Ruth and I went into the iStore to see if they could fix the screen of Andries’ iBook. Andries is Ruth’s gardener. Of course they could not, as the iBook range was discontinued four years ago and now it is impossible to find the parts. My trusty Acer is four years old, still works a charm and can be easily fixed should it ever stop. It was half the price of that schmancy peace of now-useless apple hardware, even at the time, and will probably serve me another four years should that be what I need.
It has travelled across continents, survived the most dire moments of rage (once, during my TV production days, in a desperate fury I smacked the keyboard so violently that the hard drive fell out – it was very scary at first but the nerds could fix that; I also updated my software and have not looked back since) and has never let me down, not even once. Friends – who can afford it – have updated their Macs two or three times during the same time that I have lugged my laptop from job to job. They may burn twice as bright, but it seems that Macs only burn half as long as something half the price.
And I am not even sure that they do burn twice as bright. I think Macs are bling, basically. Video editors and graphic designers swear by them, but I think that is just a bit of ringside posturing. We need SO much memory! Our work is so TECHNICAL! Macs might be racehorses but most folk just need something to pull the wagon up the mountain on a rainy day.
And so on. For every penny you want spend, you will get more value for money on a PC. Buying a Mac is buying fashion. It’s an indulgence, really, and since you cannot wear it, drink it, or eat it (I like to indulge strictly in more basic human needs) it does not interest me at all. Almost everything about Mac bores me. Everything except the keyboard. I think Macs have perfect keyboards. Nothing, I guess, is all bad.
The thing that happened this week that is far more exciting than rediscovering what a waste of money a Mac is, is my attempt to move forward the start of my well-deserved holiday.
So I stepped into the course co-ordinator’s office on Monday morning, full of Monday resolution and courage, to talk about my research report. “I want to talk to you,” she said to me, which was fortuitous – turns out we wanted to talk about the same thing. There were other things she could, possibly, would have wanted to discuss with me: a party on the weekend, possible funding for a research trip to an exotic location… nice things, information that friends might want to share with each other on a Monday morning. But no, she also wanted to talk about my research report.
I thought of this synchronicity as a good thing, until she told me that I would be “completely fucked” (she said this more than once, so I use the quotation marks with confidence) if I did not hand in a completed report by the deadline of 15 February 2011.
It was not a threat of course; it was just an unambiguous a forceful a startling expression of her opinion conviction that I may will not have time to apply myself to my report when I start a full-time job next year. There was not much to do in that moment other than to believe her, and to resolve to work until midnight every night until the 15th of Feb.
That was Monday. Today is Saturday and the adrenalin has worn off somewhat. I am still in bed with the laptop in the position it was named after, I have had Abba, Cliff Richard and Michael Buble on Radio 702’ Solid Gold Saturday, and I have come to terms that, regardless of how I may or may not be able to organise my time next year, I will not be able to organise it well enough before then to hand in the report on time.
In a minute or so I will pull the covers into some kind of order before I go to gym. When I get back, I will sit down with my report until the Barbarians game this afternoon. Before I know it we will set off for Carnavon on the 18th.