When I travel, I take along the world’s oldest laptop. It’s an ancient MacBook, chipped and cracked and scarred.
The laptop lacks any and all modern features or recent technological developments. The battery is totally shot; it works only if plugged into an electrical source that is directly linked to the power grid at the Hoover Dam. I’m not sure exactly how old it is, but I’m confident it dates from the pre-Twitter era, when email was a novel item and cell phones had antennae. It’s unfashionably thick and heavy. I think some of its components might be made of stone.
It was Richard’s laptop, three or four laptops ago. (He’s the one who put Alfred E. Newman on the screen.) He abandoned it when he got a new one and I exercised the time-honored parental right of adverse possession of discarded kid items. I take it with me on the road precisely because it’s older than Methuselah. I don’t care if it gets jostled or dropped or treated roughly. But it does what I need it to do, and I have deep respect for its durability and reliability. I’ve used it for years now, and it’s never failed me yet.
As I say to my kids and my younger colleagues, newer isn’t necessarily better.