Monday, April 19, 2010

Dude, yeah, I got a Dell



My laptop computer is one only in the sense you might consider balancing a Kenmore refrigerator on both knees. When I unpack my equipment at the coffee shop, most people think I’m the lunch truck.

I bought it a year ago, on the cheap from Dell second-hand store – the graveyard for computer equipment. The Dell store is a warehouse for gifts from Nana, machines so ugly and clumsy that anyone with an ounce of cool doesn’t even remove the bubble wrap.

The design on the lid looks like something from the Bounty Paper Towel Country Kitchen collection, and the whole mess weighs in at somewhere between a fat beagle and a mastiff. I can only sit at a double-wide table – one that comfortably accommodates a microwave.

When I fire Nelly-Belle up, she kind of wheezes like a pack-a-day Pall Mall smoker after a rough night. Then she throws up a dim screen where WIFI may or may not be working, depending on Nellie’s rheumatiz. Because the fingertip controls are stiff, she navigates with a walker – a giant red mouse that could use a couple of tennis balls under the chassis. All I need now is to bring out the Discman.

The power cord is further humiliation, something so bulky I might be planning a little gardening work, leaf blowing and hedge trimming, in between chapters.

Well, like any other piece of equipment, a computer is only as good or bad as the person who uses it.

The guy with the iPad at the next table is giving me a look. Oops, forgot to put my Princess phone on vibrate.

49 comments:

  1. Thanks for putting a smile into my afternoon.

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  2. Bigger is always better.

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  3. Hey. My discman and I are feeling a little insulted.

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  4. The bitches at the coffee shop are just jealous. Old is Fierce (wheeze).

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  5. I recently bought a Dell because my last one was wheezing like Nellie-Bell.

    However, when they asked if I wanted an "optical disc drive" I said "No" because I didn't know what it was.

    Come to find out its a fancy-schmancy way of saying "cd player" and when I unpacked my computer I found out I didn't have one as they are not considered to be standard equipment by Dell.

    That was more than a month ago and as you can tell, I'm still not over it.

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  6. I spewed wine and then read "Bigger is always better" and it's all over but the shoutin' baby!

    Now I don't feel so bad about wearing my Ipod in the car cause I get three radio stations and have a cassette player!( Why do I only get three stations? Because I went through the carwash with the freaking antennae up, thank you!~)

    And K, if they meant a cd player, why in the Dell didn't they just say so? I hate tech speak. ( I made that word up. I hope everyone will start using it and make me famous) Merci! ;)

    My WV is STROKE. That's scary as hell.

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  7. The new laptops we got at work are so small you need a telescope to read the screen. Odds are, the under-thirties will love 'em.

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  8. I'd sell my mother for an iPad. Ten years ago, I would have sold her for a Nellie-Belle. I guess the lesson is, you can only sell your mother so many times.

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  9. That was a great, funny story. I could almost hear the thing chugging...

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  10. Haha, love it Karin. I have a similar Dell model that lives under my desk. About a year ago I replaced it with a new, hotter purple tropy version. ;)

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  11. R U serious, KB?
    I remember u askin me about a new computer. Before I could give it a 2nd thought you had made your decision.

    2day I was a recommending cr cd processing solution.

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  12. Now let's not be talking about selling Mothas!

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  13. Wonder what would happen if I brought a big desktop into Starbucks and hooked it up?

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  14. Earl,
    I wanna be there with my camera, but I don't want their coffee, s'il vous plait. And I'll bring the big orange cord thingy.

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  15. I'll give you my mother and you can sell her

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  16. Ah, PA, you made me laugh and I woke the dog.

    Don't feel so bad, Karin, my old Mac laptop is just as fat and wheezy as your Dell. The power cord won't stay plugged in (can you say "flaccid"?) so I have to loop it under the computer to hold it in place. The screen is missing pixels and the keys are all rubbed down, their letters barely visible.

    But it works.

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  17. Petrea: Could you explain that loop thing again, please?

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  18. PA, when I put your mom on Craig's List, can I say "lightly used?"

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  19. Yes, Goddess Petrea, it sounds like you've touched on a problem Mr E may have.

    Maybe you can lend him a hand with it.

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  20. Ouch, it hurts!! I'm so glad I stopped in before I called it a night.

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  21. I haven't laughed this much in a while. Thx!
    Good thing she ain't got a floppy.

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  22. Ooooh, Tash - a floppy. Good one!

    Karin, can I trade you my Mac Classic for your Dell? My MC is probably smaller... (small is good too, right?) and the back has a built in handle. It only takes 'hard' disks.

    Oh yea, and the monitor is monochrome. They call it classic for a reason. I call it my laptop.
    It's sittin' here on my lap - er, desk.

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  23. Now I want to be there with my camera when Petrea gives Earl a hand with his.....oh never mind!

    I swear, the comments are almost as funny as your post KB! I'm howling.

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  24. I am not gonna touch Mr. E's problems.

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  25. I was just telling someone that I don't see why an iPad is that much better than a laptop . . .but you make a good argument for the iPad here! My laptop sits on my kitchen counter 99% of the time. It would be so jealous of your Dell's trips to the coffee shop.

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  26. I-pads are a fad. Eventually, it'll be really cool to own the old clunkers - you know, like how it's really retro-chic to put your i-pod in an old cassette tape holder now. You just wait for that day.

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  27. Hmmm, I would love to stage a photo at a coffee shop. Someone sitting at a table with a selectric typewriter, old walkman, and princess phone. And then when he wants diversion, takes out a deck of cards. Can't believe it hasn't been done before, tho.

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  28. I'm just cking in from the Coffee Tree at The Arcade, next to Petrea's Nose Wine Bar. Sitting at a table, with a notebook and dogphone. You can get breakfast served here from El Portal or Yahaira's. Only diversion for this dog are the bitches strolling down the brick walkway. Wundering what's up with Mr E, Virginia, and PDP while Brazilian Bossa Nova plays in the background

    Forgot my camera. Lost in Eternity.

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  29. Dang...definitely howling over this one, comments and all!!!! I nearly choked when you mentioned the Princess phone on vibrate...not to forget Petrea and Mr. E's flacid problems!!!

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  30. You're hilarious. I would still have a rotary dial phone if my ex-husband hadn't talked me out of it when we started dating. And, I only have 'modern' electronic equipment now because people have generously gifted them to me. I'm a dinasour.

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  31. Oh, sounds like a few problems here. If you send me a list I can give you a prize....or at least we could discuss it together. About the hedge trimming we probably have to consult a gardener to really meet the today technical chemistry. About the mouse, balls, chassis and Discman, I don’t think that has to be commented further here.

    Btw:
    What kind of coffee did you have to this?
    And I’m really fascinated of the combination in your image, but can’t read the screen.

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  32. Hilarious.........but at least YOU have one to unload like a lunch truck.

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  33. Now, at your favorite coffee house, a handheld is probably best!

    Back in the early 80s, we had a big word processor called a Wang. Can you imagine putting a Wang on a table at Starbucks today? Nowadays, of course, a Wang is just considered junk.

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  34. This is fun.

    It's less fun (for me) trying to imagine what our gear will look like and what it will do ten years from now. Or will be same song, 20th verse--some fun, some magic, some nuisance, most of it absurdly unnecessary except to teens.

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  35. I'll see your laptop and raise you a dot matrix printer.

    We're a computer family because of Jon's work. Three of the five computers in this house have missing keys from when Little Bit was a toddler.

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  36. You can get a Princess phone to vibrate? DAMN!!!!

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  37. Dang, now if I could just hook everything up to my Clapper...

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  38. Mr. E, just how big was your Wang?

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  39. Love the image of that princess phone on the table along side your Nelly-Belly. It was pink wasn't it. These comments are great. I'm going to be smilin all day.

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  40. Decades ago, in the pre-laptop days, I would sometimes borrow the company's "portable computer." I had to pull it home on a wheeled luggage rack.

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  41. Virginia: Big enough to service the whole office.

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  42. Hey Mr. Earl, I remember the first computer we had at work was a Wang. About the size of a file cabinet and very slow. Only one secretary could use it. Anyone caught playing with it got in big trouble - you didn't want to get caught playing with someone else's wang. I got real confused when the secretary would use floppy and wang in the same sentence. I didn't know if she was talking dirty to me or speaking in computerese.

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  43. DB:

    One time my boss sent us an email with the subject line: Wang down time.

    I wrote back asking whether that really was a subject better addressed by a urologist.

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  44. Earl,
    I guess that big ole Wang has been replaced with something smaller by now , n'est-ce pas?

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  45. Yes, V, the handheld.

    WV: dalingo. You know how to talk dalingo?

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