Today on Car Dwellers…

CarDweller fixes a computer.

Well, technically, it’s an external hard drive. The problem is that the USB cord keeps wobbling around in the slot, so it gets disconnected while writing things. This causes errors. This doesn’t cause instant problems, so we keep using it, and the errors accumulate. Eventually, we plug it in, it chugs for about five or ten minutes, and then it informs us that we have to reformat it.

We absolutely cannot reformat. We have too much data on this. The formatting process would wipe everything. Supposedly there’s way to get your back afterward, but I hope you’ll forgive me for not putting in faith in that.

Here’s what we’re doing instead. I plug in the hard drive. It chugs. It keeps chugging. It finishes chugging. It waits another five minutes. It finally gives me the “you need to format the disk” popup. I do not click the popup.

Instead, I right-click my Windows Start button and hit Command Prompt (Admin). Type “chkdsk [INSERT DRIVE LETTER HERE]:/f”. Then I just sit back and wait for fucking Check Disk to do its slow as fuck thing. Seems to be working, though.

And it is…

Not working. Lovely. Time to try something else.

I actually enjoy this kind of thing, though I always hated when family called on me to fix problems. It was an imposition, and not one they appreciated. But now, I can just enjoy the problem solving aspect. Fixing a hard drive is an interesting puzzle for me, and Kate appreciates and respects the time investment when she asks for help. Plus, she doesn’t ask for things she could do herself with a minimum of familiarity.

I think that was my biggest problem with my family, actually. With Kate’s family, too. They asked for help because they didn’t want to bother learning a new skill. It wasn’t lack of ability. It was unwillingness to stretch their minds a little.

If I need help with something I don’t know how to do, sure, I’ll ask someone who does. But if I need help with something I’m going to be using every day for the rest of my life? I’m damn well going to learn to do it on my own. I’m not going to bug that person every day for the rest of their life just so I don’t have to think too hard.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m being overly judgmental here. I mean, I definitely understand extenuating circumstances. My grandmother probably couldn’t learn. She was already in the early, barely noticeable stages of dementia when they bought their first internet capable computer. But my grandfather is just as sharp as he was 30 years ago. He wants to use the internet, but he doesn’t want to invest the time to learn how to do it on his own, and that’s the part that bugs me.


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