Forecast for the Future

"Every individual without exception bears a potential writer within himself. The reason is that everyone has trouble accepting the fact that he will disappear unheard of and unnoticed in an indifferent universe, and everyone wants to make himself into a universe of words before it's too late. 

Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not that far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding."

- Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

Monday, April 28, 2008

Computer Aliveness: Hard to complain right now...

I have just acted more impulsively than is usual for even me--as the devasting reality that I may have just erased my entire life of the past few years in digital form begins to set in slowly, the thought that I was also without computer began to take hold of me and savage my emotional well-being. And so...

I bought this new fella tonight--a 2.4 Ghz MacBook Pro. I feel spoiled.

It is the fifth computer I've had as an adult but my first new one since I got a Dell Dimension 4100 Pentium III 800 mhz desktop (256mb RAM) in August 2000 to take with me to school--running Windows ME and looking for love. I don't know why I still have this tower, but here it is:

My next machine was a used laptop I received in December 2002 to take with me on my semester abroad in London. It was just weak Celeron processor running Windows 98 SE and had only a cd player, but it did me well for a while. I'm pretty sure this computer is floating around my apartment somewhere but I can't seem to find it anywhere.

After that I got my next computer in September 2005, for $100 from the university where Princess Icy worked. They were upgrading all of their units and throwing out the old ones, so they offered all staff the chance to purchase one for $100. Though this machine was probably from 2002 or 2003, it was a Pentium 4 1.7 ghz with 1 GB ram and two harddrives totaling 120 GB. And most importantly, it ran Windows 2000, meaning that, unlike the other two, it could run iTunes. Up until this point I'd been relying on other people's computers to maintain my ipod, but finally I could control it all on my own. Here it is now below; it ran perfectly until just a few months ago when it began shutting off spontaneously and now, as of last week, seems to have kicked the bucket for good:

There it is at the bottom; note that the monitor is the same 17" monitor I got with my Dell desktop in 2000.

Finally in October 2006 I received "the life-changer"--my very first Mac. For $500, I purchased from a coworker of Shrimp Cracker a nearly 3 year old G4 1 ghz 12" Apple Powerbook with 1.25 GB ram (max) and 120 GB hard drive space (max). Here it is below in darkness next to the bright magic light of my new friend.

This machine literally changed my life. Though already aged when I received it, this machine finally brought me forward in the world, and its previous owner had souped it up enough to extend its lifespan years past the store purchase life. I began carrying this computer everywhere, using it for everything. It brought me immense joy and helped me feel finally like I'd been able to "center" my digital existence in a way that felt natural and right. It also converted me into a full-on Mac man.

I knew that eventually my romance with my G4 would fall apart, but even as recently as Friday it was still going strong and I hoped to have more time with it.

But you can't control the wind--I know that clearly enough. And now I have a new machine, and it's amazing and I am a lucky (though impoverished) boy. The start of a new era.

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