Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Dude, Where Is My Run?

I have always been fascinated by the computer. But not so by it's rat. Primarily because easy and accurate though they claim the mouse as pointing device is, my experience has been quite the reverse.

For the first thing, the mouse I got with my first computer was not a very sleek one. It was also susceptible to the slightest of dust particle around, when it was impossible to imagine our room without any dust with the kind of environment Mumbai has. So not a day passed without it's endless squeaking and screeching. And many a times it would just do Scabbers, pretending to be dead so that we'd not disturb it anymore. I think because of the sheer fear that someday it would be used in a battle against a manticore, it went literally dead a couple of times, and we had to take it to a vet to cure it. And I was left with good old keyboard to interact with my machine.

It was 'same old wine in a new bottle' kind of story when I joined my first job. The machine I got in my Chennai workplace was nightmare for a programmer-who-is-handicapped-without-his/her-mouse. The mouse would just not respond in the morning when I tried to boot. A couple of restarts and a lot more disconnections/reconnections were some of the things his majesty would require to wake up. Luckily, because of previous experience with a houserat, I had quickly adjusted to work without an officerat too. This earned me a new nick from my team - 'Keyboard Wiz-Kid'.

I almost forgot why I started scribbling this. A couple of days back a support person arrived to my desk and announced that I needed to upgrade my Norton Antivirus as per the policy. Now if policy said so, nothing in the world could have stopped him from taking control over my mouse and start installing. But something did. Clicking on Start, he froze midway. I could not understand why he was staring at the screen for 5 seconds. "He must be recollecting the dump path", I explained to myself. Then he clicked and right clicked all the buttons he could see: All Programs, Control Panel, Accessories, Entertainment, SAP Logon Pad, Microsoft Games (?). After nearly half a minute, he resigned and asked "Where is Run?". "Oh my god!" I exclaimed to myself. In a state of hysteria to clean up my desktop and Start menu that took over me some months back, I had made all unused icons disappear. And now because I use Windows+R to invoke run, even that had to go. I pressed those keys and Run appeared. Cursing something in a Filch-like manner about administrative rights given to programmers, he proceeded to install.

If only like Run I could make him disappear!

signing off,

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