Thursday, September 29, 2005

migrating man

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After 18 months of loyal service, including being my writing partner with the novel and a number of stories plus all my business work, I decided it was time to retire my laptop. There was really nothing wrong with it - except that it weighed around 50 tons and is causing a dramatic and unwanted sloping of my right shoulder (eventually, this would have led me to staggering around with a corrupted eye and saying "Yes, Mawsther").

I got a new slim girl (yes, like Jason, now I think of this laptop as a "she") - all 1.8 kg. of her. My new Megabook S260 is black, light, fully loaded (after much effort) and has one of those LCD 12" screens that is perfect for the aspect ratio of widescreen DVDs.

So the old laptop is now the "desktop" at home, which Nikki has adopted, retiring her moody PC. With that, we have become a laptop family (Sage also has her own - a Leapfrog) - just like those fuzzy and irritating ads.

A large part of these past few days has been allocated to my migrating from one computer to another. And before that, I needed to install all of the programs that have become crutches to me: the entire Mircosoft Office (who can live without Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook?), the Adobe tools (Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat), plus all the other quirky programs that I've come to depend on. Then there are all the installers for the various appliances that have become part of my life, particularly my XdaII (damn you, Marco).

And then, finally, all my files. I didn't realize that I had become such a digital packrat. I found stories and fragments of plays, incomplete things. I discovered lost goodies - including what was once my favorite bit of porn. I even found all work files from my days in Hong Kong, which survived migration at least 6 times. Pictures of the pas, sans facial hair, looking happy, somehow, pre-Sage. Music files granted by the benevolence of Napster. Comic book scripts, poetry (gasp), and games.

It was the essence of memory, in my computer's memory. My old laptop, who did most of the remembering for me, was now passing on my memories to the new sexy custodian.

Just how much of this old stuff do I need?

At the moment I decided to purge and get rid of some of the older stuff, I realized that it would be an irrevocable step. Vanishment into the digital ether, gestalts broken down into meaningless nothingness. So in a suceeding moment of regret, I chose not to erase anything, leaving off the task of sorting and deleting for another day.

After all, my new elegant partner has plently of memory for both of us on her hard drive - 60 GB, in fact. I can afford what is non-essential but somehow fraught with meaning.

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