I realize now that I have been gradually turned into a Luddite, albeit not an active one, but by default. There was a day when I had one of the early word processors (a dual tape affair with a big Selectric typewriter) and one of the first fax machines (it was the size of a small refrigerator). I had one of the first IBM personal computers when the screens had electronic green letters. I kept updating regularly and had finally graduated to a succession of Macs. I was an innovator, or an early adopter, at the very least.
But the move to this desert changed all that. Through a series of electrical burn-outs, my technological edge was eroded. I ended up with a laptop that quickly turned into a dinosaur that easily consumed at least an hour’s wait time each day as it struggled to process even the simplest of tasks. Alex took one look and, at less than 1 GB of RAM, immediately diagnosed the problem: the computer was working beyond its capacity.
Alex counseled me that now was the time to replace the dinosaur, and for less than $200 we bought a new Dell tower, and I am now preparing this post on a new machine that is not always notifying me that it is hung up on one script or another or that a program is nonresponsive as the computer’s overtaxed processors are laboring to complete their tasks.
I now understand three things. One is a computer consultant’s amazement that my old laptop was still in use. Second is a contributor’s willingness to buy me a new computer—I had no idea the damned things could be had so cheaply. Third is Moore’s Law, which says that over the history of computing hardware, the processing power of a given investment doubles every two years. Given the age of my old laptop, it should have died years ago.
Oh, and there is a fourth thing: I am a damned fool for having put up with so much aggravation for so long to save less than $200. Thank god that Alex has shown up and told me what anyone under the age of 30 knows as second nature.
Groove of the Day