Monday, December 28, 2015

My old, heavy, stylish laptop

A few days ago I got to revive my old laptop that was with me for most of law school days and Bar Prep. Our grant writer needed a computer to work on, nothing fancy just something that powered up for her to use  as a glorified typewriter and I had this thing sitting on a shelf gathering dust. It was a Lenovo X61- a convertible laptop with a screen that turned around when I needed to take hand written notes with a stylus as I rested the machine against the edge of my desk like a copybook. Aside from the hard drive that it refuses to boot from and the battery that only holds the charge for sixteen minutes, the machine still works, probably because I remember paying more to have it upgrade it and customized. And I have to say- as odd it is- I miss it.  It was the most fun I've ever had with a laptop. It felt well build and sturdy, had a certain weight to it, but at the same time the keyboard was petite and not taking too much space in my lap. I think I was the only person in America who liked that strange red joystick pointer button placed between the keys, that eliminated the need for a touchpad. I liked that - at the time- it felt light, that it didn't take much space, that it had an ultrabase it snapped into but that I mostly left behind. I bought two stylish carrying cases for it, one was made of genuine leather. It made me feel like I've had something of really high quality and I took it everywhere. Class, exams, getting food on campus, the bag was always with me resting on my lap as I wheeled through the city. Two or so years earlier my brother bought me a widescreen Sony Vaio, which I think he still believes was a better choice for me, and I got the Lenovo when it stopped to power up a month after the warranty expired. It was 2008. As I took it out last week one thing came to mind. How it the world was I ever able to carry anything so heavy? No wonder I was so slim and strong back then! And I really struggled as I was bringing the machine to a local pub for the grant writer to pick up. It could be that I now use a lighter wheelchair: My old one, Kuschall AirLite was made out of Titanium, the new one- tiLite seems to be some form of reinforced aluminium and is noticeably lighter - maybe it had a better weight distribution. And the bag was almost as heavy as the laptop. Who ever conceived such a thing? One of my Board Members later pointed out that it wasn't designed to rest on my lap, although I've done it like that for years. She explained that when it hangs from your shoulder you don't really feel the weight. Wouldn't it be nice if somebody designed a laptop and a carrying case precisely for wheelchair users like me? So it wouldn't feel like it's going to fall off because it's too light, but then wouldn't add to much weight in the front? So it wouldn't be too bulky or too small and above all- be functional, comfortable and stable.

I've decided to replace to hard drive but the next challenge is getting the system back. Back in 2008 I bought the student version of Windows 7 with a lifetime option of digital download from a vendor called Digital River that doesn't seem to be in business anymore.


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