For Pete’s sake


Diary of a home bird
Ciara Galvin

WE bought the male roomie a laptop for Christmas. My sister did all the research in terms of the one which would best suit his needs. And by that, I mean one that requires the least amount of technological understanding.
When it comes to technology, myself and the male roomie come from the same school of thought: ‘If in doubt, turn it off and on again’. The male roomie might deviate occasionally from this sightly by first pressing every single button on said machine and then calling on divine inspiration to help fix the problem.
These days, that divine inspiration comes in the form of local technology wizard Pete, of ‘Pete’s PCs’. It’s just a coincidence he looks like our Lord.
It seems the male roomie has poor Pete on speed dial if he comes into bother with a machine. God only knows, or a good Jesus look-alike only knows, how many hours Pete has put into resurrecting a PC at the homestead, as Pops refused to let it go to the big scrap heap in the sky.
It sounded like a Boeing 747 every time it started up and got the computer equivalent of brain freeze if you gave it too many tasks to complete. I found this out many times while trying to type and send articles to various papers over the years. There’s nothing like the stress of trying to send a pieces to an editor while the computer is acting like a hormonal teenager and the well-intended Pops is suggesting to ‘turn it off and on again’.
With the arrival of the new laptop, the male roomie didn’t waste any time in getting to grips with it. He contacted the very patient Pete to ‘set it up in the sitting room’.
Despite my protests about the fact a laptop didn’t have to be set up in one specific room – the clue is in its name – the male roomie went ahead. In fairness he did me a favour. I wouldn’t have a clue how to download the latest anti virus or how to install Adobe Reader. The tech guru Kevin at work will attest to this, as he has to deal with doing the most basic of tasks for me, sometimes even having to open email attachments.
I believe every person should have a Kevin or Pete in their lives; it would cut out a lot of hours onto companies’ software support department and stub out the blasphemous slurs when things don’t go right.
You’ll be glad to hear that the male roomie is all set up, and I even got to give the new laptop a test run (or baptism of fire, whichever way you want to look at it).
Then, after all my poking fun at the female roomie’s poor memory for passwords, I found myself with the same problem for my own laptop, and ended up borrowing Pops’s new device for covering the General Election down in Galway West.
He assured me I would encounter no such problems with his laptop. ‘I told Pete, ‘no passwords’, just switch it on and off you go’.
Calling into him at work in the local pharmacy the morning of the count, he boomed, ‘Do you need a mouse?’. I said I was grand. Fellow shoppers must think Pops is adopting some very weird new-age remedies for the common cold.

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old trying to get used to living away from her parents.