Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Remembering My First Laptop

Gather around. Let me tell you about my first laptop. Now, I've gone through a few already. More than my share. I'm a total softie when it comes to tech and mobile gadgets.

In the mid-90s, we had Gamboys, Sega's Gamegear, and, for PDA, well, it was a Casio equivalent of a Dayrunner. Had them all. Oh, right. I had a pager too.

The first laptop I've ever seen was a Powerbook 190 that my boss would dangled in from of us. After he got to know me better, he let me manage his city in Simcity when he's away on his three hour lunch break. I was a biochem student at UCLA at the time.

After saving up for a while summer, I decided I want a laptop but I couldn't afford a Powerbook so I had looked and looked and in a computer magazine, I found an ad for a new company called Midwest Micro. Now, I don't remember the price of the laptop I saw but it was a Pentium 75Mhz with dual-scan screen. I knew that was the laptop I wanted.

The next day, I called them up and ordered it. While my roommate was still chugging along on his workhorse 286, I was gonna get a Pentium. Not a just any Pentium. A Pentium laptop!

The wait is agonizing. I'm sure all of you have gone through similar waits so you know exactly what I'm talking about. So, one day, I went home after a long day at the lab my roommate was at his PC clicking away. Since he didn't say anything I decided it didn't arrive. Finally, he couldn't contain himself. It's here, he said!

The two of us through through the box to get at the laptop. A Midwest Micro Pentium 75Mhz laptop. I turned it on. Power. That was good. I think it was running Windows. Not Windows 95.

There was no Internet at the time but we played with it and my roommate loaded it up with software from the, ahem, bulletin boards we'd access via his blazing fast US Robotics 2400 baud modem.

Then the battery indicator told us the battery needed to be charged. I went back to the box to get the AC adapter.

There wasn't one.

Anyway, I forgot what happened next but I ended up returning the laptop. In a span of two weeks, I went through a Toshiba, Epson, and a third one whose brand I didn't recognize. One caught on fire, another just never turned on, and the last one, though cheap, had stability issues.

At the end of the day, I decided I had saved enough over the summer and I could eat at the $1 sandwich place for the rest of winter quarter to make up for the rest so I went to the student store and took home a Powerbook 520.

I've gone through a Dell, Viao, Powerbook 1400, Powerbook G4, XO, and Pavilion.

Today, I'm on the unibody Macbook. Since moving from the Powerbook G4 to it, I've gotten much more productive. It's fast, powerful, and versatile since I can switch to Windows when I absolutely have to. But I'll never for the Midwest Micro laptop.

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