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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Notes on a Notebook

I’ve finally gone and done it. After years of sitting on the sidelines — and recent months of stubbornly denying my needs — I’ve decided to buy a notebook computer. All those thoughts of fancy PDA phones or ultra-mobile gizmos or overgrown, one-dimensional digital typewriters is out the window. I give up. The laptop craze has finally reached out and noogied me, only twenty years or so later. I’m not what you’d call an ‘early adopter’, exactly. Slow ‘n’ steady wins the race.

On the other hand, I haven’t actually bought a laptop yet, so my ‘slow ‘n’ steady’ is more like ‘comatose ‘n’ lazy’ at this point. But I’ve taken Step One™ — I acknowledged that I have a problem. A no-notebook-having, slow-computer-using, always-typing-away-in-this-hell-hot-office problem. Now the healing process can begin. I’ve joined the program.

The question remains of which computer to buy — but honestly, does it really matter? I’m currently tippy-tapping on a keyboard hooked to an ancient old desktop machine I bought four years ago. It’s the only working computer in the house right now, but it’s a piece of work. Three feet tall, barely working, noisy, and wicked slow.

(I’ll refrain from the ‘like the Keebler elves, during the Atkins fad’ or ‘like Verne Troyer’s career, after Goldmember‘ jokes. But it won’t be easy.)

“Soon, I’ll have to find a configuration that costs less than the annual GNP of the EU nations, but for now I’m having a ball.”

Basically, any mobile technology developed this millennium should blow this hunk of wires out of the water. I feel like I’m graduating to driving a car, after years of getting around on a tricycle. It doesn’t matter much whether it’s a Porsche or a Toyota — it’s light years ahead of what I’m used to. And a touch more stylish in the parking lot, too.

Still, I don’t want to be calling the new machine ‘crap’ in six months, either. A laptop isn’t something you can fiddle with for a few weeks and then chuck in the trash for a new one, you know. We’re not talking about a magazine, or a spouse, or a child here; this is serious shit.

Unfortunately, being out of the techno-loop for so long has left me old and frightened and uninformed about the latest technology. I spent half an hour in Best Buy last week, arguing with one of the saleslackeys about whether personal computers have automatic fingerprint recognition doohickeys already.

(It turns out, they do. So I lost that bet.

But I still don’t buy the ‘USB X-Ray Specs’ add-on, or the ‘Apple iThighmaster’. I think the bastard was iPulling my leg.)

Of course, now I want it all. The blazing processors, the teeny webcams, the retinal scanners and hot-swappable espresso makers — everything. Even if I can’t have the things — I don’t even drink espresso, for crissakes, and who wants to see me on a webcam? — it’s fun to play around with the specs. Soon, I’ll have to find a configuration that costs less than the annual GNP of the EU nations, but for now I’m having a ball.

A trackball, that is. Attached to a wireless mouse. Also, a speech recognition module, a digital input tablet, two leather carrying cases, a fourteen-hour backup battery, and a warranty plan that guarantees a technician will be onsite to answer my questions within fifteen minutes of initial contact. Fifteen minutes!

So presumably, he’ll be living under my bed for the next two years. I hope he likes dust bunnies and dog drool, because there’s not much else under there. Maybe I’ll loan him my ‘iBuns of iSteel‘ DVD to keep him company. Even a tech weenie deserves firm glutes.

Permalink  |  3 Comments

3 Responses to “Notes on a Notebook”

  1. kerry says:

    *drool* laptop *drool, drool*

    sorry. i’ve been wanting one for ages.

  2. Red says:

    I hate machines and they know it, BUT I would almost give up my left tit for a laptop.


    Hey, got anything you wanna send me for Issues about summer? :)

  3. ak says:

    Hi Charlie, if you are thinking of buying a laptop, join me in the hunt ! I am going through various reviews. I found this site which gives some good pointers for buying a inexpensive and rugged laptop. Check it out.. and

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