Goodbye, Old Friend

Breaking up with a laptop is hard to do.

Dear TabletPC,

We have to talk.

You know that I love you, so don’t take this personally.  I’ve decided to get an MBA, and I don’t mean I’m going to business school.  I’m going to be replacing you with a MacBook Air.  This will be our last time together.

I know this comes as a surprise.  I ordered the MacBook Air on my work machine, because I didn’t want to be insensitive.  But my Air and me are about to start our new life together, and I wanted you to hear it from me first.  In an hour and ten minutes, my new MacBook Air will arrive at the local FedEx hub a block away, where I will be waiting like an expectant father.

You and I both know that this hasn’t been working for a while now.  Let’s look at the reality of the relationship for a minute: I know that I’m not great at waking up in the morning, but for you to wake from hibernation takes about 4 minutes.  Baby, I know that’s the best you can do, but it’s not working for me anymore.  And I need a computer more emotionally available: when we’re dealing with tough issues in Word and Outlook, you just freeze up.  Also, I’m not trying to say you’re old, but your hard drive spins at 4200 RPM. That’s about as fast as me at the end of a spin class.

I’m ready for the next chapter of my life with the MacBook Air.  I deserve the MacBook Air.   I know that’s not what you want to hear.  Let’s not make this about the MacBook Air.

When I was looking for your replacement, I evaluated ram, processor speed, hard drive capacity, etc.  The specs of the MacBook Air made it the right option for me.  That’s how we have to make purchasing decisions, because those are the only stats by which to compare new computers.   And I can’t help compare the stats of the Air to your stats.

Yes, TabletPC, the new Air is younger, smarter, faster, and (I know this stings the most) thinner.  The Air is more than twice as fast as you, with 4 times the RAM and a hard drive that is 4 times larger and infinitely faster. I’m not trying to rub your face in it. I just want you to understand why, after all of our great years together, I have to move on to the next model, so I can continue to do all these exciting things, and hopefully new things that weren’t possible for you and I.

But to remember you by only those stats does a disservice to our time together.  Because once we started our relationship, we started a whole new set of stats, the statistics of life.  So, TabletPC, as we say goodbye, I don’t want to remember you as a Pentium 1.4GH Processor, with 1 gig of ram and a 40 gig hard drive.  That’s so cold. Instead, I want to focus on the stats of the relationship.  Here are some of ours:

  • All the articles on the blog we wrote together.  From the not-so-good attempts, to the articles that made me feel like I have a voice in this space that deserves to be heard.
  • Thousands of emails we wrote and sent to people all over the world.
  • Hundreds of Facebook status updates we posted together.  Some inside jokes, some hopefully witty observances, and some that were the only way for me to vent frustration that I couldn’t share in the real world.
  • 5 scripts and at least 20 pitches we banged out in Final Draft and Word.  None of them successful, but all noble endeavors (okay, most).
  • I saw the first pictures of my niece Kiera, right after she was born.
  • I watched almost the entire first season of Mad Men on a plane flight to and from NY, which has become a favorite show for me and my wife.
  • We listened to hundreds of hours of music together.  Rock, pop, blues, jazz, classical, and even some country. We discovered so many new bands. Some we now call favorites, and some we'd like to forget.
  • We surfed tens of thousands of web pages together.  You caught a few viruses along the way, but I always stayed and got you back to health.
  • We used the OpenTable website to book birthday dinners, holiday get-togethers and celebratory dinners that have been some of my favorite “real world” experiences of the last few years.
  • With your help, I connected to old friends from High School, college, NY theater, The Spot, AOL, Creative Light Entertainment and all of my new friends in the last five years, broadening my social circle, and my world.
  • I’ve been inspired, challenged, loved, laughed and lived five great years of my life together with you, TabletPC.

In looking back on our time together, I realize that the real judge of technology is not what the machine can do for me; it’s what I can do with the machine.  And I was able to do a lot with you, TabletPC.

The question for 2011 is not what can the MacBook Air do, but what can I do - what will I do - with the MacBook Air?

Goodbye, my partner in crime. Thanks for inspiring me to want to do more in my next relationship.

With love,

Rich

p.s. Please don’t crash again while I’m trying to email this document to myself.