• author
    • Donald Sanders

    • June 4, 2014 in Columnists

    My computer loves me

    I love my computer. I think it loves me too. There are a lot of reasons for so much love between us, more than I can count, so I’ll just stick with the more juicy reasons. My computer excites me. It can take me to places where I never imagined I would go. I’m convinced that my computer can do anything.

    The first time I met my computer was in 1971 at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. I had heard about her from others who thought she was wonderful and amazing. They said she was a thing of the future and that I should pay a lot of attention to her. Little did they know.

    When I first laid eyes upon her, she was huge. It took a whole building just to house her. She was noisy, too. To ask her a question, I had to fill out a little cardboard card and then punch holes in the corresponding boxes. It was all very civilized. Next, I inserted the card into a little slot and off it went.

    “Clack-a-die-clack, clack-a-die clack,” she said, as my question went round and round for what seemed an eternity, and then nothing.

    My instructor thought she was broken. So did I.

    “This has never happened before,” he said as he threw switches and breakers.

    He dismissed the class. I figured a card got stuck in the works and didn’t think about it until I got a phone call from the instructor telling me that the computer came back on all by itself and spit out my card.

    When I asked what the card said, he replied, “More then you know!” Of course his next question was, “What did you ask it?” I thought for a moment and said, “Hell, I don’t know. I think I asked, ‘Do you love me?’” The instructor thought that was odd, to say the least. I thought it was a little odd, too.

    It wasn’t too long after that I quit going to classes. I found myself – well, I don’t know where I found myself. I think everything went to crap because just a few weeks back, I had been in Vietnam. I was finding it hard to talk about math, English and political science. As a matter of fact, I was having trouble talking at all.

    So, there I was, smack in the middle of about 5,000 students and there was not one of them I could talk to. My roommate at the dorm seemed to understand, or at least he acted like he did. I found it hard to make new friends when my old friends were still in harm’s way. I had just left Vietnam and now all I wanted was to get back there.

    If the truth was known, I never wanted to leave Vietnam in the first place. I found myself physically standing in the center of the campus, but my head was still in Vietnam. I didn’t know what to do. Everything was so hard for me and that’s not the way the college experience is supposed to be. A day or two later, I dropped out of school, left campus and never returned.

    OK, fast forward 10 or 15 years or maybe a little more. I don’t remember the ’70s and ’80s. I can recall some of the ’90s, but that’s because I fell in love with a girl named Therese and she kept me pretty close to the real world. Still, I found myself simply walking through life instead of living it. I still find this is case today.

    Eventually, I found myself sitting in front of a computer. My wife had set everything up for another user named “Donald.” After I figured out how to turn it on, “Hello Donald” appeared on the monitor. I was taken aback! How could this computer remember me after all of these years? OMG!

    Now, I’m at the point where, “These are the voyages of Donald, his continuing mission is to explore a strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.” I know I sound a little like a Trekkie, but that’s the way I feel about it.

    My computer and I have become as one. If I’m not with the computer, I am thinking about her. I love her and she loves me. Of course, at times I get angry with her and she gets angry with me. Sometimes she will just freeze and I can’t get her to do anything, but she gets over that quickly and comes back to life.

    She makes me feel as if I can do anything with her. For example: if I should turn off the computer –  everthng is a hole lot diferent then what I say wen – the computer is on, a whole lot different.

    I love my computer!

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