Thursday, May 11, 2006

Piling on the debt

If the new bike pump and fancy underpants I bought last weekend don’t send me to the poor house, last night’s purchase is sure to push me over the edge.

I’d bought the last generation of wedge-shaped iMacs back in 2001, and while Crashy McSlowprocessor hasn’t been a nightmare computer, it’s sure been a challenging one.

I learned early on to back up my files often, which I randomly did a few weeks ago. Which proved to be damned good timing, because we had another crash on Monday (The Crash of Monday the 8th, it will hereafter be solemnly called). And even though my hardware diagnostics CD told me there was nothing wrong that a little rebooting couldn’t fix, the computer couldn’t seem to find its own hard drive (there’s a Dubya metaphor in there somewhere) when I tried to reload three different operating systems: OS X, OS 10.2 and—in desperation—OS 9.

Which I took as my sign to throw in the towel. I was tired of lugging 5,000 lbs of dead weight to the Mac store and reloading all my backed-up files every time Crashy lost another baby, and I was tired of trying to do Internet things (like Internet radio—get your minds out of the gutter) that my sad little processor wasn’t fast enough to process.

So I marched into the Mac store last night and stumbled out half an hour later with the bigger one of these bad boys in my hands:

Now I have the latest in high-tech gadgetry AND the portability to make it easy to take the damn thing in for repairs when if it crashes. I also got 30% off a .Mac subscription AND a free printer (after 100% rebate)—all for … well, let’s not dwell on how much I spent on everything.

What’s more, I just signed up for Vonage, which will save me about 60% on my phone bill AND give me a free router that works for my phones AND (what’s with me and the all-caps ANDs today?) for my new wireless-enabled laptop. What. Is. Not. To. Love?

My meaty man-hands have always made it hard for me to use laptop keyboards and mouses, though, so I kept Crashy’s keyboard and mouse, which work perfectly with my new laptop. And so far the only problem I’ve had with the new computer involved getting the Internet connection to work—I had to call Comcast’s tech support line last night and talk to Mumbles McThickaccent, who informed me that Comcast doesn’t support OS 10.4 (Comcastic, my ass). I convinced him to walk me through the 10.3 setup, though, and after a bit of clicking and whirring, I was back online. WHEW.

And now the final issue: what to do with the old computer? Since its hard drive is as tanked as Dick Cheney at a quail hunt, I can’t get in to delete private stuff on it (résumés, passwords, financial information, pictures of me killing hookers in the basement)—which precludes my donating it to someone who could try to repair it and steal my celebrity-blogger identity. I may pry out the hard drive and then leave pieces of the computer in the dumpster behind my building on random days of the week. Or I may set it on fire and show it who got the last laugh.

In any case, I’m now a member of the Laptop Generation, with all its attendant benefits: a free-n-easy lifestyle, lower sperm count, less efficiency at airport security and personal assets as liquid as Karl Rove’s ass.

(I have no idea what that means either, but I’d bashed Dubya and that lesbian-dad/friend-shooter guy, so I figured I had to give the entire unholy triumvirate equal opportunity to feel the sting of my rapier-like wit.)

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