10 Signs You Need (…OK, Are Beyond Needing) a New Laptop

by Mary Ann Mazey

Published at 2014-10-29

While some of us writers and editors pride ourselves on being early adopters, others may have a slight “not-fix-it-’til-it’s-broke” mentality when it comes to our technology situation. It’s understandable after all, you and your computer spend so many hours working together, it can be easy to get attached and press your luck way past its best-before date. And as long as your outdated device isn’t affecting the quality of your work (“Sure, the button-display on the newer version of this software is nice, but I can insert queries for the author just as quickly using the drop-down menu on this version…”), there’s really no problem.


However, Internet browser and Adobe updates brusquely pushed my OS into obsoletion (see #1) recently. Clearly, it was time to trade in my old friend for a newer model before disaster (i.e., losing the time and work I put into a client’s project) struck.


Maybe consider an upgrade when you start noticing these signs…


1. You can’t participate in a work conference via a client’s preferred shared-screen method because your OS doesn’t support it.

2. Your power cord is held together with utility tape in two
count ’em, twoplaces.

3. Your battery life sans charger is 30 seconds (at best).

4. Your fan is so noisy it has inspired a running gag among your friends and co-workers regarding the “in-flight meal.”

5. You have a backpack with extra-cushioned shoulder straps that you keep exclusively for lugging around your heavier-than-reality-TV-drama clunker. 

6. You back up files on thumb drives and external hard drives with a frequency that is more manic-panic than eager-beaver, because you are acutely aware that each time your laptop wakes up from sleep mode could be THE LAST TIME.


7. Your save shortcut has begun to periodically cause Word to crash without so much as pretending to offer the courtesy of a “recovered version” saving your work has become a Russian-roulette-style exercise in masochism.


8. You notice that when you lay the electronic and hard copy versions of a manuscript next to each other on the table, the electronic version is thicker.

9. You’ve had to interrupt your work to turn your second-degree-leg-burn-inducing laptop upside down and put a bag of frozen peas on it.

10. You bought the laptop to go to school to learn about the industry you now use the laptop to work in...and have been working in for seven years.


…and avoid the “crash and burn”


It’s strange that in a world where everyone wants the newest gadget right away, some of us resist change when it comes to our tech. We use it until it’s no longer, well, useful (and sometimes past that date), and then we reluctantly upgrade. It can be a drag to move over all your files and set everything up the way you want it, but in the end it will probably work out for the better—you’ll work faster and more efficiently. And, oh yeah, won’t constantly live in fear of losing years of files, photos, and information. That’s a bonus too, I suppose.


So go forth! Familiarize yourself with new tech once your beloved gadgets start to show wear and tear. Retire them with dignity, instead of a drawn out crash and burn (sometimes literally). The world won’t end; in fact, you’ll probably wish you’d done it ages ago!