View Sidebar

A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

Rendering Found!

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 4/15/2024
Occurred: 6/25/2021
Page Views: 648
Topics: #Coronavirus #Arizona #Computer #Music
I located a long-lost friend I thought had died: My old computer.

I've always said I have a memory like a steel sieve. But I was so certain that I had packed my primary desktop computer, named Rendering (because I used it for rendering videos and other CPU-intensive purposes; when I built it, it was a pretty hot box), in a carton I cleverly labeled, "Rendering", with instructions that it was to be shipped to Maui in the first batch of boxes. But it never arrived.

That first batch of boxes were picked up from here in Arizona and sent to me in Maui, via the United States Post Office. They took weeks to get there; and, when they did, my computer wasn't there.

My computer, with my computer projects, document archives, and all my digitized music library, including vinyl albums I had personally ripped and cleaned up, many of which had never been released on CD. I had already backed up my photo and video libraries on the new external USB static hard drives; but I hadn't, yet, been able to do the same with my music collection.

Plus, I was out a computer. I still had an old, but usable laptop, that I had brought with me on the plane that had to become my primary computer. In a way, this was good as our limited solar power would have been hard-pressed to keep up with the 500-watt power supply that drove Rendering. But it meant I had to rebuild my music collection. I still had my original CDs, and Amazon Music allows unlimited downloads of purchased music. Still, my irreplaceable items were gone.

When I arrived here, and once I'd gotten over most of my jet lag, I examined the boxes that hadn't yet been shipped, since our cottage hadn't yet been built and there was no place on Maui to keep them. There were several boxes of cookware, one labeled "winter clothes", one marked, "hats", and one that, tantelizingly, contained an older old computer that I'd forgotten about and didn't care so much about. I had used it for downloading music and video files for offline use. I brought it into the house to see if maybe anything had been left on there.

The odd thing, though, was that I remembered packing both computers in the same box.

There was one other carton in Jenny's garage, but it was up high and I couldn't get it down without someone's help.

Well, a few days ago, my grandson, Zach, was around at the same time I was and he brought down that last box. It was also labeled "dishes". But, when I opened it, lo and contained the lost Rendering!

Plus., when I arrived my son, John, gave me a Microsoft Surface as a Father's Day present. This is like a cross between a tablet and a laptop, and although it's very thin, it packs a lot of power--much more than my laptop. I also found a few USB drives. So my next task was to get rendering connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and then to try to move as many files from it as possible to my external media, since, the computer itself is too big for me to bother shipping to Maui. It's only the data I want.

My granddaughter, Gianna, loaned me the monitor from her room, and John gave me an HDMI cable and a wireless keyboard and mouse set, while Jenny provided a VGA cable for the older Downloader.

I plugged in Rendering. It booted up, and I introduced it to Jenny's wifi network. Almost immediately, I was informed that Windows 10 would require updates. Many updates. A heckuva lot of updates, actually. Enough to take most of a day downloading and installing.

With Rendering plugged into the downstairs TV, I flipped between episodes of Lucifer and the ongoing process of updating. Meanwhile, plugged into Gianna's monitor on the kitchen table, Downloader was doing the same.

For hours it went on. The monitor doesn't have to be on; I went to bed and let Rendering do its thing.

But in the end it was worth it. I was able to get all my music and old projects and documents back, as well as a surprise bonus: Dozens of movies I'd backed up from my own DVDs and BluRay disks, as well as downloaded movies and episodes.

The work of integrating the old and new sources will have to continue on the island. But it will be a joyful task.