R is for Reboot

It must have been about 1996, give or take a year. I was working as a librarian, for the same company I work for now, but three locations ago, and I was having trouble with my computer. (Historical fact: I ALWAYS have trouble with my computers; when the IT people set a schedule for replacement, my difficulties almost always exceed their expectations. I like computers, but they don’t always like me.)

So I ask one of the techies if he could fix my computer, which had frozen up. He said, “Did you reboot it?”, and I said, “Huh?” Up until that very moment, I had never heard the term “reboot”. I thought he wanted me to kick it, and if necessary, kick it again, which I was willing to do, though I doubted its efficacy.

That was not what he meant; he meant for me to turn the computer off and then to restart it, thus reloading the operating system. Years of being trained by IT guys now informs me that I don’t even go see them until I can honestly say, “I rebooted it, and it still doesn’t work.” Later, I learned the sometimes magic of Ctrl-Alt-Delete.

Now the term reboot has evolved into another meaning: “A term that comes from computer usage. To reboot a computer is to start it up again after a computer crash. Hence, “reboot” has the connotation of starting a process over again.*

This take on “reboot” is particularly popular with popular culture, such as motion pictures and television shows. The 2009 Star Trek movie, going back to before Kirk, Spock et al were on the Enterprise is a popular example. The 2010 Russell Crowe version of Robin Hood has been called a reboot, though it’s been remade about 287 times. 2010’s Karate Kid, with Will Smith’s son Jaden as the Kid and Jackie Chan in the Pat Morita role is a recent example, as is the 2010 version of Nightmare on Elm Street, without Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger. The 2010 fall TV schedule features Hawaii 5-0, a popular show over 30 years ago.

What is the difference between a remake and a reboot? I’m not quite sure.

I will opine that the revamping of this blog at the beginning of the month is NOT a reboot. It’s still the same person writing (me). It may be on WordPress rather than Blogger, but that’s like a show moving from one television network to another. I may now have my own URL, but doesn’t change much either.

In case you were wondering how this change came about:
Rose DesRochers, an “avid blogger, published poet and freelance writer” from Canada had a free blog hosting contest back in February. I wrote about it, and actually won six months of free service from VisionThisHosting.com. Shawn DesRochers, Rose’s husband, is the Web Hosting Administrator. I did nothing about it for a while, then probably made Shawn’s life miserable getting this site up.

Rose and Shawn have been going through some stuff recently, which I would not bring up except that Rose mentioned herself in her blog. Their 19-year-old daughter has just been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, which I’m sure affected not only Rose, but Shawn as well. Rose writes that, coincidentally, May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month.

So thanks, Rose, for the site. Shawn, thanks for your continued assistance. My good wishes to you both and for your daughter.
Oh, and happy birthday to my “baby” sister Marcia!

ABC Wednesday

* “reboot.” The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. 16 May. 2010. .

0 thoughts on “R is for Reboot”

  1. Your posting today, particularly the photo of the boot, made me giggle a bit. My husband bought new work boots, which have made his feet very sore (they are in the “working them in” process). Does that qualify for rebooting? 😉

    Hood Photo Blog


  2. I, too, had to learn to term “reboot” as I know nothing about operating systems of computers. Thus, my daughter is the first to be called and if she can’t fix it, off it goes to the shop. Great post, Roger! But I’m not sure about seeing ANOTHER remake of Robin Hood (although said daughter said it’s a bit different!)…maybe when it’s out on DVD. Have a great week. 😀


  3. Another interesting post, Roger. Rebooting is a good friend. Not sure about Robin Hood but I am going to see it because I am sure about Russell Crowe. Happy B-day to Marcia…


  4. Love the boot graphic! Computer terminology has so many funny words when you really think about it. There’s probably an entire ABC Wednesday opportunity on that topic alone. As always, such an enjoyable read. I have a couple blog awards for you over at my place if you are interested. 🙂


  5. I have taken “rebooting” in the film business as starting a series over with a new cast. Like you two examples, Batman fits, and from what I have heard, Spider-Man will be doing the same. But “The Stepford Wives” with Nicole Kidman and Matthew Broderick is a remake.

    At least that’s the way I have understood it. I could be wrong.

    And Happy Birthday to you sister Marcia.


  6. Reboot is my default position with computers, its like having a magic wand.
    Never know the film difference between remake and redux, is one better than the other, and now a new one to puzzle over, a rebooted film, but hey I still can’t resist turning up to see them.


  7. Having one son serving in Civil Defense, I see boots everyday! reboot, now that’s something I don’t do very often since my pc is still quiet new.


  8. Loved yur R post, Roger!! Just great! :o)

    I had to mention you at my post today… Have you ever listened to Run-Around? :o)

    Kisses from Nydia.


  9. BTW, I found the boots by going to Google Images, typing in boots site:.gov , and it was the very first picture there. Since it’s a US govt site, I did not have to worry about copyright infringement. Yeah, i love ’em too.


  10. Oh, I reboot all sorts of things these days, – photocopiers, knitted socks whose cast on gets twisted, – just about anything that does better when it gets restarted….


  11. ‘Rebooting’ is one of those hybrid words that would have made no sense a century ago (or even less!.) Can you imagine saying ‘I dropped my mouse’ then!Or even ‘I’ll text you.!We live in historical times and they sometimes get hysterical too!


  12. Oh, I’ve felt the urge to reboot using a pair of the heaviest boots I can find on several occasions. However, the one time I did get physical, because it was sooooooo slow, it decided to be even slower and quit on me! I’ve now learned my lesson.

    PS: I love your new header, very funny!


  13. Such an interesting R post Roger!
    My thoughts go out to Rose & her family. thankfully there has been a diagnosis which given the fact that so many Dr’s are ill informed about this illness, really makes her daughter’s continued recovery a small miracle.
    For what its worth I will be praying for their family and all those who are affected by this.


  14. Interesting that they now call certain remakes ‘reboots’! I’d never heard of that before.

    I think you’ll like being with WordPress. Blogger always seemed to me to have a lot of problems. And you get far more choice with WP, I think!


  15. Roger, Very interesting – I’ve never heard of rebooted movies! I feel for the family with the borderline personality situation. My niece is similarly afflicted and I mean that in the clinical sense. People need to be educated about all aspects of mental illness. It’s not easy for the family – thoughts are with them for sure.


  16. I remember my husband saying reboot reboot , and I don’t have a clue. I just know how to use my computer, and if I get stuck, my mouth knows to use the , HELP button which it seems men don’t find that Help button.


  17. That is sooooo funny! I am grateful to you, Roger. Now I know what “reboot” means. I was not really sure before I read your R-post.
    Really funny continuation of this thought with “rebooted” tv-programs etc.

    I have not had much time to do my post this week. I am very late. So I don’t feel that my R-post is as good as it might have been if I had been given more time to both sleep and think!
    Best wishes,

    Anna’s Rudabagas


  18. Fabulous boots 😉
    I used to love Bob Newhart – never saw him, just heard him and I thought he was absolutely brilliant. ‘The Driving Instructor’ – inspired:-)


  19. Much thanks for posting this. I have great memories of the old Karate Kid motion pictures. I am not exactly sure just how much I’ll enjoy the soon-to-be-released one, but it’ll be fun to see in any event.


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