Old Technology

Now that school has started again, I will have to grapple with sharing my office after a summer of non competitive desk using.  Now my desk will be littered with text books, papers, folders and calculators.  Laptop time will be fought over, printer ink will run like water and twice weekly trips to the office supply store will commence.

We have a home office with a large desk and one laptop on it.  The computer was issued to me almost 8 years ago through an organization I work with.  I have to give it back when my contracted time with them is done.  Technically it doesn’t belong to anyone.  However, if someone has homework to be done, an email to send, a video to watch or a game to play, this laptop is the one that ends up getting used.  As soon as an individual is sitting in front of the screen and tapping on the keyboard it becomes “my” computer to the one using it and all the items surrounding it are fair game.

I get up very early so I have time to spend on “my” computer.  It’s always interesting to see what background will greet me in the morning.  For a while it was a bright yellow background with a pair of eyes.  It reminded me of those old Ziggy cartoons where you would only see a nose and a pair of cartoon eyes peeking over a perceived wall drawn by a straight line with nothing below it.

This lasted a few weeks, then it was changed to a sloth wearing a NASA space suit.  I’m not aware that sloths have made it to space, or that they are able to smile for the camera and wear multi layer suits with backpacks and several days worth of water.  Needless to say, this highly entertaining background that was on my computer for most of the summer.

Now, I have a white background with several different red figures of a superhero on them.  The first week this appeared there was also a computer generated post it note on the screen:

Mom, this is Robin in his many stages over the years.”

Sure enough, there was The Boy Wonder as a youth, through his tumultuous and rebellious teen years (apparently he gets scarier weapons) and then as a confused vigilantly adult.

I often wonder what will happen in less than 2 years when I finally have to turn this computer in.  Last week the computer was moving so slowly I had to turn it over to our technology department.  It was taking 20 minutes just to turn it on.  I got, what I now know, to be the customary greeting from Gabrielle, the technology department chair:  “Man….this one is really old!”  followed by “Do you know how many viruses you have on this thing???”   The last time she had my computer she worked on it for 3 straight days during which she would call me and give me updates.  This time it was 7 days and my phone never rang.  When I arrived at my board meeting last night, there was my repaired computer, to which Gabrielle’s boss said….”You mean she could actually FIX it???”  Apparently fixing it meant The Boy Wonder had to bite the dust.

I know my days with this machine are numbered.  Is there the equivalent to a dusty box under the bed in a computer?  Because I’m pretty sure this one has everything from Legoland and Buzzy the Knowledge Bug to AP Chemistry papers on it.  Opening up this computer has been similar to opening the box of Christmas ornaments in the beginning of December; you forget what you have in there and relive your own history with each item you pull out of the box.

I supposed it’s time to start looking at something with a bigger memory and a faster processor.  A lighter smaller laptop with modern backgrounds void of cartoon super heros and space exploring marsupials and the viruses that come with them.   A slick new computer that can share information with all the other technology in the house will be nice, but I will miss the nostalgia of my 8 year old Dell laptop.

…..I might even miss Robin, The Boy Wonder.