On this very day, exactly three years ago, I placed my computer into storage for our move to Jacksonville. Not knowing back then that I would neglect it for this long, I unintentionally woke it from it’s slumber on this, The 3rd Anniversary of The Deep Sleep.
It awoke with a loud roar of noisy fans and whirring hard drives. Not able to vocalize it’s disgust with me for keeping it packed away for so long (since I didn’t hook it’s gargantuan Dolby Surround Sound speakers up), it groaned in protest as the massive tangle of wires, silicon, and circuit boards inside it’s hefty frame creaked and settled while it booted up. After a surprisingly short period of stretching and yawning, I was greeted to a long forgotten desktop image and stacks of dusty old files that I hadn’t accessed in years. Like a time capsule buried in the ground, I was overwhelmed with a rush of memories and nostalgia. Unheard music and long abandoned game saves greeted me squinting and blinking to the new bright lights. Old history and previously opened files guided me though my final steps so many years ago. Pop up windows warning about expired virus protection skittered to life like surprised cockroaches. As I looked around, I saw yellowing photo archives peeling away from the Picassa album, and snapshots of long forgotten email accounts that sat motionless in a silent suspended offline state. Like a thirsty animal, it complained as one system after another noticed a distinct lack of Internet access. The cord lay nearby, intentionally unplugged. Fearing the deluge of fresh and new information would cause system instability, I kept the computer in the dark as to when in time it was. "Am I in the future?" It blearily asked as I pulled up the clock settings. "Shhhh," I told it, "just go back to sleep. It’ll be all over soon."
Like a vandal making one last walk-through to ensure all loot had been pilfered, I began to make my way out and end our session for the final time. The last few important files in hand on a USB thumb drive, I looked lovingly into it’s back lit 13 inch non-wide-screen LCD display with pangs of sadness in my heart. This will be the last time we’re together, I thought. Probably the last time YOU’RE together as you’ll most likely be torn open, stripped down to your component parts and recycled.
You were a good computer. My first computer all to myself… and you’ll never be forgotten. From your bleeding edge circa 2001 Pentium 4 processor, once searingly fast Gforce 3 graphics card, to your always loud cooling fans and clackity keyboard. You defined my earliest days on the Internet and guided me through the then not-mainstream social networks. Though I may have abandoned you for the dark side of computing with the purchase of my first Apple MacBook, you are still faster and more stable than any work PC I’ve used since.
Goodbye, my old computer.