Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New and nearly new

I've been hanging on by a thread at work for the last few months with a crippled laptop. My beloved Lenovo tablet has been plagued by a problem with the screen, which flips around to turn the machine from a laptop to a tablet. Three times I had a problem where the screen only rotated with difficulty, followed by a failure of the display. The first two times I took it to IT, they sent it away, and it came back with a new motherboard. The third time we were ordering replacement computers for several faculty members, so rather than continue the cycle I decided to upgrade to the new model.

A laptop without a working screen is, in effect, a desktop, since it has to be hooked up to a monitor to be useful. So anytime I've needed mobile computing in the last half of the semester, I had to remember to bring my Macbook Air from home.

Today I got the replacement tablet, and boy is it sweet, what with a screen that lights up and displays information, and the ability to lift it out of its dock and carry it about whilst it still functions as a computer. One more step in getting my electronics environment back in working order.

While Noel and the kids are gone over the weekend, I'm hoping to set things up so the kids can have a computer of their own. For that to happen, I have to take old technology and make it new again. Not only does the computer need to be brought into the second decade of the twenty-first century, but I have to set up an old wireless access point to work with our more up-to-date network. It will be like recreating the configuration we had in 2003 and gluing it onto the side of the whiz-bang 2011 version.

If it works (which is by no means assured), the whole thing will be new to the kids; they'll be thrilled. I'll be thrilled, I admit. I love taking the old and making it new again -- it validates my packrat ways, since a sane person would have displosed of this eight-year-old computer and wireless pod long ago.

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