Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Momento de Verdade

Computers are great when they're working but a royal pain in the jacksie when they're not so imagine my dismay the other day when I pressed the big button and nothing happened.

Because the box under the table was whirring away and making all the right noises, my amateur IT diagnostic skills led me to suspect the fault lay in the monitor so it was unplugged and whisked off to (French but English speaking) computer man in Santa Cruz. He sounded pretty upbeat about being able to repair it (unlike his reaction to the symptoms of the printer a few months ago which was "the chances are it's f***ed").

Back in Faja Grande, I called on PL, our Italian neighbour of the burning car disappointment to ask if he had a spare monitor I could borrow pro tem. PL is the sort of chap who would have a spare monitor and, sure enough, he did. A clunky old 14 inch "fat screen" one (what were these all about?) but I wasn't complaining.

Got it home and plugged it in and same problem - whirring under the table but blank screen. Urgent phone call to computer man in SC - did this suggest to him that the problem lay in the box under the table rather than two different monitors? Yes it did except his preliminary foray into the guts of my monitor suggested it had big problems as well. In short two coincidental but separate problems.

Computer man in SC, who is more of a hardware bod, reminded me of the existence of (Portuguese but also English speaking) computer man in FG who is more of a software bod - why didn't I give him a ring? Which I did and he was kind enough to call on his way home from work that evening. He did something called "uninstalling and reinstalling the VGA driver". That could be Mongolian for "looking for portents in the entrails of a sacrificial yak" for all I know but it had the desired result - whirring under the table and things visible on screen as well.

Computer man in FG was kind enough to refuse any payment for this 45 minute evening house call and the point of this post was that, as he was re-booting the computer to see if his VGA whatsname thing had worked, he said "This is the moment of truth". I asked him what the Portuguese for moment of truth is and he said it's momento de verdade - same idiom as in English. You can't always take it for granted that these idioms translate directly word for word so as well as getting my computer fixed, I got a Portuguese lesson as well. How good is that!

Apropos of nothing to do with computers or Portuguese idioms but just to get another photo into this post (as there is a limit to how many interesting computer pictures you can have), it's been raining very heavily - a chuver gatos e cães, as I would be fairly certain the Portuguese idiom is NOT (but note to self to find out what it is) - here recently and here is our neighbour's car about to be washed down the street this afternoon.


basha said...

Very funny, and true. Thanks for the smile you caused me this morning here in New Jersey. Also, as one of my bosses is Brazilian, I will happily use "momento de verdade" on him in the future.


Kathie said...

According to my esteemed professor, "it's raining very heavily" would in Portugal be "está a chover canivetes" -- literally, it's raining jackknives. I guess this is vaguely equivalent to "raining pitchforks," although my favorite Americanism (Southern division) for such a phenomenon has got to be "a real frog-strangler."

Just got home Tuesday from my double book presentations in California which, despite being tiring due to shlepping down and back up the state, were both gratifying personally and successful in terms of book sales -- woo-hoo!

Tried any good recipes lately for wild local watercress (hint, hint)? I'm confident you and your gourmet guests can come up with several (besides my family's Flores-style soup).

Marisa Fagundes Pereira said...

Hi Carol and Neil, i thought you were gone for good, i didn't know that the link had changed, i tried several times the old one and it stoped with plastic bags, as i remember. Well, i've been in Fajã this year, only for 10 days, from 7 to 17 August, i'm pity i didn't meet you, maybe next year.