Oh Laptop, Laptop, Wherefore Art Thou, Laptop?

05/12/2011 By Shawn Burns

Things have been slow here in the Casa de Backpacking Dad. (I use that phrase ironically, but only for me to get since it looks sincere: I don’t think it’s charming to describe your space or blog or whatever as “Casa de…”. Does it still count as irony if I have to explain it?)

The reason things have been slow here is that I don’t have my laptop. My power outlet port got all wonky (again…it happened in 2008 too) and I had to send it in to get fixed. It will be gone until May 24th or so.

I have access to Emily’s CR-48, a test-notebook running the Chrome OS. But it doesn’t have, like, a harddrive or CD-ROM drive or DVD player or an operating system that understands the portable hard drive I keep my pictures on, or a card slot to read my camera photos, or iTunes or blah blah blah. It can’t even handle Netflix at the moment, since it has no way to download Microsoft Silverlight. It’s fine for most of my online activities (except Netflix), but it’s not a replacement for my laptop. Also, it’s Emily’s, so….she might look at me a bit growly if I run into the room and try to snake it from her while she’s in the middle of something.

I also have access to my old, old, OLD, laptop. I think it’s from Christmas 2002. It takes 3 hours to update Windows every time I turn it on. It can access my portable hard drive and so I can get to my pictures and stuff. I can install iTunes if I want to wait for like a week, and then I probably wouldn’t want to try to actually open iTunes. It cannot handle Netflix. Oh, it can install Silverlight fine, but it just can’t process the world fast enough to do more than track the audio for me and then skip scenes in five minute intervals. And typing on it is a nightmare, since the lag between keystrokes and visual appearance is enormous. The fan on it is always on high, and it really does just overheat two or three times a day, switching off entirely when I’m using it. I tried to write a chapter of my dissertation on it, using a desktop application and Google Docs, separately: while I could type a bit faster using the desktop application, I couldn’t stand losing paragraphs when it would crash; but while I could auto-save and cloud-preserve the entire document while I worked on Google Docs, the internet connectivity caused even more keystroke lag. Eventually I stole Emily’s CR-48 for a couple of days to finish the chapter.

I’m typing this from the CR-48 right now, but I have to use the WordPress dashboard to do it (since it is a web OS) instead of Microsoft LiveWriter, which I love to use because inserting pictures and videos into a post is pretty damned smooth, and I can see what the page will look like while I’m typing. I hate using the dashboard to post.

So, I’ve been avoiding my own blog. Yesterday I typed up the lyrics to the “Cheers” theme song and inserted onomatopoeia for the piano part. I couldn’t do any real blogging. I’ve also been a bit typed out, having literally written a dissertation chapter in 8 hours earlier this week. (It’s not good, but it has a beginning, middle, and an end, and that’s all I can hope for at the moment. Oh, wait. No, it didn’t have an end. Crap.) We are also planning Adrian’s 2nd Birthday party for Saturday, and I don’t really have anything else to write about.

So you get this.

Hi, I’m a total blogging pro.

Some people are really good at letting the world into their heads and their feelings and their doings. I am not one of them. But I will let you know how I feel about my laptop situation.

First one to say “First world problems,” wins. Oh, wait. I just said it. So I win. Yay!

I’m so awesome.

I wonder how many times I can type “I’m awesome” in a row without a typo, going as fast as I can.

I’m awesome I’m aweomse I

Once. I could do it once. I’m not awesome.


You still here? I said “goodbye”, so you ought to have stopped reading. Now I’m just feeling the way the keys of the CR-48 feel against my fingerpads. The plastic they are made of is whatever the plastic equivalent of “brushed nickel” is, if nickel were also black. It’s soft, unreflective. The keys depress easily. I feel like I’m not talking about the keys or plastic anymore.

Here’s a riddle: