Oh, that’s much better. I can type looking straight ahead again. The screen’s a proper size. On the one hand, it’s kind of sad that I really did miss this computer, and on the other, well, it’s my main workstation for a reason.
There’s a bit in Accelerando (which you should all read, available free at the link if you’re too cheap to pay for it) where one of the leads is cut off from the various electronic devices that are perpetually about his person, connecting him the internet cloud, and suffers for it, because so much of his intellect is distributed outside the two and a half pounds of grey matter in his skull.
Obviously, not yet being an electric posthuman (there’s a joke for a certain type and vintage of comic reader) my intellect remains locked inside my head, but still: there was a point the morning that this beast died, and my laptop was running on only battery charge, where I was very keenly aware that without them, and particularly without this machine, I am missing a vital set of tools that I use to run my life – data files, organisers, indexes and a weirdly cross-referenced archive of notes, research and random crap I’ve accumulated over the last decade. There was a genuine sense of mild panic at the prospect being cut off from it, or at least, reduced to accessing it in a less-than-optimal manner. I sort of feel like I’m doing the electronic equivalent of getting by after a trip, looking around the room, and sighing in contentment because it’s good to be home.
Mind you, I’m also bloody territorial about my computers. This one, particularly. I don’t mind someone using my laptop for periods, to look something up quickly, or even just because they can’t get on-line for some reason. I prefer to be in the room while they do. Not y’know, looking over their shoulder, or anything, but just present. And my laptop is the “public” machine. It doesn’t have my proper archive on it, or half the passwords and tools that this does.
But this one, frankly, I could be having the most appallingly intimate relationship with someone, in a knows-where-the-bodies-are-buried-and-exactly-what-buttons-to-push way, and I’d still be leery of letting them use this machine. In some ways, it really does feel like an extension of my brain.
It also occurs to me that this is the longest piece of writing I’ve done in weeks. Hmmm.
Does anyone else get like this about their computers? Or am I the freak again?