Unemployment killed my computer

My used up Mac iBook G4

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night.

Little Compy – LC to family and good friends – is dying a slow and painful death right before my eyes. It’s sad to watch. His once shiny white case is smudged and dinged with the scars of a hard life. His screen is scratched and imprinted with the outline of the keyboard. His battery is drained, lasting only 20 minutes per charge. And his plug only connects to sideways outlets, and not even all of them. LC has lost all his advantages as a laptop and embraced all the drawbacks. The end is near. My heart aches for the poor machine who’s helped me through three layoffs and job searches. But his time has come.

LC continues to give his all, chugging away at my every keystroke and mouse click, bless his little, overworked processor heart. But the high-powered world of job search and unemployment blogging has passed him by. My competition is stiff, relentless, and his best is no longer good enough. As I type on his temporary replacement, in a coffee shop many subway stops away, Little Compy is asleep at home, dreaming of a simpler world. His next stop is the digital glue factory, or at least a demotion to music server. And deep down in the recesses of his CPU, he knows.

I first noticed the decline around the start of Jobless and Less so many months ago. LC had trouble loading new web pages crammed with job listings and WordPress setup instructions. He would think and think, and then think some more. Filling in typed words and commands grew difficult. His usual response became a momentary blank stare, followed by a rush to catch up. I knew he’d fallen asleep on the job, but was willing to let the lapses slide if productivity remained strong. But this was just the start.

I started closing applications not in use to ease the work load and extend his life. I even bulked up his memory, performing the delicate surgery on my dining room table with the help of my furry assistants. Both solutions proved to be temporary fixes. Soon YouTube videos stopped playing. LC’s iTunes application started ignoring Mr. iPod half the time. For the love of God, they’ve been best friends for years! The two were purchased together, with the same credit card and student discount. When the banner ad girl dancing about low mortgage rates – a key component of my every online experience – stopped loading, I knew something had to be done. Little Compy isn’t going to take me down too.

I mostly work on wifey’s laptop these days. This temporary machine may have a name, but I don’t know it well enough to care yet. She’s at work all day and uses her desktop computer at home anyway. I’ve copied over some important files and added some bookmarks to her browser. But my music and most of my files are still in Little Compy’s possession. He refuses to go quietly. Up until yesterday her computer was still showing the effects of the WordPress 2.8 upgrade. LC, for his part, had somehow managed to adapt. So he retains a bit of usefulness, a smidgen of his former glory. It’s almost the end of an era; my first post-college Mac is about to die. He soon will be replaced by a new Mac – one who is bigger, stronger and shinier. I think I’ll call him Big Macky.

Help me replace Little Compy with Big Macky and not max out my credit card by clicking here. Pleeeeeeeeeease!!! I’ll be your friend…

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8 Comments

  1. Joanne wrote:

    Loved your tribute to LC. I am afraid my old laptop — Third, my third PC — will soon start to die on me. And on my unemployment blog and my attempts to launch a freelance business. Much as I’d like to replace Third with a Mac or a newer laptop, I don’t have the money.

    Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Permalink
  2. Norm wrote:

    Yeah, I kind of don’t have the money either. But I do have a credit card. And theoretically I’ll have a job someday to pay off the charge.

    Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
  3. YUD wrote:

    It’s true! And every time I find myself without a computer-laden office job, I spill a whole beer or a glass of water on my little laptop, then freak and have to shut it down for days and/or give it a proper burial. Why is that?

    Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Permalink
  4. Norm wrote:

    I only drink out of water bottles when I’m anywhere near a computer for exactly that reason. Or I put the cup really far away so spilling it won’t cause any lasting damage. My wife makes fun of me, but I know just how clumsy I can be given the chance.

    Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Permalink
  5. YUD wrote:

    it’s amazing how something so incorporated into our daily lives is so fragile!

    also, i think it’s possible being unemployed makes you clumsier. Less of a need to employ certain skills like balance and walking.

    Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 4:53 pm | Permalink
  6. kristin wrote:

    i like your blog, norm…

    all things finally pass…my ibm laptop finally died last month, i had no money to replace him (it’s definately a him) but a friend went to walmart and got me a DELL (!) loaded with VISTA (!!)..after spazing out twixt the opposing responses (o thank you/o my god no) i have settled into a cordial appreciation that this DELL (I think it’s genderless) will suffice, until they turn off my phone line, which will render this machine useless. i really hate vista.

    Friday, June 19, 2009 at 11:23 am | Permalink
  7. blog nazi wrote:

    Dude, at first glance I thought the paypal link was real! I thought this freakin guy has a desk top (wifeys) and is using wifeys laptop yet is beggingfor money?

    Sunday, June 21, 2009 at 8:43 pm | Permalink
  8. Great posts and blog. Hope to find more inspiring sites like this one as am partly jobless at the moment.

    Monday, July 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. JoblessandLess (Norm Elrod) on Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    New blog post: Unemployment killed my computer http://www.joblessandless.com/2009/06/unemployment-killed-my-computer/