Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


Up to date… for at least the next week

Filed under : Gadgets
On August 12, 2010
At 9:30 pm
Comments : 9

You know what the greatest thing about getting a new computer is? Well, new to me, because it’s a previous genration refurb? Amongst the good, but not best, things are:

1. Enough memory to not see a spinning beach ball every time I want to do three things at once.
2. No sound of processor wheezing when I watch a video on YouTube.
3. An N key that says N (N is the key that advances my RSS reader… I appear to read a lot of feeds, as I have rubbed that sucker completely off).
4. No more burnt leg (the older Macbook batteries were removable and closer to my leg).
5. Pleasant crunch of new keyboard design (plus backlighting for typing in the dark).
6. CD/DVD drive which actually accepts said discs.
7. Right click with one touch (the old trackpad didn’t have that).
8. More stuff fits on the same size screen.
9. Actual portability since the battery lasts 6x times as long as the old one (which I stopped unplugging at all, really).
10. Works with my iPhone headphones with mic so I don’t have to look like I’m taking your order when I’m on a video conference or class.

No, the best thing is that I get to use all the new software that my old computer (the very first Macbook Pro from 2006) couldn’t handle! I just got so used to saying, “oh. I don’t have that operating system” or “oh. I don’t have that amount of RAM.” But now I do! In fact, I spent a while trying to remember all the things I had previously been refused, like Google Chrome and Kindle For Mac and Blackberry Desktop Software. Yes, I could have updated my old Macbook with all the latest software but first I waited for the bugs to be worked out and then it didn’t feel worth it because I kept thinking I’d upgrade the hardware. But there is something so exciting about saying, “why, yes, I’ll take the version for the very newest operating system, the version with all the neat things.”

My old Macbook was called Big Mac because it was larger than my previous Thinkpad and, well, it was a Mac and that was novel for me at the time. My Dad worked at IBM his entire career and so I had only ever had Thinkpads and PS/2’s. Not even Dell or Gateway. I had one of the first laptops IBM produced when I went to college. Now, I am not one for naming electronics but I always named my computers because you could. There was an area to put the name and so I did. Nowadays, you especially need to if you have a network, unless you can remember offhand that M7978V68423 is your Slingplayer. I always named my laptops after musicians until Big Mac (only North of the City will remember these names, I think). But now it’s time to return to that and thus I name mine after a musician I miss very much, and like Malcolm, it’s quirky, takes old things and makes them up to date, and keeps me connected to good things everywhere.

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9 Comments for this post

  1. Alex says:


    I do prefer that to the way all the owner’s manuals seem to begin: “Congratulations on the purchase of your new [object]!”. Um, thanks, I’m really proud of this…uh…consumer accomplishment.

  2. North of the City says:

    The name that pops into my head is [redacted by Becca]…

  3. sarpon says:

    Mazel tov! May you always be as happy together as you are today!

    NICA on naming gadgets. After years of naming computers for the people who used them I switched to naming them for where they are (Main Desk, Back Desk, File Room) but that doesn’t work with laptops. I think I started with “Laptop” and then had “S__ Laptop” then “S__ New Laptop.” The one I use now is “Sarpon E5500” because – duh – they may all be laptops but the replacement is always a different model than the one before. Except for then I ended up with two E5500’s after “S__ New Laptop” was stolen. Its replacement is named “Insurance Proceeds.”

    The only downside to slightly more creative naming is the odd pause in the conversation after you tell the tech support guy that the drive you are trying to connect to is named “Brad.”

  4. Becca says:

    Alex, people read the manuals?

    North, you were correct, although I redacted you, all apologies.

    Sarp, very clever. I have to tell you that in Terminal, the Mac program command line interface, instead of a drive name, it spits out the computer name. So, like in DOS, where it would say “C:>”, Terminal will say “Computer name:”. That’s all well and good except when I took Java last year, you had to print out your work in Terminal and I had to hand in all my work saying, “Big-Mac:” on every line. I was always a little embarrassed. Maybe the TA figured I was really into fast food.

  5. North of the City says:

    Oooh, my first redaction – I’ll take that as a badge of honor 😉 Besides, the name of your college computer is one of those random bits that’ll still be rattling around my brain when I’m old(er) and grey…

  6. Alex says:

    That’s not fair!

    I want a [redacted by Becca]!

  7. Becca says:

    North, that’s because you know all my secrets. And because the human brain is an odd, odd thing.

    Alex, there ya go! And this will confuse my readers forevermore.

  8. The Appliance guy says:

    Hey… what’s a “laptop” (gee I must really be old!)

  9. Becca says:

    Considering the fact that I had never used Windows or a mouse when I met you, Appliance Guy, I’m going to say I’m old too. 😉

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