear Mr. Scott exclaim, “I’m givin’ her all she can take, Captain!”

Everything transferred perfectly, and I have only two issues with the new machine.

First is the keyboard. It works fine, but contains no toast crumbs or strawberry jam smudges. I will probably have to install those features myself.

The second problem is that the new computer won’t run First Choice, an ancient word processing program created by two guys named F. Flintstone and B. Rubble.

First Choice was my first word processing program, one I have used for many years. It seems I have no choice but to abandon First Choice and move onto a new word processor.

Which feels both unfamiliar and uncomfortable. But as my wife reminds me, I’m the one who wanted change. Touche!

My new computational device is indeed fast; it was like switching over from a Rambler to a Ferrari. Web pages now open instantly instead of taking that annoying two seconds.

At that rate it will take several years to recover the time lost while transplanting files. And by then it will probably be time for a new computer.

Nelson is a freelance writer from Volga, S.D. Reach him by e-mail at jjpcnels@itctel.com.

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