Thursday, February 01, 2007

The 26th good thing about Lagos: Computers and internet access make being so far away bearable.

I had a heart-stopping experience the other night when, for the first time when I was on the computer with it plugged in to AC power, the power went out and my new laptop went dead! What? This was why I bought a laptop and brought it here -- so when the power went off, it would switch over to the battery and I could keep going. We unplugged the computer and tried to switch it on and -- no lights -- nothing! We waited. Tried again. Still nothing. I had this sick feeling that something with the power outage had fried my computer and it was lost. What would I do? I realized how dependent I am on this lifeline. After a little while of panicky button-pushing, Brent took the battery out and then put it back in and -- whew! -- when the buttons were pushed, the little lights started flashing and it powered up. I'm still not sure exactly why my computer continues to die when the power goes out instead of switching to the battery (it's since happened a number of times without my ensuing panic). I have written a very polite email to Dell asking them why this is so. But since losing power here is a common occurrence -- I need to figure this out before I spend a lot of time writing on some project and then lose it to a power outage. It's 3 in the afternoon here now and the power has been particularly bad today -- it's probably already gone out at least 10 times. 3 times alone while I was on the treadmill --a different kind of heart-stopping experience. But the internet IS great -- very quick email contact and we've even called the kids on Skype, the internet phone service for free. That worked out amazingly well. One downside of internet access here -- they (the Big Brother who is watching us on the computer) know I'm outside of the US and -- the nerve! -- they won't let me watch my favorite shows over the internet! That was going to be a link to civilization -- I could keep up with Lost and Jericho -- who knows what will happen to those worlds before I return to the US? If anybody knows a way to get around this and fool Big Brother into thinking I'm in the US -- please, let me know! In the meantime, I REALLY hope the power doesn't ever fry my computer, or I may be returning to Houston sooner than I expected.

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