I’ve been thinking for a while now that I needed a new computer for my current and possible future endeavors. A message from Client #6 firmly suggesting a new piece of software persuaded me that I needed a new computer before I start on my  contract with them on Monday. I checked the requirements of all the software that I need to use and added it up, wrote it down, and waltzed bravely into the computer store with #1 daughter at my side.

She laughed at my list. However, I could see that I needed 1700KB just for the software, before I even stored a single thing, and I had a 512K computer, so to me the list was key.

I don’t know how people usually shop for computers. The parts are all alike, none of them seem attractive to me (and if there had been one with embossed scrollwork, I would have been all over it, too — maybe they should consider this), I am completely impervious to coolness in electronics, so really I’m just there looking at numbers and asking about the level of social responsibility of the company.

I needed 2GB of memory and a reasonable size of hard disk, speed, and a word processing program, and I wanted to spend no more than one week’s income.

The young man at the first store heard this, and immediately started talking about how they could install it for me at my home so I wouldn’t have to bother with all those pesky cables.

The young man at the second store showed me the one I had found online as a starting point, and then showed me another that had 3GB and was a bit faster, for ten dollars more.

Of course, I bought it from him. I asked whether there were any special shelves of cheap, non-cool monitors, but was not successful with that. However, I am sure that I will enjoy my cool monitor now that I have it, even if I really had only wanted to spend $45 on a monitor.

#1 daughter dropped me and the computer off at home, and went to visit friends. I should have torn the box open straightaway and begun playing with my new toy. However, there was an important question to decide first: where to put it.

The kids were in favor of putting it in one of the bedrooms, and I gave this some honest thought. However, I like 5 to work at 4:00 a.m. sometimes, and by 6:00 at all times, so I really don’t want someone sleeping in the same room as the computer. I had to reject that notion.

We have a kitchen and a utility room, but I have sometimes had occasion to allow people to look at my work on the computer. How can I give the impression of being a proper Computer Guy if the computer is in the kitchen?

So it will have to go in the living room.

Therefore, the decision was between putting it into the place of the old computer, or leaving the old computer there and giving the new one the former home of the Mac, which belonged to the store and has therefore moved out.

5 The important question is this: which window would I prefer to gaze out of during the work day?

In the end, I put the new computer in the current workspace and gave the old homestead of the Mac to the family computer.

There were moments, as I plugged the eau-de-nile jack into the eau-de-nile plug or crawled around amidst the wires pulling cables through little holes, that I thought about the salesman who offered to come set it up for me.

But I did set it up, and then spent the afternoon installing all my software and taking out the resident stuff.

Not all of it, of course. Someone might want to play those games till they expire. But I don’t want a screen saver with ads, and I don’t want Yahoo for my home page, and I really hated the Welcome Center.005

So there it is, the new computer. Not very thrilling, is it? They ought to get going on the scrollwork.

Still, it is much faster, and it contains all my needed software, and I look forward to getting to work with it.

I am singing the offertory in the early service at church this morning. The person who was scheduled to do so punked out (the direct quote from her email being, “NONONONO where’d you get that idea?” And the answer is, when she volunteered and I wrote it on the calendar), so I am singing a  song which I haven’t practiced and don’t particularly like, at an hour when #1 daughter will still be sleeping. Then I meet with my new Sunday School class, the junior high summer class. I am going to propose to them that we study religon and science.

This afternoon, after #1 daughter leaves, I have a page to do for Client #2 and some tutoring. With two computers in my living room, I feel like a Computer Guy. The continual presence of pizza boxes and my continued unfortunate habit of working in my pajamas adds to that feeling. And  I am very happy not to have to file a weekly unemployment claim today. Having dealt with my hardware issues and cleaned out my files, I will take some time this afternoon to figure out strategies for the resumption of normal life. For some value of normal.