I bought my beloved blue netbook in the fall of 2010, my senior year of college. It was about $200, tiny and tinny and totally cute: I was smitten. A year later the screen started to flicker. A year and a half and the cord was beginning to fray; I taped ‘er up and kept her going. The silver wore away on the clicker, now faded into a fingertip-sized circle of bronze. The e key started giving me trouble. Then the t key. For a while it was the space bar. Now it’s the a.
If I plug anything into the USB port on the left side the entire computer shuts down unless it’s plugged in and it's a Tuesday. The labels on the bottom are worn away into nothing. The hard drive has been wiped by my brother-in-law and reinstated at least three times. Its functioning capacity halts if I open more than one program at a time or if I open the internet at all.
His name, this little marvel of a pc, is Johann because he’s an Asus which sounds just enough like “Jesu” that I thought of Bach. The desktop background is the Microsoft shell-on-the-beach scene because I can’t figure out how to change it. Dust and something sticky decorate where the bottom of the screen and top of the keyboard meet. The keys are stained with pizza grease, ranging from black to grey depending on their usage (the a, e, t, u, and l and q still grey). Its once shiny blue outer cover looks like I gave it to a gerbil to gnaw on.
Last year I was certain it was on its last leg: the screen flickered like an obnoxious roadside advertisement every time I opened it. So I backed everything up once more on my hard drive, wiped it for the third time, and bought another netbook, this time for $220, as my backup. I phased my backup into greater usage last fall and waited for Johann to die.
Then my backup, an unnamed Toshiba, got stepped on by me. Johann was revived. I inherited a real laptop from my grandmother. Again, noting Johann’s chelonian processing speed and tiny screen size, I began to phase him out in favor of the full-grown model. Then I ran out of trial usages of Microsoft Word on the mama-model and found out it can't suck pictures off my Canon memory card for some reason. And so it became apparent that, until Johann’s erratic heartbeat actually stops, I’m stuck with my little blue devil of a netbook.
I couldn’t be happier.