I think we need to start thinking about buying a new home computer. I’m kind of dreading the process and trying to forestall it for as long as possible.
Our current computer has served us long and loyally. It’s stored countless to-do lists, been a repository for family photos, served as a mailbox and news ticker, and been a blogging platform. It’s moved around with us to the point that we don’t really think our household has been established until the computer is hooked up and functional. I’ve watched and rewatched YouTube videos of the Ohio State Buckeyes’ run to the National Championship on it countless times. The keyboard characters have been tapped so often and the mouse clicked so frequently that they’ve acquired a worn, comfortable feel to the fingertips.
We’ve totally lost track of how long we’ve had the computer. Has it been six years? Nine? Longer? We’re really not sure. All we know is that the computer has been a staple of the desktop for as long as we can remember.
But lately we’ve started to have some performance problems with Old Faithful. It’s sputtering and slowing down. That annoying spinning circle, shown as the computer processes commands, seems to spin ever longer and longer. “Force quit” has become a more frequent solution to apparently intractable problems that even the spinning circle can’t resolve. We get more messages about certain programs “not responding.” It’s as if they’re mad at us and have simply decided to give us the silent treatment — even though, so far as we know, we’ve done nothing to provoke such disrespectful treatment.
There’s a certain out-of-touch embarrassment factor to our computer set-up, too. Our techno-nerdy friends who have those razor-blade-thin and ultra-light laptops and tablets, the kind that make even techno-nerds look a little bit cool, laugh at our clunky desktop unit. Once it was cool and cutting edge, now it’s more like relying on an “adding machine.” The ongoing technology revolution waits for no man, and no computer, no matter how faithfully it has performed over years of service.
So we’ll work a new computer into the home budget, and once we’ve saved up we’ll head to the Apple store, look with a lost and vacant expression at the lines of gleaming laptops and desktops and tablets, and hope that one of those bright instruments of the modern era speaks to us. Hey, which of you wants to come home with us and become an important part of the daily pattern of our lives?