Upgrading fragile things

There’s a lot of trouble to go through to live on Earth! If it is not upgrading computer software and maintaining their hardware, it is doing the same for the body.

I gave up on the hard disk. It would be literally months to recover its magnetic patterns, even if it did not continue to fall apart each day. So I tried installing Windows XP on the SSD, at a point when the computer would not recognize the usual C: drive. This worked quite well, but since it was from the CD of an older computer, I could only have it for 30 days. So I decided to make the jump to Windows 7 anyway, while I was at it.  I bought it from the Microsoft Store and downloaded it. I tried at first to convert to 64 bits at the same time (so I could use all 4 GB of the memory rather than just 3.25 GB), but it did not accept that.

I spent a good part of yet another day, but at least now the computer is running flawlessly and has done so for several hours. The operating system and the most commonly used programs are all on the SSD, meaning that they run a bit faster than from a hard disk. The programs I have on the SSD are that game City of Heroes, the web browser Opera, and Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition.

I have also installed yWriter, the modular novel writing software that is my favorite for writing fiction. Although, truth be told, I installed it on the hard drive: It is already lightning fast and is so small that it loads before I can draw a deep breath. Impressive little  gem from Simon Haynes, himself a published author of several books. Of course, most people won’t need yWriter since they don’t write novels. Yet.

Oh, and let us not forget Irfanview, a program to view pictures and do simple changes to them. It is what I use to resize pictures for the journal, among other things. Again, there is no need to speed this up.


You may question the wisdom of upgrading the operating system when the hardware is well past its “best before” date, and actually falling apart. But as it happens, I think the new operating system will deal better with the ailing hardware. And of course, I am trying to do the same with my own body: Upgrade its operating system even as the hardware is gradually failing.

There is no denying that I am past my youth. I walked only for half an hour today, as my guts were unstable and hurt a bit. But today again my legs were stiff and tired, much like yesterday. Seriously, legs? You are not 80 years old. You should be able to fully recover over the course of a night from something as casual as walking for an hour, or five quarters. If I had been running, you might have some excuse for complaining. Now, none at all. Shape up already!

But be that as it may, I will seek to upgrade the operating system of my mind, to use the metaphor I used back in June 2005. Not just the content, but the way it works, the whole way of thinking and feeling and seeing the world. So that, when the hardware of my body spins down for the last time, the  backup copy in Heaven will be suitable to install in a new, improved model with as little modification as possible.  Well, that’s my aspiration. If it were to happen soon, I suspect there would be some serious adaptations to be made. But if I live, I hope that at least some of those changes can begin already here. It is not like eternity will start years from now. It has been going on for quite a while!

And so, I upgrade fragile things, maintain them as best I can, and hope.