A NEO-LUDDITE’S RAMPAGE

What passes for as Black Friday north of the Rio Bravo started out as just another Viernes here. The end of the month is nigh, and that means a deadline to meet. I would diligently crank out two columns today, but not before a goodly amount of coffee and reading every news source on the Internet.

Estadounidense Black Fridays scare me, having left the Old Country before they came to resemble looting sprees that follow natural disasters. Just watching people attack one another over tablets and giant screen televisions threw me into a rare mode of questioning values.

Several years back, I developed a plan which included removing two items of clothing and other new acquisitions from my closets for each new acquisition. That didn’t work for computers.

CFE came by and politely announced I’d have no electricity for the rest of the afternoon. What was I supposed to do, sit around and read print copies of The New Yorker by sunlight? I decided to honor Black Friday by deaccessioning a few superannuated computers. Four of them, to be exact. Death knells for the Dells.

One already reposed in the living room, the case opened and the hard drive waiting to be pulled. There would be three more upstairs waiting evisceration.

P1010990We went to work, but not before fondly remembering floppy drives, Zip drives, and tape drives. And recalling that the total cost of them exceeded the price of my first new car and a year’s tuition at law school back during the Nixon Administration. One was first put into use just after the unveiling of Windows 95. The latest, XP. The poor, the desperate, and even the deserving and perverted would no more want these computers than they’d want my used underwear.

P1010996While we’re otherwise hygienic when it comes to computing, we never get around to wiping hard drives. Instead the whole unit simply gets shoved into a closet. We’ll find a way to destroy those hard drives later.

We’re not getting rid of everything. We’re holding on to those HP LaserJet printers, because we just love them and know they’ll be valuable collectors’ items in due time. And they even got us some good press one time:

Finally, attorney turned blogger and journalist Jennifer Rose sent us a photo of her HP LaserJet III. She got it in 1991 and they’ve been inseparable since. Rose tells us that the LaserJet III cost “almost as much as [her] first new car” and that she grew especially fond of the special language she needed to learn to operate the control panel. While her LaserJet III doesn’t serve as her primary office printer anymore, Rose reports that it “never jams” and “keeps on ticking like a basic Timex watch.”

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