As I might have mentioned before, I broke my Gateway laptop by knocking the breakfast-in-bed (turned laptop-in-bed) tray out of my bed while sleeping one night. The only damage to the laptop was that the screen was broken, so I have been able to continue using it. The only problem here is that it will never again be a true ‘lap’ top computer, seeing as how I had to connect it to a separate flat panel monitor in order to continue using it. I had experienced a certain level of buyer’s remorse over the thing, anyway. I had tried to explain to the guy at Best Buy that the most important concerns for me were portability, battery life, and lower running temperatures. He managed to convince me that the cheaper Gateway was the way to go, as he claimed the Turion(r) processor ran at lower temps and used less battery life. Those facts would make up for the fact that it was still 15.4″, which I considered too bulky for travel. I soon found that his theories about Turion(r) were a bunch of crap. The laptop always seemed to be hot, and the battery life was far from impressive. And the damned “laptop” computer weighed something like a million frickin’ pounds. Garbage, man. Garbage.
To further entrench myself in my overwhelming infatuation with all things Japanese, I finally managed to take it back old school with a Toshiba Satellite. My first real experiences writing began on a Toshiba Satellite my mom got from her school as she was working on her BSN. I began my memoirs on that machine, certain that they would be a compelling read for anyone interested in the angst of a star mathlete living through his own personal spell of Reefer Madness (follow this link when you have a chance, for serious). Those earliest writing experiences revived my childhood dreams of being a writer, which began to play a much more formidable role in my sense of identity. When I went off to college to study English, mom let me take the Toshiba Satellite with me, even though it was three or four years old and beginning to act its age. The rest of the known PC world was using Windoze 95(r) at the time (seeing as how it was almost time for Y2K), but the Satellite was still kickin’ it with 3.1, like a true old school player. Nevertheless, I wrote many a mediocre paper on that reliable old machine and managed to still get $100 resale value on it when I finally broke down and bought a used desktop. (Don’t tell my mom; I never gave that hundred bucks even though it was technically hers!)
Each time I’ve considered a new machine since then, I’ve thought longingly about Toshiba models. They tend to cost a little more than I can usually scrape together at any one given time, so I’ve settled in the past for the more affordable Dell (which, once you calculate all the interest and finance charges involved in purchasing one of their machines on their highway-fucking-robbery APR, is much less affordable than *any* Toshiba on the market) or the sub-par Gateway Turion. I arrived home (to Yuka’s place) yesterday after an entertaining experience with CU mass transit (read: long walk carrying a new laptop in the box with semi-healed broken wrist and fractured elbow), I was amazed, utterly spellbound by the beauty of this new machine. See, I found the price listed at circuitcity.com, and the Champaign Circuit City didn’t have any display models, so I simply guessed about its appearance. Yuka and I visited Circuit City two nights ago to have a look-see, and saw that they had only two in stock, both in the box, and no display model. I knew that it met all of my specification requirements (small, lightweight, ample memory and storage, and made by Toshiba). I managed to refrain from purchasing that first night, thinking it would be prudent to check around online for better deals, just in case. I was pretty sure at that it was the best deal I would find, but there’s no harm in checking. The folks at Circuit City told me that it would be on sale until Saturday, so I decided it best not to be too hasty. After a night of looking around online, I returned yesterday to make my purchase. The store only had one left in stock, so I was glad I hadn’t waited longer. And, like I said, when I got home and opened the box, I was simply amazed at what a great deal I’d gotten. This new laptop is designed *much* better than any of the other laptops I’ve used, with great Japanese simplicity, functionality, and intuitiveness. I’m in love. And it’s got a built-in webcam for much wonderful video blogging goodness to come (once I learn how to work the webcam).
The whole experience, in combination with my recent Scion experience, takes me back to those final days of high school when I was writing on Mom’s Toshiba and driving Dad’s Tercel. Both were much too old for any self-respecting American to use, and yet they were both still in wonderful shape and worked perfectly. I should really stop here before I begin to get into the issues that I intend to raise in another blog post, talking about the shameful fact that America sold out all of the principles upon which it was built when it legitimized corporations. More to come on that, as well as on movies (including Repo Man: A Genetic Opera), on mass transit, and on my problems with believers, be they of the religious or atheist persuasion. And if I don’t get all of those entries written and posted, either take me to task on it or buy my book.