The Quiet Desperation of Relying on Old Tech

Posted By Pamela on Jun 7, 2007 | 6 comments

Several minutes ago I asked my beloved laptop to please
> tar -cvf AAS.tar Interviews

It said

and it began to tar.

That was several minutes ago.

It is still going.

I have a no longer shiny, no longer able to latch shut, sometimes failing to wake, but still much beloved Apple PowerBook G4 (1.67 GHz, 512MB). I bought in the days when I always owned what was new and hip and tech trendy. I bought it when my RAZR was something to be awed over and when my 20GB iPod was still the newest on the block.

That was before I left Harvard and got a job at a small state college.

I still have that RAZR. It now determinedly states, “You have text messages” with a silly little icon that never goes away, no matter how many times I check and delete all my text messages.

I still have that iPod. It now protests being asked to share long afternoons together by randomly freezing up and refusing to respond until its batteries have fully discharged and been recharged.

I feel like I’m trapped in 2005, and as I look at the rumors of the iPhone and of new iPods and of Leopard, I feel this quiet desperation building inside. Can I make my Mac last until October and the slated release of 10.5 and the new laptops that are sure to follow? (Maybe, please? Maybe?) Can I justify the cost of an iPhone? (No, I am now adjunct faculty.) Will the next round of iPods offer a small, low-cost device with enough memory to sate my music and podcast habit? (Maybe? Please, maybe?)

Perhaps I should post a sign: Will give Astronomy Talks for Tech!

Or perhaps I can just nudge you, my gentle reader, to consider the links at right, and when you need to go to Amazon, please go there through here. Perhaps the tech you buy yourself can help one less tech-fortunate than yourself to stay online.

I asked my beloved laptop to please
> tar -cvf AAS.tar Interviews

That was several minutes ago.

It is still going.


  1. It’s true at the passe technology is going something you buy today is out of date 2 months later. (looks at it C2D which new and 2 months later a Quad variant was released)

    PS: my n70 always states I have 2 message when I turn it on… and I won’t get a message recieved sound until after 2 message -_-

  2. hate to break it to you, but the new MacBook Pro’s are out, and their gorgeous.

  3. @Ed: yes they are! I want to by one but like Pamela I’m waiting for the once that ship with leapard 🙂

  4. So what do you do with old laptops, the one’s your replacing with newer, hipper models? Do you just keep ’em laying around? Do you take data off of them? I still have my old Mac Performa sitting in a huge box in the closet and my first little Powerbook (that was ancient when I bought it) sitting int he same closet. No my brother is threatening to send me his latest cast off Powerbook (I’m currently using his cast off Pismo) and my wife doesn’t want these older things laying around the house but I hate to get rid of them even though I don’t use them and, well, what do I do?

  5. Most of my old stuff gets disable and put into my storage closet.

    Parts are sold to other people or reused in new machine like my MCE made of spare parts 🙂

    Laptops usually get either if there way to old stripped and HDD and ram reused or if there still good use as servers or temp machines.

  6. Personally, I generally find a college student and say, “Here – new toy,” because what is no longer fast enough for processing audio or graphics is typically fast enough to do Word and Excel.

    Of course when I totally kill them (which I fear will be the fate of this one), I take them to some place that recycles computers. In Austin, TX there was a Goodwill electronics store.

    If this Mac lives, the college student it will go to is already identified 🙂

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