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How many computers have you had?

Six. That's how many computers I've had.

My first one was a loaner from a friend. It had no hard drive, let alone a modem. There was no internet yet to connect to, and the BBS world was a shadowy place where girls like me didn't go, but even so, inside that box, behind that screen, was this whole amazing world of potential: I wrote my first novel on that computer. It was 1989.

The modem came with a Windows 3 desktop that my dad bought in a fit of early adopterhood then gave to me in a subsequent fit of technophobia. I spent a lot of my time on Prodigy, and then on the real internet, and I thought, as I have thought almost every day since, "This! This is why I was born in the late 20th century!"

I built my next one--fried the first motherboard instantly, but eventually got it working. I wrote my first HTML on it and designed my first web pages. It served me for at least three years before spam, viruses and Windows 98 SE operating system obsolescence finally converged to kill it.

That was when I made the leap, all at once, to cable broadband, wireless, a laptop, and a cellular phone. I bought a factory-refurbished Dell Inspiron running Windows XP, a nine-pound behemoth whose screen brightness and clarity I have yet to better (though if FedEx ever gets here, I think I'm about to).

A refurbished Gateway convertible running Windows XP Tablet Edition that I got cheap on uBid (thank you and rest in peace, rosheen) as a travel computer, was pressed into main-computer duty when the Dell hard drive failed. Gateway Tablet served me pretty faithfully until Mr Burglar relieved me of it last week.

I'm bridging the gap with this little Samsung french-fry computer--again, bought for travel purposes. It is, I just realized, the first brand-new, ready-out-of-the-box computer I've ever owned.

Any minute now (tapping foot impatiently), FedEx is gonna bring me the second one, Computer Number Seven, a Dell Studio running Vista. With a BluRay drive! And 8GB of RAM.

Any minute now...


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 8th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
8GB! Very nice.

BTW, *pokes you to the latest post in my LJ*
Jul. 8th, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC)
I fixed my fail.

The 8 GB should be pretty sweet. I got a higher-end graphics processor too. Sadly, I had to come to work before FedEx arrived. :(
Jul. 8th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
8 gigs of RAM? Whoa. And a Blu-ray drive? Double whoa.

And here I am clunking around with 512mb on my 8-year-old Dell. Yeah, I'm kind of jealous. :)
Jul. 8th, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC)
How you've made a computer last 8 years is beyond me! Amazing. How do you vid on 512MB? Chapeaux, dude. Chapeaux.

You're making me think I'm unreasonably acquisitive. I guess I probably am. *sight*
Jul. 8th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
I've treated it real nice ever since I got it. That might be the trick. So far I've only needed to replace the hard drive once.

Vidding on 512mb is bit of a challenge though, but it can be done.

And looking around at all my "stuff" I don't think you're unreasonably acquisitive at all. :)

Edited at 2009-07-08 08:19 pm (UTC)
Jul. 8th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
I totally used Prodigy (*P!) back in the day. On the first of my five computers since '87 or '88. The modem was 2400 baud. And I'm not sure if it was that computer or my second one that I installed a Soundblaster in, and a single-speed DVD-ROM.
Jul. 8th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
*P! Yes!

Prodigy was fun. It was kind of the Betamax to AOL's VHS, and I was sad when it went away. It was my first lesson in the thrilling transitoriness of all things online. Like little neuronal sparkings in the global brain, this too shall pass, probably sooner than you'd like.

My favorite *P story: I used to post regularly on bulletin boards about astrology. Once, in an early troll experience, I received a private email from someone who took exception, on religious rather than scientific grounds, to my interest in that subject. I don't remember what-all this person said, but I remember the first line:


It's still a favorite phrase of mine. When I'm having a bad day, I sometimes still say, "I ARE A IDOT".
Jul. 9th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
Pictures! I demand pictures!!
Jul. 9th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
See, there's this problem where my freakin' camera was also stolen...
Jul. 9th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
I am so smart! I am so smart! S-M-R-T!
Jul. 9th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
*desperately wants new camera*

*is desperately out of money now*
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )



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