Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22nd, 2011 - Day 44 of 60

Nature is replete with examples of renewal, rebirth, evolution and adaptation.  Animals learn to use tools and adapt to environments that include encroaching civilization.  Viruses mutate to become more stubborn and resistant to our medicines.  That doesn't explain to me how the average computer user lives within a frozen space-time continuum (“Eddies,” said Ford, “in the space-time continuum.”
“Ah,” nodded Arthur, “is he? Is he?”) and shows little to no interest in leaving with the exception of updating hardware in order to play a new game that is all the rage.  In fact, I'll bet half the people I know who ask me for computer hardware advise are doing so just because they want to play a new game or browse the web faster.  And, really, who can blame them?  Why spend money on something if it isn't necessary?  But it is one thing to be frugal and another to be oblivious.  While some animals, life forms or undefinable objects may deal with things on their own, sometimes they need some help. If you drive a car and never think to change the oil, shame on you!  If you own a pet and never brush their hair, tisk, tisk!  As for me, I am, at this moment, trying to do my part by breathing life into hundreds and hundreds of computers.

Your computer needs attention like your car, your dog, your significant other or even your shoes.  Without regular attention, maintenance and TLC, things can fall apart.  While the work I am doing right now is mostly mindless zombie tasks, there are some issues that need considerable thought.  If you've ever played with a sliding puzzle (the sort that have numbers or letters or a picture that must be placed in a specific order) you'll know what it can be like with computers.  If you add an update to a machine, will it break something else?  Or, if you add an update, it works for most things, but breaks just one thing unless you update that thing first and THEN add the other update?  Sounds crazy, but that is how it goes, sometimes.  Dozens and dozens of applications on hundreds of machines.  Then dozens more applications on the network and then the network operating system, etc.  And, as anyone who owns a computer knows, years of use and abuse can take their toll.  You started off with a a fairly pristine setup and time does nothing but add crap, updates, temporary files and god-knows how many unwanted files and applications from years of web browsing. Then you have outdated software that just can't keep up with modern requirements.  Is it any wonder most people are frustrated with the computers?  I feel like I am in a constant wrestling match with machines.  Now, I don't blame the machines, per se.  The issue with most (not all) computers is the operator.  Or, as we tech guys are fond of saying when the owner of the computer is within earshhot, "We have a PEBMAC problem here."  PEBMAC = "Problem Exists Between Monitor And Chair". 

Is it really your responsibility to know all this computer jazz?  How much does one have to know to get by in this world?  Should I get a PhD. in Automotive Engineering to make sure I can fix my car?  Do I have to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America so I can fix a good meal?  Now you are saying I need to be a Computer Engineer just to Google "funny cat pictures"?  No.  Our modern culture has long since outsourced expertise on most occupations.  Long-gone are the days when someone was an expert on many or most things in their lives (think Erasmus or a farmer from one hundred or so years ago).  But, what I am saying is we all need to take some sort of responsibility for those things that directly influence our ability to function in the world.  While you may not need to know how to adjust the timing on your automobile's engine, you do need to know how to check the tire pressure, oil level, and how to operate it properly.  You may not be a Veterinarian and capable of diagnosing Feline Leukemia, but you should know how to feed and water your pet.  When it comes to your computer, you don't need to know all the intricacies of the operating system, but you should know how to update your software and how to safely browse the web without causing havoc.

When we get to the point where I am doing some of my drudgery-type tasks, it still can get a bit complex.  These things need to be done, thought, to ensure compliance, security and performance.  When I think of my Reboot, I can become a bit overwhelmed.  I, like many of you, have been interested in health and fitness for most of my life.  I have seriously pursued these since my late teens and redoubled my efforts in my twenties.  In all the years that have passed, various fads, theories and techniques have changed and schools of thought have come and gone.  I don't even want to think of some of the things I've done in the name of health.  While I may not have a PhD. in nutrition, an M.D. or even a correspondence school diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine, I do know that science can do many things well, but nature usually gives us what we need to maintain our health.  Regardless of fads and technology, we can do more to maintain our health and fitness by just eating food (real, wholesome food), exercising regularly, creating and maintaining good relationships and keeping a positive mental attitude.  I am not against technology (obviously), but I am against technology dehumanizing us.  I am also very much against using technology as a savior.  TV is not a babysitter, for example.  Computers can't write your term paper.  Cell phones can't take the place of human interaction.  All these devices are wonderful, but they can only do so much.  They make our lives convenient.  They should be freeing up our time so we can be more human.  They remove obstacles so we can do the things we do best: think, create, dream, inspire and love.

Your Reboot is not the end-all and be-all of your life.  Like a chainsaw, it is a tool that is useful when used in the proper context.  But, sometimes, when a guy buys a chainsaw, everything looks like potential firewood. You can't buy a computer, turn it on and then never do any maintenance and expect it to work flawlessly forever.  You can't buy a car, drive off the showroom and never expect issues if you do not perform maintenance.  You can't do a Reboot and expect it to fix all your health issues forever without ongoing and vigilant maintenance.  The Reboot is the purchase you make at the store.  It has a manual, so to speak.  The Reboot is the start of a new perspective.  You need to actively perform the maintenance required to keep your body and your life in good operating order.  Yes, that is a very tall order.  Yes, it can be confusing.  No one knows everything and we each are different.  We have different capabilities and different requirements.  In the end, just like with your car, your computer, your home and your pet, YOU are the first line of defense.  You are the primary caregiver.  You are the go-to-guy.  You have the responsibility to discern what is best for your life.  The Reboot is like your taste of religion: Your conversion is a momentary event followed by the daily practice of your faith for the rest of your life.  As I sit here, hours after I normally go home, waiting for endless processes to grind out on ancient hardware, the comparison between maintaining these machines and our bodies is too similar for words.  Unlike my PC, I can't upgrade my memory or my hard drive.  I need to be able to run today's software, as it were, on yesterdays hardware.  Our Reboot is the first step in our ongoing maintenance that allows us to do just that: stay current in our out-dated hardware. Sometimes I wish I could wipe my hard drive and start fresh.  This is especially true for anyone who has experienced the film "Gigli".  But that is for another post.

I am 70% through the 60 days.

Weight: 146.8 lbs.
At this point, I have no idea what the deal is.

Food: Grapes, cherries, banana, almond butter, nuts (too many), raw cacao goji seed chunks, broccoli slaw, three apples (they are so good when they are fresh)

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