I'm prepping all my stuff for my trip tomorrow. I've got the horn in its travelling case (FRAGILE stickers applied). I've got the last load of laundry going in the background, through my dryer's endless cycle. I toyed around with the idea of taking my laptop along, purely for the convenience of having it. However, events have suggested that, over and above having to deal with TSA searches, I shouldn't bring it along.
See, it stopped working. At least, it's stopped working for now. Since the start of this year, my laptop has decided that it wishes to be difficult. It has acquired a personality, one might say. Woe that this personality should be obstinate.
The laptop is now just over four years old (longer than the longest warranty Dell sells) and the video card is failing. There are occasional difficulties. I say occasional, because for the vast majority of the time, it works fine. But when it doesn't work, it tends to not for extended periods of time.
Thus, tonight's digital tantrum have driven me back to the old desktop I keep mainly so the dust in my place knows where to collect. It was purchased in 2000 (I think) so it predates even my cell phone by a good two years. Like the laptop that was purchased at the start of my doctoral study, this desktop was purchased at the start of my master's degree, and has remained largely unused for a large portion of the time that I've lived in Kansas City. It has its own personality, but so far that doesn't extend to blinking on and off a totally corrupted screen.
Unfortunately, it uses Windows ME as the operating system, which Microsoft stopped supporting in 2005. This means that the computer and most of its software components are incredibly vulnerable to all kinds of malicious code that modern fully-updated computers can shrug off.
The end result is that I don't try to accomplish any sort of "wandering" while I browse using this computer, for fear of it catching something that rapidly turns it into an unusable zombie. I stick to trusted sites. It's far too big to bring with me into the plane, so that solves the "how do I check a laptop" question nicely: I don't.
I've been browsing through the low-end laptop market for a while now, trying to get a feel for what I'd like to replace mine. Maybe this is Charles Babbage's way of telling me to hurry up and decide.
Laundry is finished!