Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A sort of laptop

A few years back, when I first moved to L.A., I lived with my uncle and his family for a month or so while I looked for an apartment. My uncle worked on computers for a living, maintaining them, fixing them, selling the ones he had put together from the disparate components. He knew of my desires to be a writer, and one day he asked me, "Would it help you with your writing if you had a laptop?" Well, this was a great question, and I'm sure my eyes lit up.

"Oh yeah," I said, "It totally would." That way I could take it with me and write whenever I was stuck somewhere, maybe go place that were inspiring like the beach or Compton, and I could save my work as I went along, and never have an excuse that I didn't have the notes I had taken in the development of ideas, etc., etc." My Uncle Sam heard me and said words that have stuck with me to this day. "Well, maybe you ought to go out and buy one."

It was an interesting response, and I've chosen to remember it as a funny story rather than a cruel one, and a better man than I would've taken that (and any other criticism or obstacles) as a challenge to go out there and work to get myself the money for a laptop I could make my dreams come true with.

I, of course, did not.

But years have passed, and I'm now in a place where the money I make (as little as it is) is enough to pay my bills, feed myself, and set a little aside for a balmy day. And I told Jeff that I'd seen one of those little kiddie laptops at Toys R Us the other day and thought that something like that could fulfill my needs, without having to spend thousands for a real, honest-to-Bob laptop computer.

So, Jeff took me to Best Buy, where we looked at these little things people are calling Netbooks (don't know if it's supposed to be capitalized), which are like laptops, but smaller, more portable, and have many times the battery life (for some reason). I found that I could afford one, but silly me, I didn't buy it, choosing instead to go home and think about it. Jeff called me a putz, and the man has a point, but two weeks later, we went to Best Buy again (this time he was going to buy something for himself), and again I looked at the Netbooks, thinking that for sure I was going to get one.

But I didn't. I walked out empty-handed, and Jeff called me a schmuck, and he was right, but I thought that I'd wait for a Memorial Day sale at Best Buy, and that way I'd get the best bang for my buck. But Jeff talked to an employee who said their policy is to honor a sale price within thirty days of a purchase, so I could buy the faux-laptop today, and if it gets cheaper for Memorial Day, I could get a few bucks for it.

So, I got one. It's a little Toshiba machine with internet capability and a word processor, and not much else. My cousin even suggested I take it back since it doesn't have a real operating system and a couple of the things I often do on a regular computer work work on this one. But I didn't take it back. My mom's computer died a couple of weeks ago, so I lent it to her to do her computer work on, and then, because my mom is headed to New York with my aunt, I grabbed it up again today. And good thing too because, believe me or not, the power went out about an hour ago, and nothing here will turn on. No TV, no music, no computer, no exercise machine (though between you and me, I wouldn't have used that anyway).

But as I sit in the afternoon semi-brightness, I'm able to type this little blog entry, which I will post as soon as my internet access is restored. Though technically, I think somebody cleverer than me could search for an available connection and "borrow" it for a while.If I can only take advantage of this machine like this, say, twenty more times, I think it will have been worth it.


1 comment:

Big Anklevich said...

So you finally did it, huh?

I'm a little hurt that I never got mentioned in this blog. After all, I showed you the laptops and netbooks at Wal-mart more than once. I guess I didn't make enough of an impression.