Monday, February 24, 2014

The Blue Screen of Death

My favorite saying from the 1990s always was "To err is human, to really screw up takes a computer".

Don't get me wrong, I love technology, and I really do use computers alot. At work, I'm on it 9-10 hours a day. I can do research with the best of them, and when anyone looks for a phone book or asks how to find something I am the first to say Google it!

In fact, my son was over on Saturday and mentioned wanting to know how to do something and I said "Google for the instruction manual". He said "Oh yeah! Why didn't I think of that?"

So last week I was working on an embroidery project for church. I already embroider the baptismal napkins for the Altar Guild, so they asked me to do some other napkins for communion service with small crosses. Easy-peasy, right?

In 2009 I bought a small notebook computer with the idea that I could store all my embroidery designs on it for transfer to sewing the machine I have. I have a low-end Brother embroidery machine that takes either a custom disk or will attach to a computer with a chunky connection like you have for a printer, but not a USB port and not a computer disk.

I didn't do much computerized embroidery at the time. Long ago I gave up the idea that embroidery had to be done by hand, but I am not a fan of the multi-colored big embroidery designs that some home sewists seem to love. I like a little motif on children's clothing or doll items, and I love tone-on-tone embroidery for myself. But I can live without embroidered clothes for myself. Just add jewelry! But that might be another post...

My oldest granddaughter likes using my embroidery machine. She was going to help me out with the napkins one Sunday afternoon. We cruised the Internet and picked out a few tiny cross designs, which we downloaded to the laptop upstairs. 

I opened up the notebook and logged on to transfer the design.  THAT'S when I got the big surprise... the Blue Screen of Death.

You know this one, right? 

Well, when you get this one, it's bad.  Sometimes Very Bad... but it IS a pretty color.

The error I got was not one with which I am familiar, so I googled it on the laptop.  It said something about reloading your operating system with disks.  Oh my goodness!

I lugged the laptop downstairs to the basement and loaded the design from there.  During my sewing time, my poor hubby was not able to play Solitaire or check his bank statements, things he likes to do at regular intervals.

On Monday, I asked one of our crack IT guys at work what the error was.  He offered to check the notebook on his lunch hour, and came back with this diagnosis:

"The computer has to be rebuilt.  For what that costs, and your operating system is not going to be supported after April, you might as well just grab out the hard drive, and buy a new one."

UGH.  I had PLANS for my tax refund that did NOT include a new notebook! 

I have two tower computers in the basement in various stages of operation or lack thereof.  Maybe I can trade them in toward the purchase of a laptop for my sewing studio.  Keep your fingers crossed!  Because lugging the sewing machine upstairs is not fun and borrowing hubby's favorite toy isn't far behind on the joy-o-meter.

Sew on...