The Laptop of Theseus

Much like my bicycle of many replacement parts, my laptop has suffered many a gutting and repair. This came up because I recently had the keyboard replaced, and I just tallied up what is original and what is not.

I have replaced the mainboard... twice (for free the second time), the DVD-R/CD-RW (cheap eBay fix), touchpad (for free on the second mainboard replacement), the hard drive (30 GB to 60 GB), power supply, and just recently the keyboard--a big problem because the screen "increase brightness" control failed, and it had gotten dialed down. So it now has a new keyboard, without a shiny worn spot on the space bar. It was a major exercise in frustration, because the shop took about a month to receive the part, but in fairness, they waived the installation fee in compensation.

To some degree, I find it amusing or a challenge to see how long I can keep this machine going. I like the worn character--various trim pieces are missing, the "intel inside" sticker is barely readable, and the paint is worn off of all corners--it's like comparing an undergrad's Brass Rat to mine--"Wow! They have corners when they're new!"

I've been putting off replacing this machine because my former employer will buy a new laptop when I return to being employed there (probaby March 2007). I just checked how ancient it is--I got it in September 2002, so it is just over four years old. But I realized that I don't particularly need to upgrade the power or capacity of this machine--it runs the applications that I need without being painfully slow in any way. I'm wondering if hardware manufacturers are realizing and/or noticing the delay in computer replacement, because people don't need an upgrade to run MumblyApp 2008 Pro.


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