My computer, I have discovered, is a bit like my bed. Far too extensive for the job required of it but the corner that’s utilised is precisely tailored to my needs.
The MacBook Pro went to the Genius Bar on Friday afternoon and, having been diagnosed as suffering from an ailment of the fan rather than a terminal condition of the hard drive, was admitted for minor surgery.
I returned home and lugged out the old iBook which after a long life of daily service had been handed over to the less than gentle hands of secondspawn. After scrubbing off accretions of semi-masticated sweets, blu tack, marmite, and what might have been glue from the exterior I set about performing a similar task on its interior, aka disc, particularly the area occupied by user: secondspawn which was full of videos of the carpet where shortly before a dog or cat might have been, jpgs of toy guns downloaded from the internet and a bewildering array of random mp3s and podcasts presumably put there by his elder brother.
With the drive and its contents de-cached, -cookied, -trashed and generally cleaned, updated and optimised I turned my attention to user: me and installed five pieces of essential software which were not there – Firefox, Quicksilver, OnyX, Growl and Twitterific.
Hmmm. Now we were getting somewhere. Things were beginning to look a bit more homelike. Firefox needed add-ons and the familiar theme, but that was easy enough. Then I came upon my major difficulty. Bookmarks. There were none. And those left behind and imported from Safari were hugely out of date. I had no access to my own blog’s control panel, for instance, and didn’t have a clue what the url might be. (Notes to self: synchronise browser bookmarks either via .mac or del.icio.us. Or both. Synchronise feeds in NetNewsWire with Google Reader.)
So here I am on a little laptop with a tiddly hard drive and a very slow processor and, for day-to-day purposes, there’s really not much difference in my internet-based computer-using experience which is predicated more on connection speed than chip MHz. Would it really, I ask myself, be such a disaster if my MacBook Pro blew up or melted down? Probably not. Although the non-functioning on the iBook of the shift keys, fn key, ctrl key, alt key and apple keys would become onerous, I reckon, should I need to use it in circumstances where I couldn’t plug in a keyboard. The much-used smilicon 🙂 for instance would be completely impossible. No doubt the introduction of some viscous substance into the keyboard is responsible for these shortcomings.
Similarly my bed. Not to the iBook and the introduction of a viscous substance. No. To the MacBook Pro and the non-utilisation of available capacity. It is a double bed. I am a single person. I curl up every night in exactly the same spot, at the edge, and do not use more than 30% of its available area, if that. If it were not for the malfunctioning keys of the iBook and the photo processing capabilities of the MacBook Pro I should be very tempted to sell the latter. There are no such impediments with the bed. As long as I have my pillow and duvet a single futon would do just as well.
A wise friend once told me to look long and hard at every possession I have, ask myself whether it has utility, whether it gives me joy, and if the answer to both is “no” then to chuck it. I haven’t reached that point yet, but I’m approaching it.
I shall not mention, of course, that the aforementioned wise friend may well have applied these criteria to an item of clothing, chucked it and is now having to acquire a replacement. To do so would merely be a feeble attempt to justify my own syllogomania.
And yes, obviously, I eventually worked out the url for the blog workings (and, even more impressively, remembered the password) otherwise this post wouldn’t exist. Hurrah!