It’s been a while since I posted anything here – largely because I try very hard to direct my non-fiction writing energy to essays, or end up posting hot takes on Twitter, where technical constraints can keep me succinct.
But my laptop is down, waiting for a logic board to ship from a company in California. My old laptop, which I’d thought was dead but kept in case we could eventually grab the music from the hard drive, is not dead! It’s very exciting. The backlight on the display just went out, so I need an external display. Which I acquired. It just doesn’t have the necessary cable, so I had to order that. Due to people’s entirely rational choice to try to stock up on essentials when warned that they should try to isolate for multiple weeks and Amazon’s employees being real actual people who also have health needs, the soonest I could get that part is Thursday. Maybe Friday. The website did not seem entirely sure.
So that leaves me with a phone and an iPad, because the desktop I was planning to use as the logic board makes its slow way here is in the Disaster Research Center, on the University of Delaware main campus, which is shut down for anything but absolutely essential access (like animal care) until at least March 30th. I’ve been trying to do some basic statistical analysis on my iPad, because technically I can access Google Sheets, but wow is it unpleasant to try to do complex formulae and tab between apps on something that is more readily a toy than a tool. Which leaves me trying to write up some of what’s going on to capture my impressions as they happen.
Two of us right now are trying to use the living room as an office, which functions better than you’d expect, since I’ve had very few phone calls to deal with and take them in my room. Tristan is going in to work as usual, because it is both a secure building in which they can ask potential visitors screening questions before letting them in and is an essential service. How essential data centers are was driven home today, the first day everyone was directed to work entirely from home: I couldn’t get my email on my iPad at all during the day, and Alexis couldn’t even open Outlook, because it kept crashing. I used my phone and she used her browser, but not everyone necessarily had a functional backup able to actually pull anything from the hilariously overloaded servers.
And when we’re back from our moved-up, extended Spring Break, instruction throughout the university will be wholly online. The expectation in many ways seems to be that classes will be conducted over Zoom. All at the same time.
Good luck and Godspeed to the university IT department.