Thursday, April 12, 2018

New Computers

Computers have become as ubiquitous as automobiles - and as necessary as they are common.  Our iPhone Smartphones or MacBook Pro laptop computers are unquestionably among the first things we visit every morning.  And the attention is bound to continue throughout the day, whether to check the time, answer or make a phone call, find the right aisle in the grocery store, send or receive an email, confirm the weather, take a photo, ask Google a question, book an appointment, verify a credit card expense, bank deposit or withdrawal, etc. I flatter myself to tout that I use the devices exclusively for business (as opposed to mere games); that is, they are far from being toys even though I am equally proud to say I have good quality items of choice.

There is however one thing about computers I don't particularly like - and that is the habit of getting a new one from time to time.  When I was practicing law it was not uncommon to replace each of our three desktop computers in the office at least every 18 months and often as frequently as annually.  Whether it was  the necessity to deal with more and more complicated software or merely the desire to keep up with improving technology, the purchase obligation was unavoidable (even though I always attempted for the first few days to argue the desirability of keeping the existing systems - "which are working quite fine, thank-you!"

But the transition was inevitable. The better the old software became, the less well it worked on the existing memory and related systems. I therefore early developed an acceptability of upgrading.  I also know for a fact that I was the first local solicitor to embrace computer technology - which apart from being a psychological boost was really little more than an acknowledgement that technology was for me a high.  Not only did technology challenge me mentally, it rewarded me spiritually whenever I overcame its guaranteed temporary roadblocks.

The stimulus for the new Apple computers on Monday of this week began as a mere inquiry about why a "mouse" was acting up.  The Apple salesman suggested that we need only turn off WiFi and try connecting the mouse once again (an idea which in fact proved to be the ultimate solution).  In the meantime however we questioned the utility of spending money on a new mouse, perhaps wasting time doing the impossible, and effectively convincing ourselves that our current MacBook Pros dated back to early 2014 which made them over 4 years old, far beyond the threshold to which I had been accustomed.  As I suggested from the outset, computers are a bit like cars, not the least of which comparison is that there is no way to beat the dealer at his game.  New computers - like new cars - are impossible to resist and the price never goes lower.

It will therefore come as no surprise to learn that several hours later we were walking out of the Apple store burdened with two large bags containing two new MacBook Pro 15" computers and related mouses and cable connections.  What similarly followed for the next 48 hours was a variation of frustration and delight as we attempted to reacquaint ourselves with the new devices and cleanse the old ones for distribution free gratis to family and friends.  It appears that of the two of us I have - at least for the time being - been the lucky one in that I have seemingly accomplished all my objectives.  I confess that the simple use to which I put these devices means that my needs are commensurately less complicated than others.  Basically I limit myself to email, on-line banking, news, blogging and photos.  There are some more esoteric matters such as printing and scanning; and I have yet to tackle the matter of videos.  Naturally each of these mundane features are clouded with their own silly details whereby one is searching to restore the customary manner of handling them (there is always some new competitive method which requires far more patience than I prefer to share).

Though the expense of these new devices is not negligible, our reasoning is that it pales in comparison to so many other indulgences, not the least of which for comparison is the cost of booze.  In my former drinking days it was not uncommon to spend at least $900 per month on distilled and fermented alcohol. And that was only the Liquor Control Board - not considering the heftier charges at restaurants and bars.  Frankly I get a great deal of satisfaction recalling those spendthrift days of alcoholism because the memory uplifts endless new indulgences which are comparatively quaint and wholesome.

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