Laptop attachment syndrome

Since 1996 or 1997, my main work machine has been a laptop.

The one and only desktop machine I ever bought new was from Midwest Micro (I was one of the few who actually bought a machine with a 486DX4-75). Since then, I have rescued some from being discarded and built a collection of a few Frankenmachines, but I have done most of my work on laptops for the last 15 years.

Now, I have a confession to make.

My main laptop is more than five years old.

It was definitely not top of the line when I bought it.

True, in the intervening years, I put more memory in (2GB instead of 512MB), swapped the hard drive for a larger one (400GB instead of 100GB), and got an even chunkier battery (4.5 hours instead of 2 hours).

It’s no beauty, and definitely not a speed demon, and would not win any beauty contests.

But, it is set up the way I want it. My text editors, various programming language distributions, video editing tools, graphics tools, and LibreOffice work just the way I like them.

I can dual boot between ArchLinux and Windows XP. Wireless and graphics work well under Linux. I can roam between access points, USB devices automount correctly. There does not seem to be any more pain left to discover (oh, I forgot, I dare not hibernate the machine under ArchLinux, but suspend works fine).

I have it set up so that Cygwin Perl, ActiveState Perl, and Strawberry Perl all stay out of each other’s way. Ditto for the umpteen different versions of gcc I have on that machine.

The keyboard has good travel. I don’t have to look at it to type (never been much of a touch typist I am afraid, just 2-4 finger pecking. That’s still faster than I can think). More importantly, it has all the keys I need (take that MacBook) and even a microphone input jack (take another one, MacBook!). The touchpad has the right size and right amount of sensitivity. I would prefer a 1400x900 resolution, but 1280x800 works.

It has a built in optical drive. More importantly, it has a built in modem which means I can fax from anywhere which came in extremely handy over the last few months.

While I also use a recent vintage MacBook Pro and a couple of Windows 7 64-bit laptops for various things, I always go back to my trusty Lenovo 3000 N100.

Did I mention, I don’t play any other games than Angry Birds for Chrome, Dogfight 2, and Doom?

I am beginning to think there is something wrong with me. After all, I must be able to find a laptop with a decent screen (no shiny, reflective panels for me), decent keyboard, decent touchpad that is also fast, has a huge hard drive, is quiet, does not generate much heat etc.

But, every time I get excited, I find some flaw with it.

I think I am suffering from laptop attachment syndrome.

PS: I will not touch Dell, HP, and Gateway laptops. And Macs will remain too annoying until Apple figure out that Page Up and Page Down keys are indeed necessary.