Travels of a Laptop


If you have that one laptop that has been with you through thick and thin for many years put up your hand. Thanks. Put it down. I was not going to write about my laptop journey but then I turned on this thing only for it to shut down after ten seconds. Reason? Battery. It is now a desktop. I can only use it when it’s connected to power. Another handy trick that makes it last for a few minutes is charging removing the battery while it is connected and then putting it back. It’s annoying. I am not about to get a new battery. Why? This is the second battery to have served this laptop. The first died the same way.

I have had this trusty computer for about 5 years. It actually turned 5 last week. 5 years is a short time really. It’s a Toshiba Satellite C650. Yeah, I know. Obsolete. Pentium Dual-Core. I remember the first day I got it. I was super excited. I was in my second year of campus. Dad got it for me after I nagged for like one day. I needed a laptop, if not anything else. To stop hanging out in friends’ rooms watching movies on their computers. To stop this from being mistaken as being in love with the said owner of computer. To be able to undertake a lot of writing, both academic and side hustle-like. At that time, there was this project dubbed Wezesha where laptops were subsidized by the government. Everyone acquired laptops in campus. Everyone filled the library with them, to hog the Wi-Fi.

Nearly everyone lost laptops to thieves. For this reason, my laptop spent most of its waking moments on my lap or my back. I had this huge Swiss bag that was pretty much bigger than me. People made fun of it a lot. I was the girl who walked around with a huge bag. I remember someone else in school had the same bag, but since he was taller than me, it looked perfectly fine on him. But you know what? I didn’t care that much. I was not going to lose my bread and butter over a few taunts. When I left it in the room, when I absolutely had to, I would hide it either under many many beddings and clothes. That’s if I was leaving for a few minutes. If I was leaving to Eldoret town, for instance, I would leave it in my suitcase which was on the top compartment of my wardrobe.

And then there were those things we called antigens. LOL! Antigens. Like seriously, we called those things antigens. I don’t know why but this is suddenly very funny to me, in retrospect. Biology 101. I first encountered antigens in Moi University. In case you don’t what this is, an antigen is a kind of lock you add to the existing keyhole to ensure it is sealed from the millions of other keys which open more than one door in campus. So on top of hiding the laptop in various spots in the tiny room, I would also lock the door and seal it with an antigen. Despite all these efforts, people would still lose their laptops. You would walk to the toilet, thinking that was a short time for anyone to grab it from your bed, and you would come back and find it gone. I suspect “friends” stole from “friends”.

Anyway, I spent most days on my laptop. For both work and play. Our school had Wi-Fi all over the place. So I would have my laptop up all the time, during lectures, tweeting half the time, unless the lecturer looked at me funny. I was a backbencher, so that helped. Of course I was once caught in the act of doing something academic during a lecture, but that busting took just a few minutes and I was off the hook. I downloaded lots and lots of PDFs and whatnot to assist in my quest for education. I would search Google Scholar until page 10 of the results to download full books. Who needs MTL when you have Wi-Fi? You know you’re desperate when you hit those deep pages for answers to your questions. I spent days and days looking through dozens of Stack Overflow questions, trying to figure out why my binary search tree was not working. Oh, this laptop has seen many stupid lines of codes on what-did-we-call those IDEs? Yaani I dropped that coding life hadi I forgot what those things were called. Smh. Sorry feminist coders! 😛

Ah found them! NetBeans and Eclipse. Thanks Google! And just like that, I remembered Codeblocks too. 😀

Anyway, this laptop, a.k.a Shiku-PC, has seen me through those days I was completely frustrated by code. My entire fourth year was all about figuring data structures. When it was finally up to me, I decided the only me and Shiku-PC would look at anything that resembled code would be CSS and HTML5 and maybe a little bit of PHP. Speaking of which, are we still on HTML5? After that, we walked around to internships where we searched for jobs on Brighter Monday together. We moved into a full time job together and spent a year freezing and being obstinate to each other. If there is a laptop that knows what it feels like to be formatted, it’s this one right here. Shiku-PC has been formatted a total of not-sure-the-exact-number times. It has been on a 64-bit OS even if it was not meant for that. It has been on Windows 7 Home Basic and Ultimate. Never tried 8 though because I believe that is the worst OS in the world. It has seen many a new installation of IDM and other software I’d rather not mention for my own CV. 😀

Shiku-PC almost plunged to its death a few years ago, but the universe saw it fit to keep it going for a few more years. I have never liked its speakers. It also makes more fan noise than I would like. Its DVD player works when it feels like. Everything else is intact. It has so many movies I cannot delete because I am overly sentimental with good movies. Too attached. Same with pictures and documents. All my blog posts from the earlier years are here. That’s until I moved to the cloud. Ahem. Thanks Google Docs. When I compare my phones and this laptop, I’d rather lose the phone many times over. It’s old. It’s dusty. Never done that blowing thing that every dude that pretended to be an expert in comps recommended. It’s obsolete. It’s mine. I think it will be hard to just forget about Shiku-PC. Let me stop there before I cry.

Okay, I am just melodramatic. I am not attached. Just appreciating the journey. Mac ni wewe. 😀

Toshiba Laptop
Yeah. It once helped me dry my wet socks. Don’t ask.

13 thoughts on “Travels of a Laptop

  1. Shiku dries her purple pairs of socks using the hot air that blows from the turbines that serve as fans for her old, dusty laptop (which doubles as a portable heater)… After all who needs the sun?

    1. Why didn’t I think of that? Because the reason the socks were wet was because it was bright and sunny outside!

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