Photos and Words of Patrick Calder

I live in Washington, DC with 1 cat named Pixel, 6 cameras, 3 computers, 158 movies, 286 books, and 1 bowling pin. I own the Design Foundry and pretend to be a graphic designer by day.

Please keep in mind that this post is more than 3 years old. Opinions change. Tastes change. Everything changes. I may still agree with or like this, or I may not. But everything is kept up here for archival purposes.

back from somewhere / April 23, 2007

I’ve been away. That is to say, “not available”.
(holy fuck I’m sick of the firetrucks)
It’s been a month, and it wasn’t particularly fun. One month ago, my computer started to die. My laptop started to die. From the first glitch to the final flash of life from the screen was maybe a bit over a day. That’s plenty of time to clone the whole damn thing, and futz around with it just enough to realize I wasn’t going to save it.
But this is hardly the first time. I have a stack of repair slips so thick they barely fit in their box. This is the first time since the warranty ran out. I really couldn’t do much about it, but it kind of ticked me off that it ran out while I was in the hospital. The current machine was already over 3 years old, so no one was going to insure it. But from past experience, I knew enough to keep a backup under the desk. It wasn’t fast and it wasn’t pretty, but it was a machine, and it meant I could keep working. And that’s what I did.
When I get busy, I don’t have time to worry about fixing stuff. I work for 16 hours, just to keep up. Then I eat dinner while watching something from Netflix, and go to bed. And maybe I just don’t want to face up to the loss of my exterior brain. Right up until this week, it still sat on the corner of my desk where I always worked with it. Taking up space. Always careful not to pile too much on top of it, in case something could be done to fix it. (geek-mourning). And even when I did admit it was beyond being worth fixing, I held out. I held out for rumors of new toys and new features from Apple.
Well that didn’t fucking happen.
Do you use a laptop? Do you use one religiously? Do you use it like a laptop, and not just a slick looking desktop? A laptop takes all those second-brain features, and makes them move right along with you. A desktop is a tool. A laptop is an opportunity, a possibility.
And I had lost my laptop.
I think it took about a week before I consciously realized what crap it was working with a desktop again. What crap it was being restricted to the desk and the chair. What crap it was that my spur of the moment thoughts were all dying on the vine. And what crap it was that I had to work around my tools, and not the other way around.
And I’m not that stupid. My backup machine isn’t even as powerful as my laptop was. A laptop that was already 3 years old. This, of course, is the cue for a couple jobs involving massive, fucking photo collages to come along. If you don’t know why that sucks, just imagine cutting fire wood with a steak knife.
My taxes were done. And all hopes of new toys were dashed when Apple announced a delay in shipment for at least 4 months. So I went ahead and with the help of a friend, I ordered a new laptop.
It’s just fucking beautiful.
It’s got every bell and whistle, and a few spinning pasties, for good measure. I absolutely cannot afford it, but I absolutely cannot live or work without it. I feel like I’m back reliving good-ole-days. Relearning what worked, and why I did certain things.
And now my camera is back. My other baby had gone away too. It had served me faithfully, suffering slings and arrows and dusty rooms. I finally got sick of spending more time touching up dust marks than doing anything else with a photo, and I sent it in to be cleaned. (This was while I still had … thought I had… money.) But my second baby… she is back. I missed her.
And it feels like a new golden age of overly expensive toys. Everything is clean and snappy, and aims to please. My gawd, I’m in geek heaven.
(If you’re a real nerd, you noticed the dates and ages don’t match up, on my laptop. This is actually the third full machine in what I consider to be one computer. The first was stolen off the delivery truck. The second served me well for half its estimated life, before being replaced by the manufacturer with a newer model, after they scratched the screen fixing a error they made on a previous repair. And both machines I had in my actual possession had their guts swapped out multiple times. Five years total.)
Right… so now where was I?

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