There are plenty of good reasons to be scared this Halloween, be it Hurricane Sandy or the economy or JJ Watt (assuming you are an opposing team quarterback), but just in case none of these things hits home with you, geek, I'd like to offer some items that will.
Every person who has owned a computer for any length of time has been faced with some scary moments often punctuated by the same fear you feel when you can't remember if you locked the door after leaving for vacation. It's that sudden, gut-grabbing terror that makes you wish you had taken up welding instead of Java programming. Welcome to your nerd nightmare.
5. CTRL-S!!! CTRL-S!!!
There are rarely more infuriating moments than when some crappy piece of software (cough...Microsoft Word...cough) decides to lock up or crash without giving you a chance to save your work. God (i.e. Bill Gates or Steve Jobs depending on your denomination) invented simple keystrokes (CTRL-S on PC, COMMAND-S on Mac) to make it easy to save on the fly. Unfortunately, most of us think nothing bad will ever happen to our files. In fact, I wager the majority of us have lost many documents and STILL don't save often. Let's be honest, we probably deserve it.
4. Crying over spilt milk.
Go ahead, set down that glass of liquid next to your computer and then put your cat on top of your laptop because it's cold outside and the hard drive keeps him warm. Do all that and see how it goes for you, animal lover. You'll soon realize that water and mother boards do not play nice. I say this not because I've ever done anything like this or because my cat is literally asleep on my laptop RIGHT NOW with a half-full glass of water about 18 inches away. I would never do something as stupid as that...or tweeting while driving. NEVER!
There's nothing quite like emptying the trash can (or recycle bin) only to realize a file you put in there was EXTREMELY important. Oh, and don't bother to check that back up drive because, guess what, geek genius, you don't need no stinkin' back ups!
2. The horror of Reply All.
The next time you decide to reply to a mass e-mail sent by a cubicle mate about an upcoming company family outing with a pithy little comment about how your boss looks like a douche in that shirt he's wearing, which he probably got from his mistress, be absolutely certain not to reply all, particularly if he, his wife and his mistress, who you named in the e-mail, were on the original recipient list. But, if you feel the need to do so, by all means forward it on to me so I can laugh and laugh and laugh.
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1. The Blue Screen of Death (or Apple Sad face).
Anyone who has turned on a computer to see one of these terrifying screens has probably felt the same sinking sensation as when the check engine light pops on in your car, except, in this case, you don't continue driving your car for the next six months despite that horrible grinding sound you assume is nothing. No, with this screen, you are hosed and you know it. Best just to have a drink, pass out some candy to the kids and dream of the days when the coolest piece of technology in your house was the old Philco radio you listened to while sitting on the davenport. Those were the days, sonny.