Requiem for My Laptop

failA quick farewell to my laptop, which died twice in recent weeks. First the hard drive fried, in the word of the technicians, and was replaced. And then it faltered because of a wire to the new drive. And finally, while on the other side of the country, it died again, making me finally come to the realization that these solid state things aren’t meant to be repaired like old cars, but replaced for the planned obsolescence it represents.

My 2010 MacBook Pro was something they called “vintage” or “heritage,” meaning “something we want to see disappear as soon as possible. The difference with the new model is that it doesn’t have a DVD/CD drive any more — quite a device that allowed me to play discs as a second turntable at the radio or watch the errant TV show screener that did not go to streaming. IT’s kind of amazing that it also was able to burn its own CDs.

Anyway all of these things are gone on the new model. As a result, it’s thinner, and doesn’t have moving drives or even fans, which could get quite noisy after a while. I can buy an external CD/DVD drive and probably will at some point.

There is a sense of mourning that goes on, of course. The bits of writing that must be replicated whole cloth as if the original were burned in a house fire. The errant photos in files that won’t be seen again. Music, part of the ongoing Apple Music mess that seems most worrisome, has saved some songs and shoved aside others, which means I’ll just have to burn them in after all.

The biggest lesson to this is how much reliance there is now on the computer. Sitting in a TV Critics Association summer press tour session when it conked out, I realized I didn’t even have pen or paper with me to jot notes if I had to. And forget about filing/writing/surfing. It’s like I had limbs suddenly removed.

There ought to be some remedy to this of course, an electronic weaning becomes necessary.

But in the short run I had to go to the Apple Store and get a replacement.


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