This may be the last post I write on this, my trusty laptop that I have had since before I started this blog. As such, I wish to pay it proper tribute.
It wants to be a trusty laptop. I know it does. And it has been a trusty laptop, almost every single day for most of the three-and-a-bit years since I first took it out of the box and cuddled it. It has enabled me to shop, bank, and access services from my own home. It's provided entertainment and information and social contact, and has saved me from feeling completely cut off from the world.
But, time has worn on and three years of heavy use has taken its toll. Files are becoming corrupted, bits are sticking, and the fan is whirring away on overtime even when running nothing heftier than the original OS (Windows XP) and a single firefox window. The last couple of games I looked at buying, I did not meet the system requirements (although one of them I bought anyway, because of a limited-edition offer, and we seemed to more-or-less cope).
For the last few months, it's been 50/50 on whether my poor, overworked laptop will manage to complete the boot process, and over the last few days it has been getting worse still. Disturbing mechanical noises are coming from deep within the machine (although nothing is in there that shouldn't be) and we've reached a point where, in order to persuade it to boot, the operator must use the Etch-A-Sketch method - giving it a good shake and a couple of bangs to try and dislodge/reseat whatever is causing the problem. It pains me to treat my precious laptop so harshly, but we really have reached the point where anything I do to it is unlikely to make it worse. The time when it no longer works At All is unfortunately now within the forseeable future.
So, I'm shopping for a new laptop. I've set a fairly arbitrary budget of £500, as that's what this one cost. My "musts" are a decent size screen, a standard size keyboard, WiFi, and a CD reader. My "wants" are for the CD reader to also write CDs, and read (preferably write) DVDs; the capacity to play Sims 3 if I ever buy it; and the handy little memory-card-slot that enables me to just plug the memory cards from my camera straight in to copy my photos over; plenty of USB ports. I also want it to run Windows, partly because that's what I'm confident using, and partly because I want to be able to play my PC games. Recommendations welcome.
Acquiring new toys is always fun and exciting, but I do feel quite sad at the thought of parting company with this one. I will miss it. I'm not going to bury it in the back garden but the thought did cross my mind. It has been a good companion. Perhaps one day we'll resurrect it as a guest computer or something.