Last week my old laptop finally gave me a blue screen of death. After more than 4 years of nearly continuous use, it said its final goodbye. No more would I deal with this thing; I was going to get a new one.
I’ll miss that stupid piece of dying technology. It was slow, made weird noises, and struggled with such graphic-intensive sites like SeekingAlpha or Fool.com. I bought it my freshman year of college, and even then it was a few years old.
Until the day it died, it ran XP SP3 like a boss. Yes, that XP – the best operating system ever. I think that’s why I loved it. I secretly wished it would die 2 years ago so I could justify buying a new one, but it just kept on ticking.
I’m not much for electronics. Sure, I have a smartphone. Now I own a “brand new” computer. I say “brand new” because the components are actually quite old. This thing might have been almost top of the line in 2007.
When I stopped in at Best Buy (best experience ever, btw), I think I scared the salesman with my minimum requirements.
“I want a computer that can handle Excel, Word, and Chrome – oh, and Sim City 3000” I said.
“Well, all of these can do that,” he replied, seemingly upset that I didn’t want a computer that can run whatever videogames people play these days. I’m pretty sure he thinks I was previously using a Commodore 64.
“Right. I know. Now where are the prices?”
Best Buy has this annoying practice of never having prices on anything. On the computers on which they did have prices, the only available for sale laptops were “set up by Geek Squad,” a service which is apparently worth $99. I couldn’t help but laugh that Best Buy & Co. apparently think that a business model built on consumer ignorance will keep them in business. Have they never spoken to airlines?
Buy Before New Operating Systems
Windows 8 came out one day after I bought my new laptop. This was the best time ever for my computer to die. I’ve read some less than awesome things about Windows 8, and being already familiar with my Windows 7 desktop, I’m content to stick to the tried and tested. Besides, I had remained loyal to a laptop running Windows XP well after Vista came out.
Windows 8 might be the best thing that ever happened to my shopping trip. I was shopping through the runts of the litter – the computers that would be “out of date” the very next day. Ha!
So anyway, I walked out of there with a sub-$350 laptop decked out with a 15.6″ display, 4GB of RAM, too much HDD space, and a halfway decent processor that, while I wish was Intel, is an AMD chip that doesn’t run hot enough to cook eggs.
Needless to say, I’m one happy camper. I cannot believe how much things have changed since I bought my last laptop. This thing has a webcam. It has a multi-touch trackpad! It has HDMI out because I watch sooooo many movies (read: zero), and even an SD card slot! The purchase price was only 60% of that of my last computer.
I have to say, I’m giddy every time I turn this thing on. It’s amazingly awesome old news. New to me, old to the rest of the world, yet it still feels like Christmas. Sometimes it’s those simple things in life that are absolutely awesome.