Monday, October 28, 2013

The revenge of technology

I am convinced that certain mechanical and technical products have a soul, or, lacking a soul, they at least have a mean streak.

I think cars know when they are about to be replaced.

I think computers know when they are about to be replaced.

The jilted Gateway laptop.
I have memories of cars - a ‘67 Rambler Ambassador, a ‘76 Dodge Dart, a string of Volvo sedans, a string of Honda Accords, and a Mazda 626 - developing odd mechanical quirks as I was in the market to replace them with something newer.

The windshield wipers on the Rambler stopped working. An Accord engine light kept coming on. The Mazda transmission blew up.

Today, I’m having a direct experience with poor behavior on the part of the laptop - a Gateway NV54 - as I replace it with a new Surface Pro 2 from Microsoft.

Just this morning, I experienced a screen freeze three quarters of the way into a daily job I have each day to update a web site.

The screen freeze wasn’t new, necessarily. It’s been happening on and off and I’ve developed a workaround involving Clt-Alt-Del and re-logging into the computer.

This time, however, the computer didn’t respond. The hard drive light, just kept blinking and blinking and blinking and blinking ...

It was as if the Gateway was saying: “Ditch me for some sleeker model, huh?”

I lost my work.

I firmly believe the Gateway knew I went to the Windows Store on Thursday and purchased its replacement, the Surface Pro 2.

My Gateway has become underpowered and, to an extent, obsolete to my current needs. I wanted a powerful, fast processing laptop to work with by day, and a tablet for leisure and entertainment by night. Also, the Gateway weighs a beastly seven pounds, an anchor to be lugging around when I travel, while the Surface Pro is about three pounds.

Sleeker model, for sure. The Surface, for me, fit the bill.

I have a fair amount to transition in terms of files, extensions, etc. that I need to port over from one computer to the next, so I still need to lean on the Gateway for certain parts of my work.

But I don’t know what I can say to the Gateway to keep it happy, keep it in check for the next week or so. Thanks for the good work over the last few years? Thanks for the memories?

If it’s any consolation to the Gateway, I’ll keep it around for a bit because you never know: New technology can rise up and bite you in the ass too.

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