During this time of war and pestilence, I’ve been hiding away from the major population centres deep in the ancient sticks. Haven’t come down with The Rona yet, and a large part of that is due to my being in a sparsely populated area that is completely devoid of culture and attractions save those related to fishing, shunned by the majority of non-fishing tourists pandemic or not. While those qualities make it an ideal spot to wait out a global pandemic, I sure do miss those days when I used to be exposed to actual culture. This year’s Pride has been a boon from the gods thus far, for it has brought culture to those of us who have none. A power trio playing Stones covers doesn’t have quite the same level of über-festive badassitude as some of the shit I’ve seen in Toronto, but I certainly appreciate the sight and sound of a company of live street performers that isn’t a twangy country band. Haven’t seen anything like that in a while.
Unlike every laptop I’ve ever owned, my new laptop (which I have given the network identifier SWEET-LORRAINE in homage to the Uriah Heep tune) has very little internal hard drive space. Because she was designed to work with the cloud. Which is fine, except the thing is I like to listen to music while I’m working, and there’s not enough room in her caboose to house the vast collection of tunage I’ve been amassing since at least a decade before Spotify existed. Which I’ve never bothered syncing with the cloud, because it’s seventy megashitloads of tunage that would take too long to sync. The entire soundtrack of my life, and then some. Like Peter Quill’s Walkman. Something I just can’t part with. So I willfully splurged an extra hundred to expand SWEET-LORRAINE’s warehouse by a quarter of a terabyte. Her new appendage has been christened LADYINBLACK, after yet another Uriah Heep tune.
It is with a heavy heart I announce Black Betty is no more. My trusty laptop of the last four years suddenly and unexpectedly retired to the great network in the sky last Saturday morning, serendipitously after I had just finished backing up all my files. Some ninety minutes later, I drove to the nearest retailer of name-brand electronics to purchase her successor…
This new gal is running Windows 11, which I’m personally finding to be the most frustrating version of Windows since the widely-panned Windows 8. Those folks in Redmond have tossed a lot of the best features and interface elements of Windows 10 for no apparent reason (like that visually striking full-screen start menu — whose idea was it to get rid of that?), but that’s not even the half of it. This new system is very cloud-oriented. They pretty much expect you to do all your work on the cloud, which is not the way I’m accustomed to working. I have close to half a terabyte’s worth of archival data, and syncing the whole enchilada would be a bandwidth-intensive and tedious process. Time-consuming to boot. I can easily see the whole job lasting several days. Days I’d rather be spending doing something else. So for practical reasons, I can only sync the files I’m currently working on, leaving everything else in the archives. If there’s something from the archives I want, I must necessarily get up off my arse to fetch my removable drive and plug it into the USB port. While I appreciate that she automatically archives everything on the cloud the second I hit save, that whole having to getting up off my arse bit is a definite minus.
Upon booting her up for the first time, I launched Microsoft Edge to do the only thing I ever use Microsoft Edge for — downloading my browser of choice. I thought it was real cute that the system gave me so much attitude for doing that. Like I committed the ultimate mortal sin. I’m sorry, cupcake, but Opera has been my go-to browser for years and I’m not going to stop using it just because some corporate shill whose tie is on way too tight says I should.
It has long been a custom of mine to give all my devices proper names. There’s a method to that madness. When I hook these things up to a local ethernet, the names make them easier to identify. If I see several laptops on a network, I’ll know right off the bat which one is mine. She’ll be the one called something like BLACK-BETTY as opposed to one with some forgettable factory-issued identifier like ACER-284-H3823-GH01.
I did briefly consider giving my new laptop a name that fully captures the essence of her personality. Decided to nix that idea in the end, though. Mostly out of laziness. Couldn’t come up with an appropriate name along those lines by the time I got around to establishing a Bluetooth connection with my phone. She needed to be called something for networking purposes, so I hastily christened her with a moniker that’s been floating around in my head for a few years that I haven’t used yet. Thenceforth, she has been known as SWEET-LORRAINE. After the Uriah Heep tune.