Tuesday, October 04, 2011

When old tech dies

The mouse, she is dead.

No, I didn't kill it, the poor thing was poisoned - by leaking battery acid. It's my second mouse in a year. The first has a partial failure; the cursor doesn't always highlight a complete sentence - which is annoying as hell when I'm trying to move text. So I bought a new one. It has a smaller USB... thingy and the cursor scooted around the page like a puppy on sugar. Marvy! But why do I have a separate mouse at all when laptops come with built-in ones?

Let me take you back in time, time, time...

I learned to type on a manual typewriter. A Remington. At business college. If we achieved our speed goals, we were rewarded with time on an electric typewriter, with a daisy wheel. Oh, how my fingers flew across the keys! But time was limited. In those days, no one had heard of RSI, or carpal tunnel syndrome. Why? Because manual typing teaches proper finger, hand and arm position. You have to lift your hands and arms for the correct pressure on the keys. None of this touch-typing which later caused so many problems.

Anyway, when computers came in I had to have one, clunky keyboard and all. Then the mouse appeared. Frabjus Day! No more memorising the F keys! Then laptops arrived, smaller, more compact, but I liked the full-size keyboard, so like a typewriter.

When my Pentium kicked the bucket - salt corrosion did for the motherboard (coastal living is dangerous, don't you know, to things electronic) - I decided on a laptop rather than a new desktop machine. I took the laptop overseas, something I obviously couldn't do with a desktop. While it was great, I found the keyboard annoying with it's lack of keys I like to use and the in-built mouse which I found awkward.

I have a full sized keyboard plugged in to the laptop so I can type as fast as I like without having to search for the right key (typwriter trained, remember?) and I have a mouse plugged in because I like the way it feels in the my hand and I'm not cramped up trying to use a small square and accompanying buttons. I can't use it one-handed like I can with a separate mouse.

Making computers smaller isn't necessarily a good thing, but I have to move on or risk moving to Ludditeville.

All things must come to an end. The laptop's system won't take updates anymore, it's becoming as slow as molasses and the memory is 1.5 gig with an 80 gig hard drive that's near full; with what I have no clue, nor will I buy one - a clue that is. Keeping up with modern technology is fast becoming a chore and a necessity. I refuse to buy an I-pad, it doesn't feel right and typing is, well, slow.

Instead, next week the new netbook arrives. It's smaller than the laptop and nearly half the width of my keyboard, but I'm plugging it in. All I need now is a you-beaut, new-fangled mouse to go with it.

But first, I'll remove the bodies of the other two; reverantly bury them and say a few words over their mortal remains - or simply toss them. This current mouse - the first one with the vanishing, temperamental cursor problem - is pissing me off.

I think I'll have just enough time to play with the new tech before Nano.

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