Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Computer conundrums


Hey!  I'm back in your face like I never went away.
During my absence, I've had a great deal of time to think about a wide variety of things.  Many serious.  A few not as much.  One of the thoughts I had in the latter category is my odd relationship with computer technology.  
Computers are something that most geeks share in common.  We work well with them, we see the acquisition of new technology as imperative, and more often than not, we would rather our social interactions take place between two linked PCs (or Macs for those of us so inclined) than face-to-face.  Additionally, many geeks make their living with computers.  I'm not talking about using basic office applications, I mean the actual hard-coding of the lifeblood that runs through the silicon veins.  All those pretty zeroes and ones.
I am not one of those geeks.  Never had a head for math, you see.  These days, I need a calculator to do simple double digit addition, let alone any real kind of division (digression: in a way, it's a shame that the demise of the pocket calculator is upon us.  After all, they were the source of much entertainment in junior high as we boys keyed in "80085" to look like "boobs."  A sad lament.)  Therefore, computer programming has always been difficult for me.  Frustrating, even.  As much as I wanted to learn it, I just couldn't make it work.  Computers.  Love to use them, would hate to program the code.  Trust me, it'd be fun to be one of those types that can crank out a web page with no sweat or hack a system like a prodigy, but I'm just not that type of geek.
And then there are laptops.  Certainly a fun toy to have.  The idea of computing on the go and from anywhere has really appealed to me in the last few years.  The price is no longer any real deterrent, but my phobias are...namely that I will ruin it.  A spilled latte, a drop into a puddle, a drunk on the Metra train, you name it and I'll find a way for the crazy mishap to ensue.  A quick search on "durable laptop" led me to a CNET review of Dell's "sorta indestructible" Latitude ATG.  Then there's this older model Dell, the Latitude E6400 Notebook.  It's covered in a "Ballistic Armor Protection System" and is said to be impervious to sand, dirt, or water.  In fact, the blurb features a pic of a guy soaking the laptop with a fire hose.  I'd love to be on the design team that gets to test these things out.
It also wouldn't be a bad idea to find an indestructible mobile device.  I've been lucky in that arena (knock on wood) despite the number of drops I've had.  Still, I don't want to press my luck.  I know there are military-grade cellphone casings out there.  Maybe I'll look into that.


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