September 05, 2004

Computers and Men

Yesterday I was so bitchy with my husband that I actually looked at the calendar to see if there was a chemical reason for my hyper-sensitivity on whatever it was that I was sure I was right about.

We Had Words over dinner, and then he finished his work and went off to bed. He's got wall-to-wall deadlines right now, and I'm still waxing dramatic about my interior landscape. I'm not altogether clear on why this man lives with me; it could be that I get 99.9% of his jokes.

Late last night, just as it looked like I might be able to get to sleep, I spilled tonic water on my laptop. At first it appeared that I might have sopped it up in time, and I went about my business—until the keys stopped working. Then I heard a hissing sound.

So today, after church and a quick squabble with my long-suffering spouse, I had to tell him that I suspected I'd hopelessly screwed up my hard drive.

"Well," he replied, "we've been talking about the fact that we need new computers anyway. I guess we'll just get yours sooner. But check and see if we can get a discount for buying two at once."

My marriage is full of these moments, wherein I'm positive I'm right about some small thing and have trouble letting it go. Then my husband commits some extreme act of generosity or love, and I feel like a complete asshole. And of course that isn't the way to look at things either: It's a fatal mistake not to recognize that I bring real assets to this partnership.* But finding the middle ground between extreme egotism on the one hand and a complete lack of assertiveness on the other is an awful lot harder than it looks. It's harder than it should be. (Things should be easy, right? I was born in 1962: does that explain anything?)

I'm a very lucky woman, and it's difficult to remember that fact, particularly through the vaguely depressed fog that goes along with long-term, severe underemployment.

All I can say is, I'm glad I made hamburgers last night (the husband's a fan of All Things Beef). I'm glad I brought breakfast on a tray down to the Attila-Hub's office yesterday (where I'm now typing away on his old desktop machine, as he writes on his laptop). I'm glad I've figured out how to meet my deadlines this week without consistent computer access, or the ability to refer to my files. Glad we have a backup computer, along with all the other material blessings that turn invisible when I start wringing my hands over perceived shortfalls.

The economy is moving up and moving along. So am I. And my little friends at Apple think they can save the data from my old hard drive, though the logic board is toast and the entire machine "not worth fixing." I'll know in a week, and by then I'll have the new computer.

P.S. So what say you guys: should I go for the 15-inch-display laptop, or try to save a few bucks and make it a 12-inch-display model? The smaller one might be more portable.

I'm trying to remember that this will end up being a Good Thing: the old PowerMac was five years old, after all. We needed to do this within 6-12 months, in any event.

* M. Mahatma: Insert joke here? I brought a cooler into this relationship, after all.

Posted by Attila at September 5, 2004 04:57 PM

Go for the 12 inch, not for the money but for the size. People are always commenting on the size of mine. This is so small it fits sideways in most bags.

I don't like the feel of the 12 inch PB vs. the iBook, I really liked the plastic better than this frictionless metal. But the PB has more power and a feature or two the the iBook doesn't, my mind is blank but I was just comparing a few weeks ago. If you're a student you can save bucks on buying an iPod at the same time :)


Posted by: Gary LaPointe at September 5, 2004 10:59 PM


I'll look into the iBook, then: interesting point about the pastic.

My old PowerBook was a bitchin' machine—gorgeous matte black—but it was heavy. And bulkier than most laptops—absolutely a bear to lug around, particularly on airplane trips.

Posted by: Attila Girl at September 5, 2004 11:05 PM

"...absolutely a bear to lug around..."

Then you definitely want the twelve-incher. The two larger ones are just overpriced desktops that fold up to keep dust out of the keyboard when not in use. Have you ever seen anyone try to use the seventeen-inch one on a plane? I have. It isn't pretty.

Spend the money difference on a bigger hard drive, if it's an available option, and buy a monitor for use at home.

Ric Locke

Posted by: Ric Locke at September 6, 2004 02:18 PM

Actually, I may spend it on memory. That's one of my pet peeves about Apple: very often, their machines are low on memory, and one has to buy extra two months after bringing 'em home. Which is annoying, considering one is paying a premium in the first place.

Posted by: Attila Girl at September 6, 2004 02:40 PM

C'mon, when have I ever disparaged your assets? It's your politics that I disagree with...

Regarding new computer, get the biggest, most souped-up SOB machine that Apple puts out, because you'll have peace of mind that you're not hopelessly obsolete for about a month. If you can't afford it ask your Bushie Bloggers for a handout, or petition Bush for another tax cut.

Posted by: littlemrmahatma at September 7, 2004 08:07 AM

Never. You never have. I just figured "I bring real assets to this partnership" could be a setup, and you might be tempted to say something about my . . . ice chest.

I think I'm hoping to pay for the new machine with BlogAds revenue. Possible flaw in this plan: it might take ten years ;)

I bought you something for your birthday, BTW. But since I couldn't make an "early"' call (10:30 in Santa Clarita is early for me), I have to figure out how to get it to you. Maybe you should have a party soon, and then I could bring it!

Posted by: Attila Girl at September 7, 2004 01:25 PM

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