Shortly after my last post, Marvin suffered a catastrophic hard drive failure.
The first sign was that he didn't want to shut down, clinging desperately to consciousness. Then next time I hit the power key, he didn't respond other than to tell me the operating system couldn't be found.
For a couple days, I counted Marvin among the dead and mourned. I borrowed back my older laptop, the one that is mostly used for browsing the Lego website and that has only about 30 minutes of charge in its battery. It was a rebound relationship of convenience--just enough to let me complete my work for my online classes, but absolutely no passion.
I managed to breath new life into Marvin the next week. It took Ubuntu on a thumbdrive and a little messing with the BIOS, but suddenly I had a desktop with icons... and eventually, after many versions and some tweaking, internet access. Marvin was a little different, but I felt that we could make things work again. He asked me for a password, let me change the desktop appearance, promised to hold onto some of my information in a note.
When I came back the next day, Marvin showed no memory of having taken my information. He was nice enough about it--hey, give it to me again, I'm sure it's just a misunderstanding, I'll get it this time. But it quickly became clear that every time Marvin went to sleep, the information just vanished.
Our relationship has changed. He continues to be just as helpful. In particular, he likes to insist that I set a password. I decline matter-of-factly, even when he reminds me that this will leave my information unprotected. I've quit trying to explain to him that there's no point since he won't remember my password to protect my information anyway--we'll have this conversation again tomorrow. I've quietly memorized the key for our internet access... and access at my in-laws' too. Two different combinations of 26 letters and numbers. That's a lot of brain power for this sleep-deprived person!
I feel a little guilty for typing this up on Marvin. On the plus side, he'll have forgotten all about it by tomorrow.