Netbook lust

At a teaching prep seminar, I got to thinking how useful it’d be to bring my laptop with me when I teach. However, my four-year-old laptop is power supply-dependent and a big chunky bastard that I don’t want to haul all over campus.

Well. By “big chunky bastard” I really mean “perfectly respectable, 15” Dell.”

What’s really going on here is that, once again, I’m falling prey to my own consumer psychology. I feel hard-wired into a progressive mindset: a belief that electronics have a consume-by date dictated almost exclusively by technological improvements. This is both true and untrue: technological improvement indisputably drives ongoing demand for electronics. However, couldn’t we continue to get by, even do just fine, with the DVD player instead of upgrading to the BluRay?

Well, yes, we could. But we have been trained to buy because we want, not because we need.

S and I got married nearly five years ago. I used the wedding as justification to purchase an iPod Mini. I borrowed a sound system from work and used it to play the various custom playlists I lovingly assembled. Today, when I look back on that Mini, it seems like a clunky brick with paltry memory and an interface of DOS-like lameness. Again: less than five years ago.

Look, I’m hardly a tech geek. But I do like pretty devices that make my life easier. And so, even though it’s not the best netbook out there, even though my four-year-old Dell is fine, even though I don’t REALLY need it, I am considering buying a Studio Tord Boontje HP.

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