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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Booth

Computer Says No

As a freelancer, the start of a new year is an anxious time. Your sources of work, and therefore revenue, are dependant on other people and until they return to normal working capacity after the festive season, you can be left in a state of limbo.

On the flip side of trying to generate income, January has proved an expensive month for me after experiencing the negative, costly side of technology. Computers can be a wonderful tool when they work as they should do, saving time in their quick performance of tasks. However, two major faults with my laptop, coupled with the discovery that my desktop computer is now considered obsolete, have so far made 2023 memorable for the wrong reasons.

As I reflect, I am also reminded of the times when my camera/computer equipment has miraculously survived incident. One occasion in particular springs to mind. Around three years ago I was covering a football match between Carlisle United and Newport County at Brunton Park. It was a cold and extremely windy winter evening in Cumbria, and as I sat pitchside trying to focus on the game rather than my freezing extremities, icey gusts appeared to be stregthened by the stadium stands. My laptop, which was positioned next to me to aid the transmission of my images, was all of a sudden caught by a strong gust and unexpectedly flew into the air.

The screen and keyboard briefly acted as a ship's sail sending it into the night sky before it dropped to earth with the certitude of an anchor. Horrified by what I'd just witnessed, the situation wasn't improved by jeers from the crowd. I sheepishly got up from my seat to go and collect the sorry-looking device, fearing the worst. To my amazement however, other than a few scratch marks on the exterior, the laptop worked fine.

So perhaps the technology gods were smiling, or maybe making fun of me, on that memorable evening. I fear they have struck again in January and with much greater rage.

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