My 14-year-old computer has seen better times – Press Enterprise

Three pieces of tape hold the screen together. Still, the machine is so ancient that the screen’s in tatters. Maybe cement would do the trick.

The keyboard is literate with more crumbs than a cruise ship kitchen because it doubles as a dining room table.

It’s got the kind of nicks and cuts seen on a head-on crashed car destined for the junk yard.

This would be my laptop computer, bought 14 years ago.

That was when back when Obama was campaigning for president, the iPhone had just been unveiled, and the 2008 financial crisis was unfolding in all its agony.

We paid about $600 for the Dell computer. I checked the other day and laptops are still selling for that.

Apparently the one thing inflation hasn’t hit is the laptop market. Yet.

Somehow the machine continues to shuffle along and, if computers could use a walker, it would have one and not be ashamed of it either.

I’ve written two books on it, churned out hundreds of newspaper columns, written tens of thousands of emails, and made millions — and probably billions — of keystrokes.

The computer’s battery probably died during the start of the Trump presidency. It takes a good 10 minutes to warm up first thing in the morning. Internet searches are more the speed of dial up than the speed of light. And the “5” key sometimes has to be pounded about 500 times to work.

Yet the computer continues, seemingly with more lives than an animal shelter of stray cats.

I’m constantly passing those technology recycling event banners as I cruise Murrieta and Temecula. Of course, the thought crosses my mind that my laptop would be welcomed there, if not given a standing ovation.

I just keep driving.

Speaking of which, it reminds me of how long I kept driving a car I inherited from my mother — about 20 years.

While I don’t feel my mom’s spirit as I pound out something like this column on my dinosaur computer, I do feel a certain kinship. It’s not my best friend like our three dogs were while my kids grew up, but it’s certainly a faithful companion. And I don’t have to clean up after it.

I’m asked why I don’t dump it. Put me and the machine out of our collective misery. More up-to-date computers are faster, sleeker and certainly more reliable.

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