I’ve never been one of those people who name their computers. I’m not sure why, since I’ve named every car I’ve ever had. Maybe it’s the Hal-effect, the edging into creepiness of anthropomorphizing a mechanical object to which I’ve trusted my most intimate thoughts and feelings. But yesterday I was sorry my trusty old Mac had to die nameless.
It had been slow and sluggish for a while. Lately it had begun going to sleep when I left it alone very long, and I’d have to wake it up with the power button. Yesterday it went to sleep and stayed asleep. No matter how firmly I pressed its button, it didn’t show a sign of life. I called the computer doctor who said he would make a house call at 8:30 this morning. But this morning I pressed its button just to see what would happen, and it woke up full of energy.
The computer doctor was gentle. He said the resurrection wasn’t permanent because the computer’s hard drive was old and dying. Transferring data from one computer to another is easy when they’re both alive, but we had to do it fast. I accepted the inevitable, and the tech doctor raced off to get a replacement. Within a couple of hours, a new computer was hooked up to my printer and internet connections. The computer doc put the old computer in a box and carried it away to destroy its contents. He promised to put roses on it when he disposed of it, but I think he was joking.
The new Mac has a super-thin keyboard and a bigger and brighter face. It also has a camera built into its top so people can see me online. If I want to be seen, which I don’t. It has a lot of other nice features I’ll probably never use. It’s really nice, and I’m sure the two of us will spend thousands of hours together. I’m thinking of names for it.