Memories and Thinks

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I was about to post about my plan, which I shall do in a minute, but I was distracted by reading emilydm’s post about going skating. Years ago, years and years ago, when I was but tinysmall, and my friends were similarly sized, my dad used to take us to a skating rink in London. I’ve no idea where, which has always saddened me slightly, because I’d love to go back.

But it’s almost certainly been modernised.

I remember it being “world of the 70’s”, the clearly British but American-‘themed’* diner attached at one end of the rink, tinny music playing, some kind of stage-esque curtained thing at the other end of the ring (what in god’s name was that for? So they could put on stage shows while-you-skate? I can see why that might not have succeeded), Black and very worn rubber matting and the battered looking rink boundry with it’s chipped and broken paint.

It was enormous fun, circling the rink, in the 70s atmosphere (despite it being the mid 80s), the slightly run-down charm bringing back even earlier youthful fun in Hemel’s AMC Bowling Alley (which was demolished when I was pretty small and was a similarly 70s building – but that actually only just made it into the 80s).

The nice thing about these memories is the warm fuzzy family feeling. Remembering my dad taking me out onto the ice holding my hand, getting me started and then me flying off Hockey-Skater style, while my sister with her Ballet-learned grace would float round the rink.

It’s one of those…slightly melancholy nostalgias, perhaps it’s better that I can’t go back, it’s probably been either closed or drastically modernised; as is the wont of these places.

There is one place from my childhood I’d love to go to – the REX 1&2 – now known as The REX Cinema – this place has survived the ravages of time – in my youth it was a ratty but glorious piece of Deco artwork. I saw few films there – being as my dad was generally of the opinion that it was cheaper to wait and watch it on TV – something I sadly do out of financial distress rather than desire. I cherished that place, but never imagined that it would be saved – the Sad REX 1&2 sign lingered in my head. But now saved and restored, it’s a place I quite definately want to go and visit.

Anyhow, enough of that. Plans. Or specifically, the Laptop plan.

I had this idea – see, I want a new laptop. The Dell CPi that Lauren gave me has been soldiering on pretty well, really, given that it’s 8 years old, has a processor it doesn’t support in it, and is held together with a plate of steel, extra machine screws through the lid casing, copper mains-wire glued in with epoxy resin to support the cracked and damaged case and has a 4 key which is pops up because it’s lost part of it’s clipping mechanism. Oh, and it’s killed the 2nd new battery I gave it and about it’s 5th battery overall in that time.

Oh yes, and the screen connector is held in with cardboard because the bit of metal that ‘holds’ it in is bent, and too weak for the job.

So all in all, the fact it works at all is pretty impressive.

I do have other laptops. Kathryn gave me her old Clamshell ibook – which I was planning to fix and use, then I discovered that you can’t get a faster processor for it, or faster memory, and it’ll probably be slower than my 450Mhz Dell. It would, however, run OSx, which I kinda want. But it does need stripping down because the power connector is borked. And it only runs at 800×600, which is kinda painful these days.

The other laptop, the Powerbook G3 is even slower (233Mhz) – I did get a 300Mhz upgrade for it, but it doesn’t work with the Powerbook for reasons which the company (who instantly refunded my money on being told it didn’t work) informed me are obscure and strange, but there are, apparently laptops Apple made which are ‘finicky’.

The HP Laptop was sent off via freecycle to aid a kiddie in her schoolwork.

So 3 laptops, all of which aren’t entirely well.

So hence; the idea: Sell the whole damn lot of them.

More specifically, fix them all as well as they can be fixed. Flog the G3 with the Clamshell’s hard disk (because the Clamshell’s hard disk, is, iirc, bigger than the G3’s). Flog the Clamshell with the Dell’s hard disk having fixed it’s power connector. See if the G3’s memory upgrade that I bought before discovering that the processor upgrade didn’t work will, uh, work, in the Clamshell. Put the HDD I bought for the G3 into the Dell and flog it.

Unfortunately, I suspect that this won’t net me the amount I want. The G3 Clamshell appears to be the most valuable; the G3 Powerbook running in second. Looking at the value of Dell CPi’s? Distressing. Though there weren’t many working ones on e-bay. I was vaguely looking in the sense of ‘maybe it’d be worth loads more in a new case with a new battery’ but no. The poor bloody thing is valueless either way.

Ah well.

I’m aiming for around 300 quid – the cost of an MSI Wind. Why an MSI Wind and not a Apple of shinyness? Well, I’d love a real true honest to goodness apple. But what do I actually *use* my laptop for? Well: Browsing the web, doing my e-mail, doing paperwork, and that’s about it. I watch videos on it when I go on holiday… but, well, that’s really it. So why get a full-size laptop? Why not get something (a) dinky and (b) new – for once. Laptops are not the most long lived items. The Dell keeps it’s long lifespan mostly by being, well, treated quite gently. I don’t open and close the screen much (it lives open), and despite the fact it’s falling apart at the edges… it’s stood up pretty well to the abuse. Anyway, I never really answered the reason why I want an MSI Wind. The reason is, alledgedly it runs OSX really rather well. Apple don’t do a subnotebook (and I’d probably still not be able to afford it if they did) – but I would rather like one, so the MSI wind is currently my plan of action. I wonder if it’ll work.

So getting laptops second hand never seems like the greatest of the great idea. Although if I do carry out my plan and end up laptopless then I may have to consider it.

*If I’m being *really* generous I’ll use the word themed, styled would be going way too far.


Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at