Sunday, October 16, 2005

technology dependence

It's amazing how dependent we become on technology. The old laptop is in the shop (again). The new laptop (purchased because of the old one's reliability issue) hasn't yet arrived. In fact, it's still officially "being packed" according to the order status web site, which I'm pretty sure is code for "we haven't finished building it yet." So I'm writing this on the safety net: a trusty Linux desktop machine named Everest. Except that Everest has been a bit neglected of late and really needs an upgrade which I don't dare do until I have a working laptop, since theupgrade will probably result in a day or more of down time.

There was a time, not too long ago, when people did school without laptops. A handful still do, and a few professors don't allow them in class, but on the whole pretty much everyone has gone to them because they really speed things up, at least when they're working. For instance, it's very useful to be able to brief a case and theninterleave that brief with your class notes so everything's in one place.

The only problem is that pretty much everyone has gone to laptops. It's sort of like Fedex: at first, overnight delivery was new and useful. Then it became standard, and now people get impatient or worse when they can't get their whatchamacallit overnight. If you don't Fedex, you can find yourself at a severe disadvantage. So here I am, caught by the Fedex phenomenon and calling the repair shop every day to try to wheedle any news I can from the sales drone who screens their calls. And hopingit doesn't rain hard enough to knock out the power.

Does anyone know of a twelve-step program leading to paleolithic nirvana?

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