Of Pismos and ThinkPads.

The Pismo has developed a few more lines on the screen. It's now got a vertical red bar 3 pixels wide in the middle of the screen, and just a few pixels to the left of that, a 1px white line. Add to that, the screen's hinge hasn't been getting any tighter in the past few months. (Although the lower half is, in general, quite reliable it seems. :P)

I was therefore thinking about possible replacement of the Pismo, just because it turns out that having a fairly reasonably-well working mobile computer is actually extraordinarily helpful.

And then "The Eternal Question" popped up. Would a Pismo replacement be used or new?

I don't need all the functionality of a brand new laptop, so something even as old as the Pismo would be just fine, but I do wonder whether or not the added cost of a new one would make it worth waiting longer and getting a new one.

I suppose the benefit of a brand new laptop is that (unlike a used laptop), I'm here in 2007 at the very beginning of its life, instead of here in 2007 possibly at the close of what could have been a very long life.

Recently I asked somebody online about an IBM ThinkPad T20 mobile computer they were offering for sale. It was a fairly upgraded unit, having 512mb of memory and a 40 gigabyte hard disc, as well as a CDRW/DVDROM Combo drive, and some PCMCIA expansion cards. However, what I observed from this is that older ThinkPad computers are inordinately expensive, purely because of their longevity I suppose, similar to how overpriced some PowerBook G3 models are, I suppose.

The funny thing here, I suppose, was that if I could afford the T20 at its asking price, I was already more than a third the way to a newer laptop computer. (A Lenovo ThinkPad even.) Unexpected, but welcome benefits include not having to buy extra batteries straightaway, less fumbling with expansion options to do the same things, and more room and speed for more, and more sophisticated programs. Of course, there's also the whole thing about it lasting for so long.

On the other hand, getting another older laptop (even the insanely priced T20, or an insanely priced PowerBook G3) saves me a little bit of money, ensures I'll stay on-task while in classes, plus the whole thing is less valuable in case it's lost or something else awful happens.

Plus, with a new laptop, I lose the reputation of being efficient enough that I can do everything or nearly everything I need to do with the 8-year-old laptop. (It's 7 now, but it turns eight in January or February of next year, less than 6 months away.)

I suppose the real solution is just to wait until the Pismo dies, and I actually have enough money for a newer mobile computer. The Pismo isn't preventing me from progressing in my life, and admittedly while those lines are disconcerting, they don't prevent anything from getting done. I wouldn't be surprised if (even with the degrading condition of the screen) the Pismo really does still have another year or so left in it as my main mobile computer. So it's possible that at some point, I'll be "the guy with the ten year old laptop!"

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