Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who gives a toss?

Cate was driving along the Motorway in Delhi and she passed and Elephant in her Mercedes. What an Elephant was doing in her Mercedes we will never know. (I stole that joke from Groucho Marx).

I would like you to imagine if you will two small adjoining rooms in Vienna’s 9th District. In one of the rooms there is a large brown dog of indeterminate breed. In the room is also a piano. There are various pieces of furniture.

At various stages during the life of this room people have arrived with computers and have placed them on the piano and on the pieces of furniture. Laptops have arrived at a rate that has utilized all the space - so laptops have been placed upon laptops have been placed upon laptops. The dog does not have any laptops on top of him – but he is lying on one.

At various times during their tenure in this room some of the laptops have been dismembered – either partially or wholly – and their innards have been exposed to the dust and other elements which inhabit the premises. Mainly dust, dog hair and – I imagine – tiny furry creatures.

If you step over the jumble of computers and parts to look into the second room you will see that it is almost exactly the same as the first - except that computers are hooked up to electronic devices.

This is not in fact a computer graveyard. It is the surgery of the Computer Doktor. This is where I took one of my laptops to be repaired.

When I had first seen his premises I had imagined that it had been subjected to one of Vienna’s very few terrorist attacks and that Al Qaeda had burst into Herr Doktor’s place with guns blazing and blown it apart with fragmentation grenades.

I was about to commiserate with him him but realized that no - it is simply a housekeeping issue. He does not have a Mrs. Moneypenny – or indeed any system at  all for organizing the many thousands of computers that are piled all over the place. He may not be aware that shelves can be bought at Bauhaus for a modest sum.

I entrusted one of my laptops to the Computer Doktor last December. That is correct. Last December. I have faith in the Computer Doktor. I have visited him five times now and each time he offers me encouraging and soothing – even hypnotic - words.

We have come to know each other quite well – indeed much better than I had hoped would be the case when I first met him.

Mine was quite a simple problem – or so I thought. I wanted a hard disk formatted and Windows reloaded. I had tried to do this myself but there were technical issues which prevented me from getting it quite right.

But – you know – Christmas intruded on Herr Doktor then there was the holidays and the snow and his impacted Wisdom Tooth and the dog got sick and it was just one damn thing after another.

When I called him on Monday he said yes it would be ready on Thursday. No – do not telephone just come it will be ready. So when I arrived he told me he had a big problem because he did not have an English copy of Windows Vista to load on the PC.

Ah - I said - but that is why I gave you original English Windows Vista disk in the plastic box when I left the PC. But where is that he asked. Well - I can see if from here I said. If only I had your number - he said - I could have called you. Well it is on my card in the plastic box - I said.

He swears that he will finish the job today but we shall see. Any other person would have become agitated but he is such a pleasant man and what with my Care-O-Meter in its current state who gives a toss?


  1. Time to bow down to the Apple overlords.

  2. Well almost everything I have is Apple - even my desktop PC is an iMac - I just hang on the the old banger Windows laptops for sentimental reasons.

  3. :-) I admire your attitude. I'm afraid if it was me in this predicament there would be, by this time, tears involved.


  4. But don't you have an adequate alternative computing facility, Badger?
    Apparently recent research has shown that elephants can cooperate.

  5. Pearl and Maalie: I can be relaxed because I have another laptop.