日常 - nichijou, Arawi Keiichi


4:13 pm.

Mio stares blankly at the foreign object sitting in her room. "Umm… Sister?" Mio calls. "What's that doing in my room?"

"Ah, the computer?" Yoshino grins, walking up the stairs. "It's yours now. Surprise!"

"Huh?..." Mio slowly turns towards the door. "But…"

Her eyes narrow. "Why?"

"It's the virtual age nowadays, isn't it?" says Yoshino. "Practically everyone has a computer nowadays. I'm sure that it'll come in handy for your studies." She takes Mio into the room and points to another foreign object sitting on the desk. "See, it even came with a printer!"

"Uh… sure…" Mio says slowly. "But what's the occasion? Why now?"

"Mou~…" Yoshino puts her hands on her hips. "Your sister went all the way out to get you a new computer, and all you can do is be suspicious? Hmph."

Mio's takes a step backwards. "All the more reason to be suspicious. Sister."

"Ah, well, it's nothing special." Yoshino waves her hand. "One of my classmates just got a brand new computer, so she gave her old one to me. That's all."

"And you gave it to me?…"

"I already have access to the latest computers in college, so I don't really need one." Yoshino gestures towards the computer. "Ta-da! Here you go!"

"Huh…" Mio doesn't let her guard down.

"I hope it's of use to you! Later, then," Yoshino says as she walks out of the room.

Mio maintains her guarded stance for five seconds. Then, she relaxes and sighs. "A computer, huh?"

Mio presses the power button on the computer. "I have an English assignment due tomorrow. Sakurai-sensei did say that typed assignments were a lot easier for her to read… I guess I could save some time by typing it up."


コンピュータ

"Computer"


4:21 pm.

Mio reads over the assignment sheet as the computer boots up. "Hm… A two page double-spaced written piece… Use at least five vocabulary words and underline them… Use at least ten adjectives and bold or circle them… Mm."

She looks up at the bulky monitor and sees that the computer desktop has finally loaded. "That's pretty straightforward. This should take no time at all." She stretches her arms and plops herself into the seat in front of her computer.

Mio has used computers at school in the LL room before, so she's familiar with basic tasks like word processing.

Wait… This computer has Windows 95.

Mio blinks. She hadn't really been paying attention when the computer was booting up, but with the start menu and desktop image, it's unmistakable.

It's Windows 95.

Mio blinks. "Huh. What an old computer. I can see why sister's friend would want to get rid of it." She shrugs. "Oh well, doesn't matter. It still works, all the same."

She finds the Microsoft Word icon on the desktop and double-clicks it. Several seconds pass.

Nothing happens.

She double-clicks it again.

Nothing happens.

She double-clicks it again.

Nothing happens.

"Why isn't it working?" Mio moves the mouse around. "The mouse is moving, so the mouse can't be broken."

She tries opening My Computer.

Nothing happens.

She tries opening Network Neighborhood.

Nothing happens.

She tries opening Recycling Bin.

Nothing happens.

"ONEE-CHAN!?"


4:28 pm.

"Ah, it's an age-old prank!" Yoshino says, smiling.

"Huh." Mio looks unamused.

"You take a screenshot of the desktop, set that as the desktop image, and you uncheck Show Desktop Icons in the dropdown menu." Yoshino moves the mouse around, navigating through several menus. "You're fooled into thinking that the icons are there, but actually, it's just the background image!"

Yoshino steps away from the desk. "There, it should be fixed." Mio double-clicks the icon, and sure enough, the My Computer window appears.

"Ah… thanks, sister."

Yoshino smiles as she walks to the door. "No problem, Mio! Just remember…" She winks and puts a finger up to her lips. "Always annotate!"

And then she's gone.

Mio blinks. Then, she slowly turns to her computer, deciding to ignore her sister and her random comments.

"All right then, let's get to work." She double-clicks the Microsoft Word icon.

A black window suddenly appears. Text begins rapidly filling up the window.

Ku ku ku ku ku ku ku ku ku ku ku ku ku ku ku ku ku …

Mio stares blankly as the same word appears over and over again.

"This isn't Microsoft Word..." Mio puts her finger to her chin.

She closes the window. "More of that pranking, huh… That classmate of hers is turning out to be very troublesome."

Mio shrugs. "Well, I should be able to get to Word with the start menu." She clicks Start, then Programs, then Microsoft Office, then Microsoft Word.

A black window opens.

"Not again," Mio groans, moving the mouse towards the X button.

Another black window appears on top of the first one.

"Huh?"

A third black window appears. Then, a fourth. Then, a fifth. A sixth. A seventh. An eighth. A ninth.

More and more black windows are opening faster and faster. The entire screen is filling up with black windows.

Mio stares incredulously at the monitor.

There's so many windows open now that the tabs in the taskbar have started grouping together.

51 cmd

58 cmd

68 cmd

85 cmd

113 cmd

156 cmd

218 cmd

303 cmd

"ONEE-CHAN!?"


4:31 pm.

"Ah, it's the program that my classmate made!" Yoshino grins. "The one that opens up more of itself! Heh, heh… She must have switched the Word shortcut with a shortcut to the program."

"Well fix it, already!" Mio points to her assignment paper. "I have an assignment to type up for tomorrow!"

"No biggie. I'll just force-restart." She holds down the power button until the computer shuts off. She presses it once more and the computer starts up again.

"Ugh…"

"Good old imo .bat," Yoshino giggles.

The computer beeps.

Mio points to the error message on the monitor. "Uh… sister? What does that mean?"

Yoshino walks over to it. "Oh dear… It seems that some vital system files have been deleted."

"WHAT."

"Maybe it was a virus?... Mio, did you run any suspicious programs lately?"

"Yes. Two." Mio glares.

"Ah, I see." Yoshino puts her finger to her chin. "What a tricky girl, that classmate! Writing a .bat file to delete system32…"

"Can you fix it?"

"Of course!" Yoshino grins. "I may not look it, but I actually know a lot about computers."

Mio sighs. "Sure."

Yoshino turns to the computer. "Though with system32 deleted, I'm not sure what else I can do... I'll just reformat the drive and reinstall Windows."

"Is that going to take long?"

"Shouldn't take too long!" Yoshino takes a CD out of her pocket. "Besides, this is the perfect opportunity to upgrade to something really new! That Windows 95 seemed pretty old, but I had no real excuse to upgrade it until now."

Mio read the CD label. "Windows… XP?"

"Yup!"

"O… kay?"


5:37 pm.

"Sister… I thought you said it wasn't going to take long..." Mio looks up at Yoshino.

"An hour isn't long at all in the grand scheme of things." Yoshino looks at the screen and clicks a few things.

"Ugh…" Mio rolls over in her bed. "Is it going to take much longer?"

"It's going to be done soon!" Yoshino announces cheerfully.

Mio sighs. "Well, at least I've gotten some studying done for the science test in the meantime." She flips a page in her notebook.

"You have a science test tomorrow?"

"Yeah, didn't I tell you?"

"Mm… Okay, and it's done!"

Mio stares, and then sets her notebook down onto her bed. "Really? No other pranks that your classmate might've left?"

Yoshino shakes her head confidently. "No, this is a brand new install of Windows. Enjoy!"

Mio walks up to the seat and sits down. Yoshino watches cheerfully over Mio's shoulder. Mio double-clicks the Microsoft Office Word 2000 icon and then the Microsoft Word window appears, just like it should.

"Ah…" Mio smiles. "Thank you, sister."

Yoshino walks out the door. "No problem! And remember…" Yoshino winks, holding up two fingers. "Always use meaningful names!"

Mio decides to ignore her sister's random comment.

"All right then…" She puts her fingers on the keyboard. "At least with all of that waiting, I've had time to think about what I should write…"

She begins typing.


6:03 pm.

"Done!" Mio smiles. "I'll read through it once more, and then I'll print it."

Mio scrolls to the top and begins reading silently.

The lights in her room dim and then brighten again. Mio turns around and looks up. "Huh… a power surge."

Suddenly, a shiver runs down her spine. She slowly turns back to her computer, dread filling her body.

It's the boot-up screen.

Mio's eyes widen. "I… saved, didn't I?"

Outside, the sky is already dark blue. The sun set a while ago. There's only the faintest tinge of yellow in the west horizon.

"Di… Didn't I?"


6:41 pm.

This time, Mio saves her work as often as possible as she retypes her assignment.

Mio types her last sentence, saves, and then collapses into her seat with a sigh of relief. "Finally…" She turns around and glares defiantly at the light fixture on the ceiling. "Even if there's a power surge now, my work won't be lost."

She continues glaring at the lights for a while, but no power surge comes. Mio sighs, turns around, and begins rereading her work, looking for mistakes.

A few minutes later, Mio is satisfied. She clicks File, and then Print.

The entire screen flickers, and then Mio's hard work is replaced with a blue screen and a lot of English text.

Mio's eye twitches.

"ONEE-CHAN!?"


6:50 pm.

"It's called the blue screen of death," Yoshino explains as the computer finishes booting up again.

"Uh-huh." Mio looks very unamused.

"The typical solution is to restart the computer."

"Uh-huh."

"Well, it's nothing to worry about. It happens every now and then." Yoshino clicks the don't send button on the error report popup. "Okay, that should be it."

Mio plops herself in front of the computer, glaring at the monitor. "Hn."

"Remember," Yoshino says, sticking out her tongue, "to always use return in queries!"

Mio doesn't look away from the monitor. "Hn."

The door shuts.

"Now then, computer…" Mio's eyes narrow. "You're going to help me print my assignment… Or else."

The monitor sits there.

Mio double-clicks on My Documents.

The icon turns blue, but the window doesn't open.

Mio quadruple-clicks.

Two windows open.

Mio raises an eyebrow.

"Never mind… let's just print it and get it over with."

After some struggling with several clicks, Mio finally manages to open her assignment document. Being the perfectionist that she is, however, she starts reading it over one final time to look for mistakes.

She actually finds a typo. At one point, she had accidentally typed the word "the" twice by mistake. Mio clicks the mouse in order to select the word and delete it.

Nothing happens.

Mio clicks harder, dragging it over the word.

The highlight appears, but doesn't cover the word completely

Mio clenches her teeth and presses down on the mouse as hard as she can, slowly and painstakingly dragging the mouse over the word. Then, something happens too fast for her eyes to catch, and suddenly, an entire chunk of text is in the wrong place.

Mio closes her eyes, puts her left hand on her forehead, and takes a deep, shuddering breath. Then, she opens her eyes again, glaring at the monitor.

"This mouse is clearly useless." She moves her hands to the keyboard and uses the arrow keys and the shift button to select and delete the misplaced text. She arrow-keys down and retypes the misplaced text. She presses ctrl and s simultaneously to save, and then quickly looks down to add a space that she remembers is missing, and then saves again.

She looks up and freezes. The entire document is empty. She immediately jerks away from the keyboard, terrified of doing anything to make it worse. Sweat drops trickle down her face.

"What the heck?"

Unbeknownst to Mio, a few seconds ago, she had mistakenly pressed ctrl and a instead of ctrl and s, thereby selecting the entire document. When she had added the space, that had replaced all of the text in the document with one space.

Mio continues sweating profusely. "Wait… don't panic." She gulps. "Panic will just make things worse." Her eyes scour the screen in search of something that will help her situation. They lock onto the blue, curly arrow on in a toolbar near the top of the screen.

Mio smiles nervously. "Of course!... The undo button!" She slowly moves her hand towards the mouse.

The power goes out.

The power goes back on again.

Mio sits there completely frozen as the computer automatically starts booting up again.

"AAAAHHHHHHHH!"


日常 - nichijou, Arawi Keiichi