Friday, November 21, 2008

Castrating the Computer

I've castrated my computer- taken it in and had it ''fixed'' so that it will no longer run around the digital city picking up viruses from strange computers. It seems to be much better behaved now that it's a gelding, more placid and obedient.

It was very simple actually. When I brought my laptop in to have a virus removed, I asked our tech expert to completely disable the wireless access. I've tried doing it myself, but it's pretty difficult to actually disable the wireless in a way that you can't easily enable it when the fancy strikes you. Just about anything I could think to do was easy to undo. So, he's disabled it almost completely- there are fairly elaborate instructions to enable it, if I absolutely need to; but I haven't even seen them.

It's just too tempting to surf the net when I should be working on the dissertation; and for some reason, it's just too hard to find a good laptop without wireless access built in. I like to think that I have more self-control than I really do. For me, though, doing my work on a laptop with Internet access is like working at a desk in an office with a television set and free cable built in. Sometimes, I think you need to be bored when working, in order to work your way through some tough problem. With the Internet, it's easier to spend that time watching cats falling off things on Youtube. I have tried writing out all my notes in longhand, and still do drafts this way; but it's not exactly efficient.

So, I'm keeping the Internet-accessible computer in the basement and the neutered one in my office.

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