I can start typing now that my laptop is finally booting up. God, this thing is slow. I bought it six years ago, so it’s probably time to replace it, but apart from the speed, and it’s a bit temperamental, I really like this girl. It has a 15.6-inch touchscreen, a terabyte of storage, and a CD drive. I don’t remember what processor it is, or how much RAM, but it’s a great little computer, and I hate to give it up. But I’m not getting any younger and I don’t have 15-20 minutes to waste every time I turn this thing on.
Of course, I’m often my worst enemy, because I don’t wait for everything to load before trying to access my email, Word, or the Internet. And when nothing happens, I keep hitting the keys, and my computer starts grinding its teeth in a valiant attempt to open multiple windows with its tiny processor. And McAfee will sometimes run a startup scan (without telling me), which doesn’t help matters. There is also a communication problem with the printer, as it will not create anything in color. It will work if printed directly from mobile, but not from laptop. My final complaint is that the keys aren’t backlit. I need my desk lamp to see them typing. So that’s something I want this time around.
I only paid $500 for my laptop so the price was right. I never understood why people spend $1700 to $2500 on these things (unless it’s needed for game speed or flight simulators). I don’t feel bad about replacing my laptop every six years or so when I paid so little to start with. It’s sad that it makes more economic sense to replace it than to upgrade it.
But I’m having trouble deciding. I won’t give up on large storage, and I need a touchscreen. We’re used to touching screens on our phones, so it’s intuitive with my laptop. It’s convenient to just pinch and zoom items, scroll with your finger, or move the cursor directly. It’s like playing a musical instrument, my fingers flying between the keyboard and the screen.
Then there’s the hassle of transferring files. I think there’s a cable you can get, but I’ve always moved things around with thumb drives, or something. At least I haven’t stored photos here in a while, now that I’m comfortable having them in the cloud on Google Photos. I have a USB stick plugged into the back of our TV that has ten years of photos on it and is no longer updated. Why bother when I can grab them on my iPhone and send them to the big screen using Chromecast?
The CD function is no longer used, which is why newer models do not have it. My old laptop was used as a movie theater and music player when we were only here on weekends. And a CD drive is no longer needed to download software, as we now do it directly from the Internet.
I will end up buying a new one. I get grumpy when I fire her. But once gone, she’s a pretty old maid. But I won’t get rid of her. I’m going to put her on the floor in the closet next to the one she replaced. Although I haven’t started the former in six years, you never know when you might need something there. But nothing lasts forever, and I can’t keep wasting all that precious time waiting, because I won’t get it back. Life is too short.
Corky Pickering and his wife moved from the Bay Area to Cottonwood in 2014. He recently retired from the federal government as a lawyer advising law enforcement. He was a rock and roll bassist and Marine JAG. He can be contacted at [email protected].