This is old news, but then again, this is an old computer. Weighing nearly ten pounds, it rests lumpily on my lap. This Toshiba and I have been through thick and thin together ever since Mike lugged it home from some business trip. Yeah, we needed another laptop, since the plug on my earlier Toshiba had proven impossible to repair. Mike wasn't worried about buying the world's heaviest portable computer: he'd been working out.
After taking a year or two to get used to the disconcerting way the cursor would leap to mid-page when I was trying to type at a reasonable speed, my next challenge arose when the screen started dimming out. Then, the constant crashes. Looking around, I discovered that Toshiba owners all over the planet were having similar difficulties, as the fan system cannot keep pace with the heat generated by the processor. My favorite example was a video of the Toshiba, left alone on a table at a conference. It burst into flame, burning merrily for some time before anyone even noticed. I looked at my combustible computer with new respect bordering on horror.
Turning it off to cool down before crashing, vacuuming the cat hair from it daily and setting it on a cake stand for extra cooling were not enough; one day, the screen winked out like a blinded eye.
Living in the middle of absolute nowhere, we found it impossible to get a computer guy to even look at the thing, and I was on a deadline. Mike, who is a certifiable genius, bought a new screen online and installed it, terrified and sweating bullets, thanks solely to the help of a YouTube video--and his own desperation.
And nearly six years later, using the trusty, wobbly old cake stand or balancing the machine atilt between belly and thigh to get it maximum airflow, I can still work on it. I just can't lift it.
So this spring, I left the laptop at home when I went to Florida for a few weeks of R&R, away from the Frozen North. I bought an iPad and a keyboard, which together weigh less than the average Starbucks Grande. Sure, it took a month to get them, and for some reason the apostrophe and comma are on the SECOND page of the keyboard options (well done, Apple!) but all the hardware I need fits into a backpack with room to spare.