Computers Are Weird
Settling in at my carrel to continue work, I was confronted with the laptop refusing to finish booting. The hard drive was very active, but I had no clue what it was up to. Ctrl-Alt-Del had no effect. Neither, it seemed, did hitting the off switch. I had never heard of such a thing--manually shutting off a computer is always supposed to work, isn't it? After ten or fifteen minutes of this, I opted to unplug the laptop and let it run down the battery. After about an hour, during which I leafed through several library books and decided they could be returned, the laptop shut down in a very slow version of the normal shutdown.
I let it sit for another ten minutes or so, then plugged it in and started it up. Since all of this just seemed strange beyond words, I decided to do a full antivirus scan.
This kept the laptop busy until 6:00. I was astonished to see that the screen looked perfectly normal the whole time, and wanted to know why it had to be all dim and blurry when I was working but vibrantly clear while the antivirus program was running and I was reading library books and editing on paper.
No viruses were detected.
The screen has been beautiful ever since (although it might, of course, die as soon as I write this). I thought we had a hardware problem here, not a software issue. Are we simply dealing with some sort of divine joke?
Ah well, I will continue to work until 3:00, when we have a gamelan rehearsal in preparation for tonight's concert in the neighboring metropolis of Greensburg. With luck, I will not be the embarrassment of the ensemble.