My brand-new Dell laptop has been a little glitchy since my Africa trip. I think it must have had some bad fruit salad and just never quite bounced back.
But never fear! I bought the extended warranty (which I will always do anytime I buy a computer for the rest of all time, world without end, amen), and a technician came right out to my very own kitchen to replace the motherboard.
The motherboard. That's an interesting name. It sounds terribly important. Because I generally think it's great fun to point out my techno-ignorance to computer wizards, I asked my computer repairman about it.
And if you have ever asked a computer repairman about anything, you know that lo, the floodgates, how they will open, with more computer-speak than you ever wanted to know.
"The motherboard is the most essential component in your laptop," he began. "All functions operate through it. Think of it as the central nervous system of your computer."
"Oh," I said, "so I suppose that's kind of why they call it the MOTHERboard. It's the mom!"
Ah, I am clever indeed. The technician just looked at me blankly. I forgot that metaphors don't always go over well with computer-types.
He continued. "It is vitally important to the overall function of your system, as it distributes power and communication where it is needed." Well of course
she it does.
"However," he said, "it will occasionally simulate glitches with other components, making problems appear where there are none."
Wait a minute. This analogy is starting to get a little uncomfortable.
He kept going. "For this reason, it the most often-replaced component. There is great potential for upgrade."
Hold the phone! Replaced? Upgraded? I think not. Poor little motherboard, slaving away at her bits and bytes, completely unappreciated.
She probably didn't even get a chance to take a shower this morning because she was so busy fixing everyone else's breakfast.
Wait a minute, am I still talking about computers...?