Ladies and gentlemen, I bring sad news today. After a long and productive life, my ancient Pentium 4 laptop, a machine I had truly begun to think of as indestructible, has finally, after long last, died.
In an age when most computers last two to four years, this machine just kept on trucking for almost ten years. Ten years, ladies and gentlemen. For a Dell, too! It was a true survivor, a relic of a bygone age that nevertheless managed to keep performing.
It had one itty-bitty single-core P4 processor. It originally came with half a gigabyte of RAM — an upgrade I paid extra for at the time, while most people told me I’d never ever need more than 256 MB — but I took pity on it and added a full gigabyte a year or two ago. Its hard drive was half the size of my iPod’s, so I had to use an external HD to hold my files.
Sure, when I ran both iTunes and Firefox at the same time, it occasionally got so overheated that it shut itself down. Sure, it took a good ten to fifteen minutes to start up. You know what? I made some coffee while it was starting up, and when it was finally ready to go, I put my mug of coffee next to the fan vent to keep it warm.
I tried to replace it a few times. Bought a high-end Toshiba. Died on me after a year, and I went back to the ancient beast. Bought a fancy HP. Died on me after six months, and the warranty replacement I got? Died on me a year later too. Can you blame me for sticking with the tried and true?
This laptop just worked. It never complained. It never once gave me a Blue Screen of Death. It was a trooper. And last night, after nearly ten years, it finally gave up the ghost.
Please join me in a brief moment of silence to commemorate the passing of what’s possibly the oldest functioning laptop in the Western hemisphere. It will be missed.
(And now I need to figure out how I’m going to write all my reviews on my wife’s tiny netbook, with its stamp-sized screen, without losing my mind and ruining my eyes. At least it has a dual core processor and a hard drive that’s, without exaggeration, more than twelve times the size of the old laptop’s. Still, I can’t write on a glorified calculator, so it’s computer-shopping time for me.)