Tuesday, October 28, 2008

RIP Frumious Bandersnatch - Almost

The Frumious Bandersnatch died on Saturday.

For those of you who need a refresher course in Carriespeak, I'm referring to my computer. All of my computers have been named The Frumious Bandersnatch. I know, how creative of me. Anyway, the third in a long (if three is long) and distinguished line of Frumious Bandersnatches totally croaked. I sound very calm about this now, but at the time I had an intense urge to kick the CPU up and down the street whilst repeatedly screaming: "Eff you, you effing effer!"

We had a neighbor who used to stand outside his apartment and scream this very sentence, or the nonsanitized version thereof, to the construction guys who worked outside one summer. We called him Mullet Man. Because, well, he had a mullet. And he was obviously a superhero in disguise whose mission was to save the world from early morning construction. I particularly loved when he would scream his motto while I was on conference calls for work.

So I took the Frum III to Best Buy, hoping against hope that they wouldn't have to send him away for new parts, because then I'd have to call him the Frumious Frankensnatch, and that sounds vaguely pervy to me. I'm not sure I could say it without giggling. And the Geek Squad guy hooked him up. Turned him on.

And he worked just fine.

He very carefully did not laugh in my face, although clearly he wanted to. And of course I felt like a complete idiot. I wanted to say, "You know, I used to teach a college level computer class when I was a grad student, and yeah it was software instead of hardware, but I'm not a complete idiot. I tried everything I was supposed to. I unplugged it, and let it cool down, and tried safe mode and everything. I even sacrificed some bread to Ramrod. So quit not laughing at me like I'm an idiot."

But I didn't say that. I took the Frum home and hooked him back up. He's fine now, the bastard. If he wanted to go for a ride, he should have just said so.

All of this makes me think about this guy I once saw who gave a speech about quality control. And he opened up by saying that there was one industry that has a really poor history of quality control and reliability of products, and if other industries followed their lead, five people would be buried alive in the US each year, three planes would suddenly stop working and fall from the sky, and so on. (I'm making up the numbers since I can't remember them exactly, but the gist is still the same.) I tried to find him, but for some reason searching Google for "hilarious speaker who talks about computer quality control and people being buried alive" got me pages about Obama and t-shirts about hookers. Those would be separate pages, BTW.


Keri Mikulski said...

Don't you hate when that happens?? :) Glad to hear the Frumious Bandersnatch is back on.

Vikki said...

Now, that is shifty behavior. I do believe Frumious Bandersnatch is plotting to take over your brain and drive you completely INSANE!!!!

But I feel your pain...my computer (I have not given it a proper name yet, aside from "piece of poo") likes to crash every 3.6 seconds. I vow to run it over with my car and stick the remains in the blender when I can finally afford a new one.

Rachel Hawkins said...

Ha ha at your Mullet Man! We used to hear all sorts of interesting, profanity-laden "conversations" at our old apartment, including a particularly delightful domestic dispute that went like this:
"What you grabbin' on me for?"
"Answer my f&%#ing question!"
And then repeated about a bazillion times. At 3 AM. I'm totally using it in a book. You should do the same with MM!

Jamie Eyberg said...

I have a friend who works on my computers and government computers as well (I love my military contacts) When we can't get something to work right, we save what we can and shoot the rest.

PJ Hoover said...

Computers are crazy. We just can never let them get the best of us.

TerriRainer said...

Mullet Man needs to meet my neighbor, Butterbean Junior.

:) Terri

Michelle D. Argyle said...

I just about murdered my Frumious Bandersnatch when the hard drive bit the dust. Because even though the hard drive had issues, the rest of the computer was fine.

It just did psycho things all the time.

I sent out for a new hard drive, and I'm murder-free.

Angela said...

Oh! Well at least you - whatever his name is - is better!!!

Cate Gardner said...

Agh! I think sometimes computers want to make us look stupid.

When I got my new computer (it has no name - no wonder it hates me) last year, I tried every way possible to load my novels (saved on CDRs) into the document file and all I got for my money was something along the lines of 'there is no data on this disk' or the 'data is unreadable', blah-blah-blah. So I wail to my IT genius brother who pops the disk into the appropriate slot.

"I did that," I wail. "It won't work."

And up pops all the information on the disk. Grrr Argh!

K.C. Shaw said...

Lol! I'm glad the computer's working all right, at least. Do you call it Froomy for short?

My laptop's named Bunny, but I never name my desktop computers. Well, "that rotten piece of junk" isn't really a name.

Carrie Harris said...

Keri: God yes. I hate feeling like an idiot, and I REALLY felt like an idiot.

Vivi: It's a plot, I'm sure. And probably your Pooputer is in on it too.

Rachel: I think we may have had the same neighbors. The guy didn't stand around in his wife beater with a beer in his hand at 6 AM, did he?

Jamie: See, all my computer expert friends give me "advice" which is great except that I don't understand it.

PJ: No kidding. Mmm... postapocalyptic book about world run by computers...

Terri: I'll bite. I wanna hear about the Bean Guy.

Glamis: I hope you didn't lose any important info!!!

Angela: The name is a reference to Jabberwocky. FABULOUS poem. :)

Cate: Yep. It's all a part of that plan to take over the world, I think.

Carrie Harris said...

Ack! Cross-posted with KC!

Usually it's just The Frum, because that sounds kewl. Froomy sounds like a combo of foamy and roomy, which doesn't describe my computer at all. ;)

Fox Lee said...

My computers name is Vincent Price ; )

Adrienne said...

I think it was the sacrificial toast that did the trick.

Tiny T said...

Hmm.. You should have sacrificed a Pop tart. I bet that would have solved everything and you would not have had to take it to Best Buy.

Unfortunately I don't understand my computer genius friends either. They start talking gibberish and I tune them out. I just hand them the computer and say, "Whatever it was that you just said. Do that." :)

Elizabeth said...

He's playing you. I'd keep an eye on that frumBansnatchstinking effer.

Kelly Polark said...

I think it was a cruel Halloween prank...or FrumB was hoping you would take him trick or treating!

Mary said...

Hmmm, it seems Frum 111 wished to assert its authority.

I am convinced there comes a time in the life of all computers when they are in charge of US.

Mary said...

Apologies, that should be Frum III. :)

Carrie Harris said...

Natalie: PERFECT name. One of my favorite episodes of the Muppets is the one with Vincent Price. ;)

adrienne: I'm coming to the conclusion that sacrificial toast fixes everything.

Tiny T: You know, people keep mentioning Pop Tarts, and I still haven't tried it. My bad.

Elizabeth: I'm sorry. I can't comment coherently; I'm giggling too hard.

Kelly: The only way I'd take him trick or treating is if he dressed up as Gangsta Yoda.

Mary: Actually, Frum 111 sounds like a band, doesn't it? ;)

Rena Jones said...

Oh man, I feel your pain. Having had our main PC croak recently, I know how NOT FUN this can be. Glad to hear yours is working again. Sadly, we lost some scanned images with ours -- pictures that my sister loaned me from old family photo albums that I scanned. Now she lives too far away for me to redo them.

Hopefully, Frumious Bandersnatch will stick with you for awhile longer!

Brenda said...

Frumious Bandersnatch was just taking a little breather before you wear him out with NaNo...The pressure of it all just scared him...give him back rub and let him know you still luv him...grin...

K. M. Walton said...

Being married to a "computer guy" take it from me...you better back your stuff up. If the F.B. decides to permanantly leave this world, he'll be taking all of your jazz with it. The bugger.

Carrie Harris said...

rena: Awww... losing pictures is the worst. It's right up there with losing manuscripts, which makes my heart go pitter pat. And not in a good way.

Brenda: But I'm not doing NaNo. Oh! It's a plot by my computer to make me do it! It all makes sense now!!!

KM: There you go, being a good influence on me. ;)

sruble said...

"And the Geek Squad guy hooked him up. Turned him on. And he worked just fine."

My last computer totally did that to me. However, after we got back home ... there's a reason it's my old computer.

Hope that FB keeps working for you!

I've never named my computers. I've named my car (although current car is DH's, so no name) and I've named pets and characters and various other things, but never my computer. I even named our wireless connection spork (the neighbors must really wonder whose connection that is). Oh, and Brenda got me to name my Crock Pot (Betty Crock-er).

Must go ponder computer names (there's the one I use for the internet, and the one I use to be creative).