What is a laptop?
Pardon me, but I am in the mood for pedantic explanations. It is a portable device with a processor that can be used without constraining the user to a particular geographical location. Wireless routers just worked hand-in-hand with this definition, because you were not required to have the network cable plugged in.
Have you seen this advertisement where an old grandmother uses the laptop as a cutting board/pizza pan/baking/cleaning surface etc? If you haven’t, then here it is.
I wouldn’t say our laptop was stress-tested by a grandmother, but it has been stress-tested by a budding family. The device has aged gracefully in my opinion. The first signs started with the wireless. It now remains immobile by being chained to a network cable because the wireless doesn’t work anymore.
After hours with a customer specialist, nothing was achieved – in fact, the last of the calls finished with the exasperating statement from the husband telling the CSR that he was a network engineer, and has tried “right clicking and hitting repair” several times before calling! Unfortunately, customer service representatives are not trained to handle network engineers who have already tried Option X on their list, and our wireless died.
Never one to chicken out this easily, we just bought a network cable long enough to stretch across the Golden Gate Bridge and restored a certain mobility to it. I think the laptop sulked for a while, and tried acting up because of the leash, but seeing the other option – that of jostling for space on the tiny computer table, decided to work with the leash instead.
One time, it whined too loudly and the sound blasters stopped working. So, now, we could attach those over-the-ear speaker phones at the sound socket, and listen to sound. Here’s a hint, it isn’t worth the trouble. For one, you can never find the headphones when you need them. One of my friends is a popular audio-blogger, and that meant letting go of tuning in to her site every now and then to listen to some treats (hey, she wouldn’t miss one of her fans not being able to listen as much I miss listening to her songs!)
“It is still functional though”, I argue weakly. “Yeah? Tell me one thing you still enjoy doing with the thing?” demands the network-engineer-husband. “I can still see photos, and I love to do that!” I counter. I wear a smug smile on my face and move towards the laptop again. It’s spooky, it was like the laptop HEARD me, and in a last bid to free itself ruined the screen. All I could see was red and blue all over. It had streaks all over, and if I squinted my eyes and tilted my face, I
could still find the icons on the desktop.
Then, one day, one of us went somersaulting on the long cable. The flying sensation was not good for 2 reasons:
1) The actual airborne sensation was exceptionally short-lived and
2) The body doesn’t take easily to falling-by-tripping-on-network-cables that easily. Maybe a respectable fall while running/playing, it can still manage. But tripping on a network cable? Your body asks : “Dude seriously?!” And then, just hurts like crazy!
So, now the cable is bundled up and tied with a rope, and the laptop jostles for space with the computer anyway. It really can’t whine too much, because the sound blasters are gone, and if I squint hard enough, I can find the mozilla icon somewhere.
I am not sure if laptop societies had any laws on retirement per se, but mine really seems to have reached the end of it’s reign. It’s time my laptop retired – what do you say?