Saturday, May 10, 2008

Please don't let it end this way...


While I never expected you to be around forever, I really didn't think it would end this way. I pictured we would spend our last days together watching movies on airplanes, surfing the web and playing solitaire. But instead, you lie before me in pieces sorted into labeled ziploc bags.

You were the first laptop that was truly mine, not a hand-me-down cast off from Mr. Probert, not a standard company issue or training lab overstock. You were build for Civil 3D and nothing else. I snuck into the office late at night under the guise of paying bills online to spec you out without him knowing. I contemplated the meatier M90, but I liked the idea of cramming more power into a smaller case. You were lighter, leaner, more functional. Your screen was smaller, but I knew I could always pair you up with a 19" LCD if you needed more space to roam.

We shared our first real public appearance at AU 2006. I was nervous, but you were cool as a cucumber. You've been my cell phone charger, my entertainment center, my wingman. How did I let this happen?

I have no excuses, only reasons, and none of them good.

Having the first child certainly softened my brain to room temperature, yet adding the second has made it downright popcorn ready. You stood by me, patiently, waiting for our time in the sun. A time that I would take you out before crowds, or onsite, or you'd even settle for a Starbucks now and again. You were Odysseus' Argus, forever with your eyes on the horizon waiting for my return. Every morning when I powered you up, you would hope this meant CAD Camp or an Essentials Class or something, ANYTHING besides Facebook Scrabulous and while I ate my breakfast balancing Prospector on one knee and letting him BEAT on your control key. (You never did complain.)

There were signs that you were unhappy. I should have seen them. You weren't at all excited to run Google Earth at the GIS convention, you just gave up when the surface had processed 75%. You HATED running GoToWebinar, coughing and gagging and causing me much embarrassment in front of my friends after performing like a champ during the practice rounds. I think you knew that goto meant fewer site visits. At first maybe I thought that was selfish, but I realize you only had my best interests at heart. You want to see me shine and you want to be a part of that. I should have found a way to work you in.

One particularly rough morning after a night of publishing deadlines and nocturnal offspring shenanigans, I poured myself a tall cup of 10W30 loaded with enough sugar and non-dairy creamer to be considered a redox species with a mid-gap electrode potential. How I could be so careless escapes me. Dumping a pot of coffee on my office desk might result in a new keyboard and a few soggy good-luck trolls, but nothing catastrophic. You require special care, your heart and soul are so close to the surface, all in one location and completely unprotected.

I don't remember exactly how it happened, but I do remember yelling an obscenity and dumping the contents of your case back into my cup before I had a flashback to laughing at James 18 months ago while he suffered for weeks answering email on his phone.

Finally, Mr. Probert had to be told, and after much head shaking, groaning and locating the world's smallest phillips head, you were taken apart and laid out on paper towels on my drafting table before finally being sorted into these plastic coffins. There is hope- a keyboard is coming from Hong Kong and we cleaned some corrosion on your motherboard. But you will always smell like French Roast.

I sit here writing with an ice cold pouilly fuisse (safely contained in a sippy cup) knowing that you deserve better than this. I promise that if you come back to me that I won't stuff you in your bag for weeks while I spend time with him, those snot nosed brats, the giant smelly beasts and the AMD. My trip to Chicago was empty without you, and I feel trapped inside these walls. You represent my freedom and mobility, and without you there is no hope for future adventures.

Get well soon.



That's Elbert said...

That has got to be the most moving eulogy to a computer I have ever heard. The geek in me is stirred. I offer my prayers for you in this time of need. May you be comforted and all your data recovered.

That's Elbert said...

I said eulogy but apparently I missed the end of the post. Just skimming too fast. My experience has not been real good with recovering laptops. Once though, someone spilled an adult beverage on theirs. Blessed they were because the lip on those Dell keyboards caught the liquid before it went any further. I think I would have rather smelled coffee than beer. What is that laptop? It looks like my Dell Latitude D830.