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A Computer Reboot Analogy


This morning, I read this piece on Geek’s Dream Girl and though talking about ongoing games in an RPG with a new rules set, it really put me in mind of DC Comics‘ recent reboot/relaunch.

I also read this piece at Grumpy Old Fan about DC still having a massive history which makes up its entire reprint library at present.

And then I realized I’d closed Windows Live Writer when I rebooted my computer last night, and the word “reboot” stuck in my head…there’s gotta be a lengthy analogy here somewhere.

I hate restarting my computer. The way I use it–constantly multitasking, with at least a half-dozen different things running at once, often a dozen or more tabs in each of often several Firefox/browser windows…it’s highly inconvenient to think of trying to shut the machine down entirely every night.

So, it’ll often be put into standby or whatever, so that the open things stay open, and it’s a matter of but a few seconds to get back to that writing project I started 2 days earlier, to continue reading the whole glob of threads from opening links off a core article, to continue editing that slideshow project, and to keep track of where I left off the ongoing “classic reviews” project that will allow this blog to have daily “new” content for the next 5 weeks minimum.

Whenever I do bring this computer up from a full shutdown, it loads the requisite minimum, the default stuff and background processes, etc. I’ll then bring other programs up specifically, and build from there. Sorta like a publisher setting up the default background stuff, then one by one (or small groups) bringing new titles out. Those build on each other, and eventually there may be a fairly large “universe” of stories (or glump of software running).

And invariably, that’s eventually gonna get outta hand–problems will come up, and it becomes necessary to exit some of those programs–naturally (hey, a series comes to an organic ending for the story) or to terminate some of those processes (cancellation of a series). But even with all that, eventually the computer gets to where it’s just got too much going, that even trying to trim back what’s running isn’t solving the problem.

And there comes a time when I just have to take the time to look at all the stuff that’s open, determine what I’m going to save for the next go-round, what I can dump…and reboot the machine.

The stuff that I saved will come back up (if not right away, then when I remember I was working on it), and the stuff that didn’t really matter…well, it’s not really a loss.

Maybe a dumb analogy, but I’m mildly entertained at it…and it’s just the way my mind works sometimes, seizing on stuff that may or may not generally fit together, but still making the analogy. Sorta like how working at a job with high turnover and realizing that you can’t even remember the name of someone who sat/worked next to you for months can be an analogy for immortality (as can the different “lives” one can live in different stages of a single lifetime).

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