Let’s face it. Even for the geekiest computer lovers among us, computers can sometimes turn into a nightmare. Regardless of what your personal nightmares are, we have all faced moments in which we had to restrain ourselves from throwing the darn thing out the window or hold our breath in hope that the latest random trick is fixable.
Some would say this only happens to Windows/Mac/Linux/Laptop/Whatever users; some will say these things only happen to people who don’t actually know how to use computers (until it happens to them, too). Don’t get me wrong, I love computers – they play a huge part in my everyday life and I cannot do without them. But we all have our own personal computer nightmares. These are mine. What are yours?
Broken Laptop Keyboard
This is one of the most annoying things I ever had to face as a laptop user. As long as you use a desktop computer with a standalone keyboard, a broken key is a mere annoyance. But when your laptop’s keyboard breaks, it’s elevated into a true nightmare status.
The image above may be extreme, but I definitely felt the urge to do just that on the several occasions I had to deal with a broken laptop keyboard. I don’t know about your laptop, but my keyboard breaks extremely easily. I can’t take the keys out to clean or do other maintenance without breaking at least one key. Sometimes, I come home to find one of the keys lying loose on the keyboard. Why? Just because!
Even when not broken, putting a loose key back in place is comparable to rocket science, and sometimes it pops out again again every time I brush my finger next to it while typing. Did you know that some laptop keys have a complex plastic mechanism underneath, with microscopic pins and clips that break and bend when you breath on them? And did you know that every laptop, even similar models from the same company, use different mechanisms for keys?
Once I took the bus halfway across town to try to track down a used keyboard which I could use for spare keys. It turned out to be from a slightly different model, and therefore used a totally different mechanism. True, you can find spare keys online, and I already had to order some in the past, but does it really have to be this complex?
Adobe Flash Plug-in
This is a good one. Adobe Flash Plug-in. Do you shudder just reading the name? I do, sometimes.
Before I dive into the rant, I will say that I appreciate what Flash has done for technology, and I do believe it has some positive aspects to it, but in everyday life, Adobe Flash browser plug-in can single handedly ruin my browsing sessions, my entire day and my sanity.
The all too familiar screenshot above is the least of it. When the Flash browser plug-in crashes, I actually know where I stand. It’s when pages take ages to load, or simply get stuck, all because of some small Flash element in an ad which you are not even aware of – this is when it gets dirty.
Lately, following a friend’s advice, I blocked my browser’s Flash plug-in. When I want to use Flash, I enable it manually. You wouldn’t believe the difference this has made to my browsing experience. If you’re having similar experiences with Flash, I urge you to try it as well. This is one nightmare we can actually fight!
Windows Not Loading
I know Mac/Linux lovers will be all over me for this one. Some Windows fans might be too. But yes, this is one of my worst computer nightmares, although it has not come true in the past few years.
Let me start by saying that I grew up in a Mac house. I did not touch a non-Mac machine until Windows 95 was out (and we all remember what a fantastic OS that was…). It came as a complete surprise to me that the thing can decide not to load whenever it wants to. I remember the frustration of watching that “loading” screen, praying for it to go on and finish the loading process, only to have to give up and try to reboot – yet again.
This is something I went through again and again, until Windows 7 came out. Since then, this computer nightmare has not come true even once. But I still hold my breath for a few seconds every time I reboot my machine. Will it actually load again, or will it hang? I wonder how long it will take me to stop being slightly scared every single time I restart my computer and have to sit there watching that pretty “loading” animation. Maybe in Windows 2020.
I have to stress again that I am not a negative person. We all have small things that drive us crazy, and these are just some of mine. After all, if we don’t talk about it, how will we ever be able to treat these lightly?
Now it’s your turn. What are your worst computer nightmares? Broken hardware? Bad software? Strangers playing with your setup? Share them all in the comments!
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