Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On The Buying of Laptops

We're closing in on five years in Georgia which also means that we've had our laptop, Mr. Sprinkles for almost five years. Unfortunately Mr. Sprinkles is starting to show his age and it's time for us to get a new laptop.

It started about six months ago when things would grind to a halt any time the virus updates downloaded or any time Linda attempted to start IE up. Firefox was faster to launch, but not by much. Now part of this is due to all of the various spyware, adware and other blank-ware programs installed to keep my PC clean as I plunder various torrent sites for new movies. Most of this is from having a PC that's almost 5 years old.

The other problem, which is also the biggest one, is that the battery can only hold a charge for about half an hour. Now as I've grown in years I've found that, depending on the time of day, I can only go about half an hour before having to to go the bathroom so I can certainly relate to Mr. Sprinkles, but whereas I can't get new bladder, I can get a new laptop. Sure I could get a new battery and some more memory and a larger internal hard drive, and upgrade to Windows 7 but really, isn't it just easier to get a new laptop?

So I'm looking for a new laptop and man, what a difference five years makes. First of all these things are incredibly cheap now. Like the one I'm looking for is less than half of what I paid for five years ago and I'm not slouching on parts here. Dell has also started selling pretty much everything with your PC. They've always given you tons of options for things like processors and RAM but now they've seriously expanded all of the stuff that goes with the PC. Want 1000 songs for a nickel? Here you go! How about twenty movies for $150! Take two, they're small! The strangest thing by far though is that once you get through picking what's in the laptop they bring you to the first accessory to buy which is, oddly enough, another laptop. Yes, that's right, the first accessory Dell recommends for your laptop is another laptop.

Now it's a mini, whatever the hell that is, but still, if you're buying a laptop, why do you need another laptop? When I first saw this I thought of Dharma and Greg where Dharma had a dog and her dog had a dog. The mini is supposed to be your laptop's laptop. What does that say about technology and our throw away culture that we consider a laptop to be an accessory for a laptop? Five years from now when you're picking up your new minivan the salesman will tell you "Hey we washed it, gassed it up and threw a golfcart in the back for you." Hell I'd buy another minivan if that was the deal.

So yeah, a laptop is incoming and with it all of the fun of seeing which one of the old programs work with it and which ones don't. I'm sure I'll do what I do with every new piece of technology that enters our home, namely be excited upon it's arrival, then pissed that things don't work than finally accepting of how the thing works once I figure out that it does what it's supposed to do, not necessarily what I want it to do. It's a beautiful cycle, much like a catepillar turning into a butterfly. An angry, bitter butterfly, but a butterfly nonetheless.


CatSpit said...

Most importantly of all - what will this new one be called? Hard to top Mr Sprinkles.

Brandon said...

Sprinkles McSprinkles, which translates loosely to Sprinkles Son of Sprinkles.

Booster MPS said...

I am pondering a new computer for Mom some time soon. I might want to compare notes with you at some point.