Early Christmas

Tonight, it is my great pleasure to share with you that I am blogging on a brand spanking new laptop!

A Dell Studio, complete with its LCD screen, built-in Web cam, high capacity battery and wi-fi Internet connectivity.

Can you hear the angel chorus!?

Kates and I have been desperate for new computers for the last couple years. We put it off and went for more important purchases until finally we couldn't wait any longer. With the big move coming up, we knew we had to get new operating systems that would stand up for high-tech communication; web cams were a necessity ...

So we caught a holiday deal and went for it -- one for each of us. They arrived on our door step this morning, and Kates and I were in heaven this afternoon as we started them up and lovingly stroked their keys -- just the two of us, while Phoebe was away at the daycare.

Now I'll be saying goodbye to my old HP laptop, my good friend and partner in the digital age since July 2001 ... For a few months she was the latest and greatest model, and I adored her -- until Windows ME turned into a dud of a computer system and it was replaced within a year by the much-improved Windows XP ...

When I bought the thing, I was naive enough to think that if I took care of her, I would own that laptop for the rest of my life... Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

Within a few years, the system had fallen so far behind other upgrades that I couldn't use newer music, photo or file-sharing software. My Internet browsers constantly froze, making any blogging or e-mail use a horror.

And even when I did install a Windows XP upgrade, it loaded up my system so much that any program ran at a snail's pace. My Internet browsers continued to freeze or they just shut down from any number of error messages. Some programs I couldn't access at all, even if I rebooted the system.

The fan sounded like a table saw cutting through a 2x4, and I bandaged most of the cover with masking tape because it was filling with cracks. For the last two years or so, every time I turned on my laptop I feared it would die on me right then and there ... The good part about that is it got me into a routine of storing very little on my hard drive and backing up everything.

Kates computer, meanwhile, was a desktop PC she purchased in 2002. It hasn't given us near the problems my HP laptop did. But it also has suffered from years of wear, and we feared it also was on the verge of a major crash.

Now, I'm typing away on a slick machine with a glossy, white screen. And it's so quiet I can hear myself think.

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