A Mac Worth Rebuilding

I feel like Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein, though I just got all my hair chopped off today and I can’t do that mad laugh that he does so, so well.

All else, though, applies. Me -n- my Mac, we’re Puttin’ on the Ritz.

Here’s the background: I bought my G4 Titanium Powerbook at the end of the first week in October of 2001. It was a brisk autumn afternoon, and I remember leaving with my new Powerbook, clutching it as if it were the baby that would be born to us just two weeks later.

Madelyn just turned six, and as she now dances ever-so freely and innocently in this early evening, this eve before we finally turn our clocks back an hour, I write this entry on my Powerbook, a loved and worn friend resembling the Velveteen Rabbit more than anything else. The sound doesn’t work, the cd drive is cracked but usable, the firewire port is no longer on fire, and the battery has long since overheated and sports black singed marks where it just couldn’t give anymore.

It includes a 10-gig hard drive (stop that snickering!). Yet, I have successfully resuscitated it with a gig and a half to spare. I’ve got my essential software loaded, and a core 37 songs on iTunes that, when I twist the earbuds just right, I can hear Dylan, Zep, and Jerry G reminding me that the music never stops, and every little thing’s gonna be all right.

I just ordered the brand new battery pack, the one that I should have received for free when the recalls went out years ago. I saved nearly $50 on eBay (reliable seller; otherwise, I would have never taken the chance), and it should be here by Wednesday.

I’ve priced portable external hard drives, and i can get a fine 120-gig Iomega portable drive for $129, which I’ll get in the next week or so. It’s got a USB drive, so I don’t have to worry about the fire-less firewire…

This, I hope, will last until Madelyn begins 1st grade next August, when I’ll have the money to get my new Powerbook.

But that will be a bittersweet moment for me. It will be nice to have all the new technology, the DVD-R drive, the 17-inch laptop screen, and all the speed and space I’ll ever need to write and design. What I will mourn, though, is the passing of this old laptop, my friend, my brother-at-my-side since before my daughter was born. We have been through over 75 original pieces of writing that have found their way in print, and countless other ideas that continue to develop on and off this screen. We have spent marathon writing sessions in myriad coffee houses and cafes, learned of breaking news–both good and horrific–as it developed online, and of course, shared my life as it unfolded as well with all of you in this blog.

I hope my laptop, my friend, holds up until next August. He is as a part of my muse as my daybook, and I look forward to this Swan Song Run for the next 10 months as I work on another book, share my life with you, and celebrate life as I’ve never celebrated it before.

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