During a conversation with Brian last night we realized just how obsolete we had become. Or rather, not ourselves but our technology. We are Tech Poor. This is not an easy place for us to be. See, I’m married to a Gadget Guy. A Computer Guru. A Technological Wizard. When I met and married Brian, he was the Sales Manager at Circuit City, and ran their computer/technology department. We had good computers, a huge TV before you could buy them at W@lm@rt, multiple MP3 players (Creativ.e Lab.s, Zu.ne, and i.Pods – we’re not brand-specific, apparently), good cameras, and smart phones before we could really afford the data plans. Brian won a free Bos.e sound dock and iPod, and we always knew what was going to be on sale because it was an “open box” or unsellable for some reason. We spent less money on technology and had cooler stuff than most other people living in a 1,000 square foot glorified cabin.
After we were married, we continued to stay up-to-date. A new laptop for Brian, a Wii, XBox360 and every new manner of “Hero” game made joined our goodies over that year. Brian gave me an awesome MP3 player for my birthday before we got married. Our first anniversary gifts to each other? A reservation for the entire Rock Band set for Brian (it launched about a month after our anniversary) and a beautiful LED LCD monitor for my desktop computer for me. We were tech-savvy, friends.
Fast forward a few years, and I no longer have an MP3 player that works (Brian swears that using one’s smart phone is preferable. I disagree.). My desktop computer has no internet access because it can’t find our router through the lead shielding in our office, and it wouldn’t matter anyway because my amazingly beautiful monitor is currently being used as a TV in our bedroom. There hasn’t been ink in our laser jet in a few years, and even the desk jet has been out of juice since before Christmas. I can’t print anything because it’s out of cyan – what a crisis! Our big, flatscreen, HD TV (that was cutting edge when Brian bought it, but not anymore) died, so now we’re rocking the secondhand tube TV in the family room (thank God for Madhat!). I’m always impressed when I use my phone to its full potential, because it’s kind of rare around here to have good gadgets anymore. If Brian hadn’t bought me a nook for my birthday, I’d be perusing the library still. Brian’s laptop is basically a ticking time bomb, with an overheating problem that even the double-fan chill mat thing can’t fix.
And then my laptop threatened to die. This may sound familiar to you, like I’ve said the same thing in the past six months. That’s because my lap is where computers come to die. My first laptop back in the early 2000’s just up and died — the screen went black and that was the end of that. I financed one through D.ell and paid for it for what felt like a lifetime. Shortly after I paid it off (no kidding), the battery stopped charging. Turned out the place where you plug the power supply was disconnecting from the actual inside. We had it soldered, but it never held. Luckily, my Gadget Hoarder had a lovely laptop (one of the original “tablets” with the nifty turn-around screen and stylus circa 1784, I think) that I used to plan our wedding and start this blog and generally love to death..until I spilled a cup of tea all over the keyboard and it stopped working. Brian then gave me a laptop he had used for a few months before deciding that it sucked too badly to even bother with. He had it set aside to eBay, but it became my laptop until it finally overheated and died for the last time last year. We replaced the keyboard on my “tablet” and I was back in business. Until recently. It’s the power supply again. The little port-thing is wiggly. I knew it was a matter of time until it up and dies. As it is, I’ve had to wrap the cord around it to keep the port pointing just so in order to keep the battery charging. I’ve backed it up, and started saving my pennies. I had money I’ve saved for a serger, but it became a lap top fund. Let’s face it – I want a laptop more than I need a serger. I can save up for the serger again, but I want access to all the friends who live in my computer – now!
So the search began. I asked friends, I bugged Brian, I stalked netbooks like they were an exotic prey I couldn’t live without. And Tuesday, my laptop began its final death rattle. The plug can barely make a connection now, so it’s on battery power about 99% of the time; charging it involves my holding the plug in, burning my fingers. Clearly, the time was near. I synced all my data, and began making plans. As luck (yeah, right) would have it, we had to go to Tar-jay last night to pick up my prescription. Brian frequents the electronic clearance section of every store on Earth, possibly to see what other people used to buy that we have never yet had. He reads some tech site that tells you what’s been spotted on clearance at various stores, and his stalking has resulted in some nifty purchases here and there. Well, last night stalking the clearance section resulted in a netbook.
An Acer Aspire One, to be exact. On clearance.
As far as I’m concerned, God just handed me a $300 netbook. God is good, y’all.