Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Elegy (of sorts) for a Laptop

Yesterday, I finally got frustrated enough with my MacBook to cave in and take it to the Apple Store, not-so-secretly hoping that a new MacBook was the answer. Don't get me wrong -- I love my MacBook -- but at six years old and counting, its age is showing. The lag time between typing in, say, a web address, and having it appear on screen is not as bad as the old AOL dial-up connection delay, but let's just say it's frustrating to try to do much of anything in a hurry. In addition, it was no longer possible to work for any length of time without plugging it in. Case in point: I teach from 11 - 1:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. One day, when I forgot to plug my MacBook in between classes, it died partway through my second class, giving me that sad, sad, red, empty battery icon and forcing me to figure out what to do in the absence of any visuals while it powered back up.


So, when the technician at the Genius Bar referred to my laptop as vintage (better it than me), I had a feeling my dream of a new laptop -- one that responded in real time -- might actually be realistic.

In the end, the only rationalization I could come up with for replacing the battery instead of the machine itself was price. In addition to its speed challenge, the old MacBook no longer accepts the newest software updates. I could very easily end up spending over a hundred dollars on a new battery only to have the old machine outlive its usefulness.

And useful it was. I wrote two novels (almost three) on that MacBook, one of which I've already published. I wrote more blogs and articles than I can count, along with two book proposals, including the one for Know Thyself: The Imperfectionist's Guide to Sorting Your Stuff, which is currently in my editor's hands. I learned how to use Keynote and Pages and Canva, creating course materials, promo materials and playing with presentations and graphic design just for fun. I learned how to use Twitter and refined my skills on that machine. I poured out my heart in personal emails and wrote my mom's obituary.

It was a very good MacBook.

And so I did the only thing I could. I retired it while I still have fond memories of it and before its power is gone completely. Like any outgoing expert, it can train its replacement, sharing files and wisdom (okay, maybe not wisdom) and serving in a limited capacity while being allowed more rest than a full-time laptop can manage.

I wasn't thrilled by all the bells and whistles on the newest MacBooks, so my new MacBook looks exactly like my old one. Over time, it will earn its own place in my heart, (its shiny, clean screen and increased power are an excellent start) as I finish old works and start new ones I haven't even dreamed of yet.

But I'm not counting the old one out just yet. After all, a Jersey girl's laptop is bound to have had some stubborn determination transferred to it after six years of tapping away at its keys. Battle-scarred (you should see the keyboard) or not, it's tough and I suspect it has more life in it than it lets on.

Twin MacBooks, six years apart. What more could a Jersey writer wish for?

No comments:

Post a Comment