So, I lived in a family that was all about building character. We raked piles of leaves not to save money on leafblowers, but to build character. We shoveled foot after foot of snow and ice off our driveway rather than getting a snowblower to build character. Dandelions were pulled to build character, sticks picked up to build character, etc, etc.
To summarize it all, my current laptop builds character.
My laptop was purchased at the start of my sophomore year, the first year back from my mission in Sonora. We didn’t want anything special, so we built it using the functions Dell provided online. We got 32 gigs of memory, a battery that lasted two hours, and had a wireless internet card, and came with that obligatory crappy antivirus that all new laptops have. It cost a good amount of money, but once I got it in the mail in my little dorm room, I was king of the world. That was around September 2006.
I still have it.
I have to say, compared to the laptops that I have seen used by my friends and associates, I am impressed by how it’s held up. It is nothing pretty, just the standard black color and setup. The top of it is all scratched up, but it is holding together. I only have to pick up the spare screw that falls out of the casing every other week. In a way, I kind of look at it like the A-10 Warthog of laptops; ugly as sin, but it gets the job done.
The problem is the computing power. 32 gigs wasn’t all that impressive in 2006, and it is a whole lot worse in 2010. They sell mini-laptops with Spongebob Squarepants permanently painted on the casing that have around five to ten times that much memory. I’m pretty sure there are iPhones out there that could out-compute it.
Internet Explorer, iTunes and Dwarf Fortress give my computer problems when I try to run them. I mean they do that individually; running them together is a really, really bad idea. In order for Hulu to run smoothly, I have to put ice blocks underneath it so that it doesn’t overheat. With all due respect to my current antivirus, I’m pretty sure I have a spybot or virus or two, but my laptop doesn’t have the computing power to run them.
Hardware problems are starting to stack up as well. The wireless card has given out, so my laptop has to be plugged into the internet by a cord, and lately the power cord has started to randomly decide to unplug itself for no apparent reason. I have a feeling that the fan, which hasn’t been working all that well to begin with, will be next to give out. My guess is that the lifetime of this thing will be measured in months, not years.
Which is too bad really. I’ve grown used to how crappy it is. I don’t know what I’d do if everything ran smoothly. :)