The ‘nerdiness’ category

The Perilous Mayhem of Laptop SNAFUs

February 22nd, 2017

Why I need a big monitor

Why I need a big monitor

One of the perils of being a freelancer is that you’re responsible for your own stuff in every way, including that you can’t just call an IT guy if something goes wrong with your computer. And wrong things go. I’ve got some special sort of computer karma going where every few years I end up needing a new Macbook.*

  • In 2006 I had to get a new laptop because repeated business trips to the salty, humid, ever-so-hot Yucatan destroyed the internal components, manifesting in computer form how I felt in my very soul during the period I worked in that yoga job.
  • In 2008 I had to get a new laptop because I managed to dump a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee on my keyboard while on a crowded, tiny airplane trying to catch up on work and stay awake. (Same job.)
  • In 2011 I had to get a new laptop because mine was stolen from the front desk of the yoga studio I managed in San Francisco. I turned my back for a hot second and it was gone. I was incredulous. Back then, I actually thought people who go to yoga classes are essentially good humans.
  • In 2015 that just-over-3-year-old laptop became irrationally slow and would constantly hang up. I brought it to the Genius Bar and was snootily informed that my laptop was “too old” to function well and I might as well get a new one. Which I did.
  • And today, in 2017, I am staring down the barrel of potentially buying a new laptop because of water damage that resulted from a freak accident. They may be able to fix it, though. For a small fortune.

Each time one of these incidents occurs, I genuinely consider changing careers. My husband and I dream of an organic Asian Pear Farm in Vermont. Asian Pears sell for like $5 a pop and they are pretty easy to grow (we think, although actually, we have no idea). From my various friendships with acupuncturists I know that Asian Pears are a cure-all for many ailments and are just wholesome as wholesome can be. The idea of doing something meaningful with my life is tempting. I mean, let’s face it, I’m not changing the world by writing riveting technology copy.

On the other hand, I really love what I do for a living. Right now I’m editing a memoir by a man who wrote down his life story for his kids and grandkids and all the future generations. If I could make a living doing just this sort of project, I would. It’s so cool that he’s doing it, and so fascinating to read.

I have to confess that, aside from the interesting nature of projects, one of the reasons I love my job is the chance to sequester myself away in a quiet room, my computer a lone portal to the outside world. I can control the interactions I have with other humans via this glowing box, choosing when to answer emails and texts and with whom to devote my energy in each moment.

To many people, this predilection would smack of social phobia, and maybe that’s true. But I will happily remain a social-phobic shut-in for the rest of his lifetime, even if it costs me roughly 3k every few years to replace my laptop.

On the other hand, Asian Pear farming probably doesn’t require a lot of people skills.

* No, I will never consider switching to PC. Besides the fact that every single application I have is the Mac version, and every single device and piece of hardware I own was built to optimize with a Mac—including my $1000 external monitor that wouldn’t work with a PC—I hate the interface of a PC. I have had to use them for jobs before and know I would get used to it. After all, humans can adjust to anything. But I don’t want to.



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