Why do computers hate me?

Take a journey in the mind of a confused, tired sophomore as he tries to fix his computer, to no avail.


This is a caption.

Oliver Hinson

It’s 2:43 in the morning. I’m tired.

There are so many things I have done in my life that I regret. This is certainly one of them. Let’s review how we got here.

I hate my computer, and lately, I’ve gotten the sense that the feeling is mutual. Yesterday, I awoke from my slumber at a *very healthy* 12:30 P.M., and immediately, I powered up my PC.  All of my homework was finished at this point, and this holiday was meant to be blissfully unproductive, so I chose to reward myself with a little bit of game time. For me, that means NBA 2K20 . Unfortunately, this was my first mistake of the day. It takes a lot of processing power to run an 80-gigabyte game, and my CPU, the AMD Fx 6300, is older than a few of my cousins. It was first released in late 2012, and before it called my mess of wires its home, it went through 4 other owners. The loud whirring I hear all day from this big black rectangle seems to be its own way of telling me that it’ll be on its way soon, like a sagacious old lady using her raspy voice to disclose the final terms of her will and testament. When I try to run 2K20, it’s like a blender trying to cut a watermelon into uniform slices. After harnessing the heat of the sun to get to the title screen and nearly giving me a 3rd-degree burn from touching the side of my case, everything on my screen freezes, and shortly afterward, like a movie theater after the previews are over, everything goes black. The computer shuts off, and my blank expression bounces off my monitor, coming straight back at me.

Now, I typically have the patience of a kindergarten teacher, but 5 crashes proved too much for me today. Something had to be done, and luckily, the lighthouse in my head flashed its incandescent bulb precisely when I needed it. I didn’t have the money or motivation to buy the processor that I desperately needed, but what I could do is try to relieve some of the heat problems my system was having. My best thinking told me that if I cleaned the parts of my case that let air in, I could increase the airflow to the CPU, which would curb the issue. I grabbed my best dust cloth and my biggest screwdriver, and I went to town, but this presented problem number 2 to me: my take-it-apart skills will always be better than my put-it-back-together skills. I quickly unscrewed the top panel of my case, and I even organized the different parts so I wouldn’t get them confused, but there was no stopping this disaster from happening. The train was already in motion, and it took about as much time to realize that I was in too deep as it did to call for the computer wizard who happens to be my brother. Like any IT guy, though, fixing my problem was not his highest priority. The reply of “do it yourself!” was about as predictable as a Pirates loss, and as I walked back to my room like Gregory Polanco walks back to the dugout after a strikeout, I weighed my options. I couldn’t just leave it; I had school in the morning. This was going to be a long night. 

At midnight, my progress was miniscule. The only thing I had figured out was where the fans plug in to the rest of the computer (these are apparently called “pin connectors”), but connecting those fans to the previously mentioned top panel of my case was a much larger challenge. For one thing, the discovery of two separate layers to the panel was very upsetting, and it was met with an appropriate amount of weeping. I had so many tiny screws in my hand, and no clue as to where any of them were supposed to go. My previous system of “let’s organize these screws so they don’t get mixed in with each other” had gone to the wind, and I had started to implement a new, albeit less effective system of “let’s hope it’s this one.” The floor welcomed my nearly lifeless body, and it was at this moment that I truly understood how Kevin Malone felt when he spilled that chili.

Nearly an hour and a half later, I was finished. I had put all those little screws in with surgical precision, and the fans were firmly connected to the panel. With a tremendous amount of gusto, I finally attached that godforsaken panel to my case, and my confidence was soaring. I had accomplished a basic task, but I was welling with pride. I didn’t need help from anyone, and the feeling of independence had taken me to a point higher than Everest’s peak. What fate hadn’t mentioned, though, is that this wasn’t a mountain. It was a roller coaster. 

I pressed the power button on my computer, expecting to hear that loud whirring I had grown to love. Instead, I was met with unresponsiveness, and the noises that my body emitted in that moment  were much louder than anything a computer could produce. I was seething with rage at my technological failure, and I stormed around my room like a miniature Godzilla. I nearly fled my house, as my scream was loud enough that it likely interrupted the sleep of several North Huntingdon police officers. I had lost. The computer had beaten me.

So that brings me back to the present. After cooling off for a little while (and apologizing to my family members), I have come to a clear-cut conclusion: computers are alive and they’re trying to kill us. It might not catch on with the general public right away, but computers have given me enough trouble that I’m no longer letting them off the hook.

For my own sake, though, let’s try to end this story on a good note. Computers may hate me, and it may be very late at night, but at least I got to share this story with the rest of you, and we can all wallow in misery together. Goodnight.