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Monday, April 13, 2009

The computer is personal again!

Winter of 1998. I was a school boy then, a little boy with a small face, smaller frame and a wide and innocent smile.That year the rains had come in a bit early, and my house was flooded with relatives. I fell ill just like i did in any rainy season. I still remember the day, it was a sunday and the visitors were packing home. I was ridden on my bed with no excitement to play or to bid them goodbye. It was then when dad came to me and said "It's coming home today". I forgot that i was ill, i forgot i was only wearing my brief, i jumped from bed stood near the gate for hours, waiting for the new visitor to our house. The visitor which had kept me excited for a few months then. I stood in the place for hours, refused food from mom and ignored the tease of my brother, and sometime in the evening there came an auto carrying the visitor. My visitor came in boxes, in huge and heavy cardboard boxes. I wanted to shout. "We have got a new computer". I wanted to shout hard, to make sure that everybody in my neighborhood heard the news mainly i wanted Iyer aunty to hear it cos she already had a PC and whenever i went to her house she stopped me from touching it saying i was small to handle it. Now i wanted to shout at her face "Aunty, now i have my own computerrrr". I walked in the room where they were assembling it, i stood behind the door fearing to go near it. It was white all over, it had a few boxes here and there and a bunch of interlinked wires and cables. After the technicians had left and after the house went to sleep, sometime in the midnight i woke up in the darkness, sat in the huge chair and pressed on some buttons. The computer, my new childhood friend came to life. The screen glowed and Windows welcomed me to a new world of possibilities. At that midnight started a very personal relationship between me and my computers.

1998 was a time when personal computers first started invading into our homes, the time when Intel sold its Pentium II processors and the name Bill gates and windows was slowly becoming household. In the summer of my 7th grade i saw a PC at a relatives home.For someone who only knew pc's had a dark screen with white fonts, and ran MS-Dos, looking at a modern PC was quite a shock. I remember shivering to touch the mouse, i almost fainted looking at the million colours on screen. I almost died when i was said that this thing could play games, songs and even tamil movies. My dad being a man ahead of his times wanted to have one for us. But remember it was nearly a decade back, so we pre ordered and waited for months to get it imported from singapore. We paid 65000 to get our first PC. It was configured with a 32Mb RAM, a 4GB HDD, a pentium II processor and a floppy drive :) (CD drive came later and it cost us a hole) and it ran on Windows 95. For me and my brother the computer became our world. I became a star in the neighbourhood i skipped my street cricket. After school i was immersed in the white box, changing wallpapers, opening ms paint and try painting, changing the screensaver to float with the name Vignesh, writing files to the floppy disk and fighting with arun(bro) over who plays the car race next. The PC literally became our world. At school in a batch of 140 only 2 had PC's the third one was me. We became the elite of the lot cos we knew how to handle the mighty:). When our school got new and modern PC we were in the team who taught our peers to click and drag the mouse pointer. I felt so proud when the girls said "hey how do you do this so easily" .Man i was in ninth heaven.

The games were moved indoor, life revolved around the room. Arun brought in games, of huge and mighty cars and trucks. We secretly raced on them after people went to sleep. We borrowed movies and the PC became our little theater. That summer all my friends denounced the streets and after mom left for work. We had friends flock in and tournaments held in the touch of mouse. The prince of persia, Soccer 96, Brian lara cricket, tomb raider, carmageddon.Arun and I became the heros of the "area". It was tough to imagine the house without the PC. Back then i din know what was meant by an OS, a processor, a kernel, motherboard, handlers, threads processes nothing. All i knew was with the touch of a button a whole new world opens before the eye. I was just a kid who was ignorant of the fact that computers and life were complex by very nature. Years passed and the PC worked, played and it grew with me. Arun left for college and now i became the new master. We had got Internet by then. i went online. created mail-ids, visited porn sites, got hooked to chat. Life became dependent on the machine when i left for college for the first time i knew its not just the company of humans that you miss, at times a box of mere circuits and boards becomes more human than humans themselves.

And then after a hiatus of a few years i got my Lakshmi. Yup my cute little, Lakshmi. Summer of 2006 was when lakshmi entered into my life, this time i hand picked her and decorated with all that i liked. This time there was no arun to quarell and Lakshmi was all mine. I dont exactly remember when i named her lakshmi, but till date i could say lakshmi is one of the best friends i ve ever got. Its always "Lakshmi, boot up", "lakshmii hate you when u get hanged" "hey lakshmi wats the next movie?" "Laskmi im bored what shall we do today?". I speak with my PC and it responds, yup its the one with whom i spend the most of my life with it almost became a companion. It knows me more than any human does, it has inside it all my passions, from the movies i like to the designs i have done, from the mails i ve typed to all the posts that i wrote, from a few memories to savor to a few photographs to cherish . Lakshmi or my own PC has been there with me for years now and if it were a human it could almost recite my everyday life. For me a computer is just like the rest of us, it comes home with the excitement of a new born, it comes to life with the flow of electrons over its nerves, it accompanies you in all the good and the bad times, it shares your memories and it knows what exactly you do when you are alone, it sings for you, it plays for you, it teaches you everything under the sky, its there for when you need it, it grows old with time, it tries hard to cope up with the times and someday it gets obsolete. Then you go for another one.

Oh lakshmi you heard it?, oh its not you. Don cry now, you are still young, hip and very very sexy.I swear ill not ditch you, I swear at no cause, believe me.


Ganga Rudraiah said...

Nice. Warm.:)

Could relate to it becos (even though)I was part of the "rest" who did not have the mighty so early .

Venkat said...

Full of pathos and most of us can relate this blog to their personal lives. I liked the last paragraph since it has a striking resemblance of my relationship with my Laptop. :)

Vignesh said...


our time was diff, now my 6yr cousin tells me to close the process thread when an application hangs..


thanks da, so hw have u named urs thn? :)

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