Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Passing On The Torch



He arrived at past midnight with a box of goodies.

For the past several months, I would ask him for that one thing I need for my academics - a desktop computer. He would just brush it off, uncertain of how to respond to my pleas. On my part, the academic excuse was just a ruse. I've been spending a fortune renting computers near the campus to indulge in my favorite pastime: playing strategy games. However, the pursuit had an unexpected windfall. I was learning to use Microsoft when most of my schoolmates resigned themselves to submitting papers done on a typewriter. 

I was learning two things, most people don't know.

I remember being roused from sleep and was told to go to the playroom. There, he told me, "O ayan yung hinihingi mo" while pointing at a package as big as a Balikbayan Box. I immediately knew what it was and how to use it. But because the machine came all the way from the Land of the Rising Sun, I had to wait for a technician to correct its language.

No one understands Nipponggo.

And thus began my lifelong attachment to computers. Dad brought home a Compaq Presario. The one with its central processor already attached to its monitor. It was already obsolete when it came under my possession. It had limited storage capacity, which led me to uninstall old games when I bought new, pirated ones at P500 a game. The desktop also let me navigate the world of cyberspace for the first time. It is only I who didn't find Netscape appealing. Most of my desktop habits today - from erasing unneeded files - all the time; checking my available disk space even when I still have gigabytes of it; and uninstalling software believing it would speed  up my system formed because of my first desktop computer.

It shaped my relationship with machines.

The Compaq Presario would be replaced by several, more powerful computers in the course of time. I would still use the "academic" excuse every time I'd ask my father for upgrade. The last machine I had was brought on credit. At 30 grands, it used to be the cream of its generation. I had to waste three years of my life paying for it.

But like all desktop computers, a time comes when the machine would need replacement.

When its computer screen flicked and began refusing to show images; When I finally got tired of disconnecting and reconnecting the cable attaching the video card to the monitor; When I thought that I'm ready to take the leap of faith, and buy a laptop, the age of desktop came to an end. Disused for almost a year, the unit was set for scrap. If not for its second hard drive that contain most of my precious documents, I wouldn't think twice of disposing the computer during my general cleaning frenzies. 

Until I thought of passing it on to a godchild whose mother and father saw how my bonds with machines evolved.


Find Your New Purpose


Pasado hating-gabi nang matapos ako magbuhat sa gym. Samantalang ang computer naman na naging dugo't laman ko ng mahigit tatlong taon ay naiwang naghihintay sa office. Inaasam na muling mapasakamay sa tunay na nangangailangan. Pinalinis ko ito't pinatanggal ang isang hard drive sa katrabaho. Binalak ko pa sanang ipa-reformat ito kung hindi lang ako gahol sa panahon. 

Marahan ang buhos ng ulan nang makalabas ako ng Eclipse. Bihira ang dating ng sasakyan at ang lamig at kalungkutan ay tila nanunuot sa katawan. Sa pagpara ng taxi, ipinaalam ko sa nagmamaneho ang aking kukunin. Kailangan ko kasi ito bago tumulak sa aming pupuntahan. 

Patuloy pa rin ang iyak ng langit nang marating ang aking destinasyon. Sa makitid na kalsada tungo sa aming lumang bahay ay may mangilan-ngilang nag-iinuman. Hindi nila ako namukhaan. Sa pagpasok sa loob ng pinto, ng tirahang aking kinalakihan, tila ang mga dingding at kisame ay nangingilala sa aking pagbisita. Ang mag-asawa naman na naging patnubay ko sa paglaki ay tila naputol ang tulog nang dahil sa akin. 

Ngunit may mga bagay na hindi maaring ipagpabukas. 

Huli ko na napansin, ngunit habang nasa loob ng taxi, unti-unting gumagapang ang alaala ng una kong desktop computer: Kung paano ito napasakamay sa akin at paano ito napakinabangan ng maraming taon. Sa aking pagbabalik tanaw, pakiramdam ko ang mga simbolismo. Mula sa pagkatok sa pinto ng aming lumang bahay, sa paggising sa mga magulang ng aking inaanak, sa pagkadelay ng pagkabit sa cables ng desktop na naiwan pala sa kusina ng isa pa naming bahay.

Sa muling pagbabalik ng computer sa mismong kuwarto kung saan ito unang napadpad.

"Sana mapakinabangan..."

Patuloy pa rin ang buhos ng ulan at ihip ng malamig na hangin habang naglalakad ako pauwi ng bahay. Ngunit sa kabila nito, mababakas sa ngiti ng mukha ang full circle na na-accomplish ko nang magbalik ang computer sa kanyang pinanggalingan. Anurin man ng baha ang mga naulilang alaala, masasabi ko na sa aking namayapang ama.

"Nagtagumpay ka, Dad."


    


3 comments:

itsMePeriod said...

:)

the green breaker said...

The good thing is another person gets to benefit from it. Pero had you decided to sell it as junk, pwede mo naman sana kunin yung hard disk kuya at gawing portable external drive. :)

MEcoy said...

sana soon makabili din ako ng sarili ko sa kuya ko ksi to hahaha anywyas ingat ingat lng