March 30, 2005


The one phrase I hate. The one phrase that makes me feel irritated to the core!
DISK BOOT FAILURE. Insert System Disk and then press Enter.

Blame it on my father!

We’ve had a computer at home ever since I was in my third standard. Initially we got a black and white 386(I think. I still don’t now my present comp’s configuration or make but ask me everything else and I shall enlighten you!). Then we got a new colour PC. We then got an assembled one. Then, with his extra-super computer knowledge, dear father of mine assembled a PC using parts he had bought abroad. After a million visits to Ritchie Street for a few miniscule ICs(HOW CAN such tiny things as much as make a difference, leave alone store info!) and bus lines, with me tagging along gasping excitedly at the new sleek speakers and the crazy ‘smiley’ faced CPU cover, ‘THE’ system was created.

THE system had everything I wanted- Windows XP, Internet, CD writer, Fax, Web Cam, Digital Camera, A Stick-RAM, two printers, speakers, headphones and mike, etc, much to my jubilation! It didn’t have a scanner and still do not, but I am sure, I’ll get it sooner or later. That’s because if you ask my father for A2 sheets, T-scale, new set of scales or a scissor, he would refuse, but ask him for cartridges, an empty CD packet or a new hard disk, voila, there it is! He is THAT crazy mind you, that we actually have 2 PC’s at home- one cozily sitting unused, inside my father’s ‘electronics’ shelf!

So then, ever since THE system was created, I’ve been on Cloud 9. I simply love meddling with computers- exploring the different files, folders, the various options present in every application, programming( ah… isn’t C++ my first love?), back door entries for a few stuff, learning DOS as well as Windows, loading new applications, programs, changing settings and configurations(sometimes with my father’s help and sometimes even without his knowledge), playing games etc. The instruments and machine-lover in my father is present in me too. Any latest gizmo, any new software, have always interested me and THRILLED my father!

My father is majorly into repairing TV and radio sets, odds and ends etc. It has been his hobby from childhood. It might be hard to believe but during his early teens, when my grandmother used to give him money for his bus tickets to school, he used to save them, walk to school and end up buying chips( not the eatable one, silly!) and ICs to make mini radios and stuff!

Ok, I never was this geeky. I just can repair a few stuff here and there. My study occasionally transforms into my father’s work-table and an occasional screw and a coupla wires are no big deal on my table! I can solder to repair the TV, assemble any new equipment quickly and I have a natural comfort with electronic gizmos (except the cell phone… I dunno but any model except 3315, refuses to be comfortable with me!).

Back now to ‘THE’ system. One by one THE system started to turn into the system (Get the difference?). Initially the ink cartridge got over and my father bought another printer instead of a cartridge! This printer kept causing troubles. The ink got over in a jiffy and my father decided to refill it himself. On followed days of ink strewn tables and messy inky old veshti thunis (bits of cloth) all over the house, much to super-clean mom’s exasperation.
Then, the CD drive flopped and Appa decided to just use the CD writer as a CD drive. Then connecting to the Internet made some trouble but it was rectified fast. Appa dear then suddenly decided to change hard disks and ended up deleting all my precious files- almost 500 photos/articles of Rahul Dravid collected over 4-5 years, web pages relating to Anne and L.M.Montgomery, my XII projects(!!!Thank God I had stored them elsewhere!), stuff about Harry and a really wonderful collection of Tamil and Hindi songs which I hadn’t burned into a CD!
Then followed some problems with Windows XP!

After all these trouble, could you think any more was possible? YES, my friends, YES it IS possible!

Zoom forward in time… father out of town. Quarter-baked Computer expert Sandhya Ramachandran switches on her computer to find

Exasperation, Confusion, Tension… and much much more!
Clasp head and dramatically sit on the ground as if you just found out that 3+3=6 and not 9 as you thought all along in life!( ogay… bad example!)

Frantically call up a known computer expert to find that there might be a permanent fault in the hard disk which might even require replacement! “Oh God. I can’t lose my precious files AGAIN! No no. Idhu unakke gnayama irukka? Idha naan engaa poi solven, yaarukkunu poi solven…” On and on I went!

Suddenly, something in me woke. The steely resolve to rectify it arose in me! I am not a machine-lover’s daughter for nothing!
Roll up sleeves!
Kick the computer, shake it and punch it hard…
Shake the computer, punch it and kick it hard…
And so on ensued the battle between man (girl, rather!) and machine! And ultimately, when the Power switch was turned on, Man won!
DISK bootna sonna? Bootala ethi ethi, seri pannitten pathiya? Ihahahaha… (Kumarimuthu style)

Shift scenes to 2 weeks back, again same problem. KICK KICK KICK! No way. Machine moved intelligently! But man was super intelligent. SR, the great opened the comp and reconnected the million dangling wires properly.
Switch on…
BINGO! It works…er… not completely *sigh*. CD-ROM not sensed.
Open again. Operation Perfection ensued. Press ALL wires securely into their sockets.

Land back to today!
Encounter again with trouble-maker Disk Boot!
Kick, shake, punch, scream, stare, curse, yell and switch on! DISK BOOT FAILURE Open, press, secure and switch on! DISK BOOT FAILURE

Oh God… If you make it ok, I’ll definitely blog about it! I’ll change my User Account name into DISK BOOT FAILURE for a whole month after the romantic and beautiful ‘Moonglade…’
Pray, promise, pray again, promise, switch on! LOADING WINDOWS XP…


Machine fries, Man cries, God rectifies

I know that this piece is too unrelated and disjointed, but a promise is a promise and so if you’ve patiently read through all the above, THANKS!!!


Murali said...


u love coding in c++??? :(
Im supposed to be a CSE std, but i simply have no idea as to what CODING is all abt :(

Newez me first time in ur blog....
Kewl one here...

Harish said...

so much for booting. *sigh*

anantha said...

Hmmm, 500 articles/pics of The Wall? Can it beat the garlanded empty space on one "Wall" of my hostel room?
Btw, I am a guy and am solely interested in technical details of his game and am totally in awe with the balance in his stance while he plays a square drive on the front foot... :)
btw.. thanks for the comment on my rant....

Sriram said...

*Sigh* I miss my old 486 system! it sure reminds me of the endless days playing wolf3D on that system and breaking the keyboard in anger. Oh well!! and also, My first shout here! peace!

Vani Viswanathan said...

sandhya, that was awesome! reminds of the trouble i faced with my dear comp i bought here....what a crackpot it was! (oh dear, ippo ozhunga velai pannudhu, touchwood!)
ipdiye frequent-aa blog pannu, ok?
ciao soon!! :)

Chakra said...

hahaha.. thats an awesome post. my first time here.

Grey Vampire said...

frankly i go with u optimist even i dont that computing???????

Dave said...

I was looking for a specific blog when I came here (this isn't the blog I was after).... But man, after looking around, I decided that your blog is certainly worth bookmarking for another visit later. ##KEYWORD##

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