Saturday, May 17, 2008

Losing my mind part II: Handheld in Limbo

After a miraculous recovery from a near drowning yesterday, my Palm Tungsten E2 had a serious relapse during the night. Its screen isn’t responding. I tap it but nothing happens. I can’t enter my password; the thing has locked me out.

A reset didn’t work. (You push a little pinhole button on the back with a paper clip point.)

A HARD reset didn’t work. (You hold down the “on/off” button on the top while pushing the little button on the back and watching the screen in front for signs of life. (Houdini might have been challenged by a hard reset. I know why they call it “hard.”)

By the way, in my interlude of ecstasy yesterday, when the Palm came back to life (after a dousing in the cat’s water dish), you may recall that I managed to back up its data onto my computer. The back up was fortuitous because today’s hard reset wiped out my entire memory.

Correction, the PDA’s memory. My memory, lest I forget, is different — but not by much.

So now what?

I say the Palm is "in limbo" because its screen still glows with its “Palm Powered” display. A thin, horizontal line blinks across the top of the screen. It must be telling me something. It is insistent. The E2 won’t turn off, yet it has literally "flat-lined." It just sits there glowing (glowering?), blinking and draining its battery.

Have you ever glowered, blinked and drained YOUR battery?

I have.

It happens when I've worked six hours straight on an article, haven't "saved," and the computer crashes.

Anyway, the E2's constant blinking is a little like Poe’s Tell-tale Heart. Eventually I may have to drive a stake through its motherboard.

The sheer madness of it all drove me to Amazon to explore ordering a replacement E2. The customer comments about Palm Tungsten E2s are wildly diverse. They range from “brilliant” to "crazy-making junk.”

I can relate. Before the Palm took the plunge into the cat's water dish, we had a few “issues,” as my sister would say. She has a lot of “issues,” but then she raises horses, pigs, cats, dogs and is married to a corporate attorney. A menagerie of issues.

In my previous experience with Palms, neither “brilliant” nor “crazy-making junk” applied. The truth was somewhere in the expanse between, depending on the latest foible. No need to list them here. Let's just say that long ago I learned all about hard and soft resets.

On Amazon, the E2 was discounted to $186.99, from $199, and the shipping was free.

It was still a little hard to justify until I thought of it as ordering a new lobe for my brain.

For brain surgery, $186.99 is cheap at the price.

The lobe is being shipped as I write.

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