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.