After having pooh-pooh’d electronics that I deemed “unnecessary,” I’d like to pay homage to a few that I feel are quite necessary. Of course, their status as “necessary” depends entirely on your own point of view, but these are a few that I personally cannot live without. The first being my DVR. I once had Tivo and the day it started to malfunction, I almost lost it (incidentally, it was during a crucial point of an episode of “Lost,” which was so not cool). It was at a time in my life when I was completely overwhelmed by work and letting all sorts of personal stuff slide – doctor’s appointments, oil changes, etc. But the second my Tivo went on the fritz, I called the cable company and had a new DVR within days.
The second thing I cannot live without, as I discovered last night/this morning, is my laptop (implied in this is internet access – it’s my window to the outside world!). I’d had the same laptop since I moved to California seven years ago. It was a modest HP but it did what I needed it to and I was quite fond of it. However, I’d noticed lately that it had become really slow, as if even the simplest task was seriously taxing. I often exacerbated the situation by asking it to do very non-simple tasks, such as download albums from iTunes while I would watch videos on YouTube. It was also not a fan of syncing my iPod or burning CDs. Unfortunately for me and my trusty old laptop, last night I asked it to do three of these very things when I decided to buy the debut album from The Temper Trap (amazing, by the way) from iTunes, which I downloaded to my library (approximate duration of download: eternity), then added to my iPod so I could listen to it over my stereo, and then burned to CD so I could listen to it in my car (you didn’t think that someone happily working on a seven-year old laptop would have an iPod jack in their car, did you?). I believe this was the proverbial straw. Less than an hour after all of this activity, I walked into my living room to find the screen on my laptop a strange blue color with DOS-style writing that said something incredibly dramatic, like, “The hardware and software on this machine has suffered a fatal malfunction” (or similar). I thought, “No biggie, I’ll just reboot!” Yeah. My computer would not turn back on. I thought, “I’ll sleep on it and try it again in the morning – surely it’s just tired!” Yeah. When I awoke this morning, it was clear that my cute little laptop had finally shit the bed. I hesitated for about the amount of time it took to have my weekly Saturday morning chat with my parents, threw on some clothes without even showering, drove myself to Burbank and walked into Best Buy to buy a new laptop.
So, I sit here writing on a brand new HP laptop. I acknowledge that seven years in computer terms is practically pre-historic. And, while I wasn’t exactly thrilled about spending the money, I am looking forward to enhanced functions and speed. Also, Windows 7 is lovely so far.
However, the moral of the story is that it’s events like this in your life that show you who you really are. I consider myself fairly low-maintenance and not all that tied to material possessions….so long as a have a DVR and a functioning laptop with internet access.