Laptop Blues


As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my beloved PowerBook fell from a height of five feet onto a very hard tile floor. As it turns out, it did not survive the fall, and I have not replaced it yet.

This loss, while painful,…

  • partly explains the infrequency of my posting here
  • serves as chance for me to wrestle with the level of attachment I have to a material object such as a computer
  • provides me with an opportunity to evaluate my relationship to the internet

Adherents to the notion that the universe sometimes sends us messages might say that this purposefully happened at a time when funds are not immediately available to buy a new laptop. And while I like to think that my lifestyle is a healthy one, including ample time participating in outdoor activities such as hiking/backpacking, cycling, skiing, and most recently jogging, and that I’m not in danger of being addicted to technology and the internet, I won’t lie…

…I’m experiencing significant withdrawal.

As I think about this, I come up with an interesting assortment of ideas, and it’s rather difficult differentiating between reasonable assertions and rationalizations.

Here’s a few, in no particular order:

  • Using the term “withdrawal” is a dramatic overstatement, introducing the suggestion of addiction before any real analysis has been conducted.
  • If my use of a laptop were limited to senseless chatter via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc., especially considering that I have an iPod Touch with which I can easily do all of those things, then my having a hard time without a laptop should raise some questions about whether or not I have a healthy relationship with the internet. However, since this blog, and my previous blog, which I wrote for five years, are Exhibit A, definitive proof that my relationship to the internet isn’t just about frivolous nonsense, and, rather, represents an essential creative outlet for me, it’s only fitting that I would experience adverse side effects when this creative outlet is severely restricted.
  • I am on a computer at work for the majority of my 40+ hours per week at my job, and one of the ways I used my laptop was to prevent going stir crazy in my office. Up until now, I could take my laptop and go to any number of wi-fi hotspots on campus and enjoy being around other people as I did my work. For that reason alone I didn’t feel like I was suffering from spending so much time on a computer, because I was able to stay connected to the outside world in real terms rather than just virtual terms.

And so I continue to shop online for a replacement, regardless of not having the money now, in hopes of figuring out some kind of solution, and knowing that the more time I research and shop the better decision I’ll make and the better laptop I’ll end up with. The most difficult part of that process is being at a starting point where I for sure won’t be able to afford my preferred option, a new Apple MacBook. I’m not a Windows hater by any means, heck I’m on an PC 40+ hours per week at work, but I just love the Apple experience so much.

As of now, I’m actually leaning towards a netbook, specifically the ASUS 1201N, and I’ll admit to being partly drawn by some of the stylistic similarities it shares with the aluminum MacBook Pro. And yet, the 1201N gets overwhelmingly positive reviews by consumers and journalists alike, and it’s half the price of the MacBook Pro.

Looks aside, it’s an apples (pun intended) and oranges comparison, so you won’t find me saying that the 1201N is a better deal. But it just might be the kind of device that I can enjoy, not just because I save a load of money, but because it is a pretty darned good machine in it’s own right.

2 thoughts on “Laptop Blues

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