For too long I've wanted to upgrade my bumbling, slow HP Pavilion computer. I've had it since 2003 and it was a gift so I didn't get to pick the specs I wanted for it, like a video card capable of gaming or the type of RAM one needs to multitask with programs like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, MangaStudio, or Cubase and Pro-tools. I saved enough for it as of this Friday. I woke up singing my plans, ooh I'm gonna get two sticks of RAM, each a gig, and then I'm gonna get a video card -- the most expensive one compatible. Then I can finally run Angels of War and I can finally play Oblivion on the PC rather than on my Playstation 3. And urm, I can research better. Yeah.
For a second it crossed my mind to just buy a new PC. But I don't want to deal with Windows 7. I like Windows XP. It's probably the only half-decent thing Microsoft has done in the last ten years. For an operating system that is, face it, a welcome mat for virii and malware, XP is at least customizable and user friendly enough to put up a fair fight.
After school on Friday I go to Best Buy. Maybe the staff's bitchy because it's near closing. (If you work there, please note: I'm actually giving y'all credit by assuming you are not bitchy at other times.) After I have a conversation with a Geek Squad girl and confirm that she knows geek squat about the various types of RAM versus the various types of ports they can fit into, I find myself lingering between the video cards and the netbooks. Oh the netbooks. All teensy and wireless and with terabytes of memory. Terabytes. And every single one tainted with Windows 7. Urgh.
I pass them up.
Now I know I could bypass using Windows altogether. I could just use Linux; more specifically, Ubuntu. I love Linux's house, all private and secure, untouchable by all the nasties that slither right under your figurative, literal Windows. For a second I thought -- hey I could buy a blank machine with no OS and then install Ubuntu, which is completely free. But alas I have tried a dual boot with Windows and I cannot get WINE, which is basically a program that allows Ubuntu to run Windows programs, to actually run all of my Windows programs. It was too big a pain getting Ubuntu to run Microsoft Office. And you try to get Pro Tools up and running. You.
While all this runs through my head, I suddenly see a sparkling little jet black machine. So, so little, about as small as a hardback novel -- certainly much thinner than one. And it calls to me. Eee. I make a beeline.
Eee. That's the name of this slick little black book. I look at the specs. Nearly a terabyte of memory?? A two point what processor? Fook! It's better than my current machine even after an upgrade. I check again to make sure it's not too good to be true.
Enough RAM to run my many art and writing programs all at once, check. Intel inside, check. A good enough video card to run new games, check. Enough battery-power to sustain a full day of school, check. And holy fook -- it's pre-loaded with Windows XP. That made it cheaper. Decision made.
I grab an Eee box and suppress the little dance I feel coming on. I defeated Windows 7. Of course, it's not over yet. No one escapes the Best Buy sales people, no one. Once we've discussed what I'm holding, he tries to talk me into upgrading it to Windows 7. For a fee of course. He offers to give me a warranty; offers to set me up with anti-virus, to install updates and drivers, the MS Suite, and yada yada yada to get more money out of me.
Wow, I think, these people must work on commission. I say no to all of it, and his tone quickly turns from helpful to condescending. I don't know what I'm doing, is the gist of his blah blah blah. I don't get harsh with him, I just get a little firmer.
"I already own the MS Suite, and my computers run on a network at home so I don't have to keep buying the same program. I don't want Windows 7. I'm used to XP. I use Avast! so I don't need your geek squat antivirus (which by the way comes fully loaded with its own malware -- which I didn't say), and I'll take my warranty issues up with Eee, thank you." Either that satisfied him or pissed him off. I don't care. I got a new toy! . . . For school.
Here's lil Eee the next night, up and running with everything customized the way I like it. All my updates and programs are installed (by me), all my drivers are coolio, Internet is copacetic and it's in our network. I'm blogging with it. I'm ashamed that I can love a piece of machinery this way.
What gets me, why I'm writing this is, the thing is so frickin small, yet so powerful.
A metaphor for something.