about the universe forum commander Shop Now Commanders Circle
Product List FAQs home Links Contact Us

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What Causes the Deaths of Some Computers

This is Steven Petrick posting.

There is, somewhere on my computer's keyboard, a key that when I hit it, whatever I was currently typing on line is immediately and completely deleted (this key is always, always, always hit by accident when I am reaching across the keyboard for something and accidentally touch it).

There is no key or combination of keys that I can press (like "Command Z") that will undo this.

I do not know what this key is, or what the circumstance are that cause it to happen, but it has happened several times over the years. It happened today, for example. Suddenly, a certain amount of time in life is erased, lost, gone forever.

If this happens when I am trying to post some of my (admittedly feeble) attempts at humor or trying to keep things light, I can generally shrug and get on with life. It was not that important, after all, in the greater scheme of things.

When it happens when I am doing real work, i.e., answering a rules question, reviewing a ship, checking on a scenario submission, the result is, sad to say, rage to the level of barely restrained violence. All the time I have spent pulling reference books down, back checking rules and confirming rule numbers, making sure the ship has the right number of boxes for what I am saying, making sure the date reference is correct, any of a number of variables, is lost. I have to go back and do all of the work all over again, and will be fretting that something I covered before is now forgotten and not adequately covered the second time.

I have never, as a result, smashed a computer (probably mostly because the computers are "company property" rather than my own personal property). The temptation is, however, there and very, very, VERY strong and real.

I can only assume that some computers out there have "died" as a result of such incidents. And to all those who committed the crime of computercide, I can only say "You were provoked and no court in the land would convict you. No jury would regard your actions as anything but justifiable."

On the other hand . . . maybe this is why Skynet felt it had to protect itself?