Monday, April 19, 2010
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.