All my (useless) gadgets


I have a box – no, two boxes – of cords and connections belonging to various computing devices. 



The devices themselves are long gone.



How does this happen?



Last year I bought a cheap ($40) Kobo Literati e-reader at Bed Bath & Beyond.  I liked it, but it was slow and balky.  Barnes & Noble had an online sale for reconditioned Nooks, so I bought one ($80), and loved it, until it started acting wonky.  Then, a few months ago, my office granted me an iPad, and the Nook joined the Literati on the unused-gadget shelf.



Goodbye and good luck, my one hundred and twenty dollars.



I’ve always been very conscientious about backing up my computer. Some years ago I heard of this great new backup system: the Jazz drive.  I bought one on eBay, for maybe $40, and a bunch of Jazz disks (which are like cassettes on steroids) for maybe $25.  I used it probably four times.  It was clunky and noisy and difficult to set up.  I now own a smooth little candy-bar sized storage device that plugs into my laptop with a USB connection, and which slurps up all my data effortlessly.



Another sixty-five bucks down the tube.



I could go on forever.  I am too cheap to buy a proper iPod, so I have purchased at least three cheap imitations, none of which works right, total cost (estimated) sixty bucks.  Then there was the reconditioned laptop, which was wonderful and lasted for about a year, until it actually had a nervous breakdown, complete with beeping and booping sound effects.  Two hundred dollars down the drain.  (Moral, if you haven’t been keeping track: don’t buy reconditioned items.)  The next laptop lasted quite a while – four years, maybe – but it became painfully slow and difficult to use during its last year of active service.  It was around four hundred bucks, I think.



(My current Dell Inspiron laptop also cost around four hundred bucks; I think I bought it in early 2009, and it is going strong almost three years later.  It has some quirks – it often refuses to recharge its battery – but it is light and easy to use, and I am partial to it.  I had a whirlwind love affair with the iPad when I first got it a few months ago, but – as someone online wisely stated not long ago – the iPad is not a laptop.  Laptops are far more powerful and speedier, and much easier to use for word processing (it is not pleasant to type on a smooth glass surface).  I just bought one of those fancy iPad cases with a built-in Bluetooth keyboard, which makes it a bit nicer to use, but iPads are mostly for travel, I think: it was a godsend on our last two trips, to Orlando and to Cape Cod.  At home, my laptop is (as Eloise said of Nanny) my mostly companion.



But I still visualize all that money flown out the window, for all those lovely glittering gadgets I bought, thinking they would change my life. 



A few of them did. 



But I should have chosen more carefully. 



Let’s face it.  I’m an idiot.


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: