Somehow, some machines cling to life. A car driven a million miles. A phone abused since the 1990s and in my case, an XP based HP laptop from the era of the HP laptop with a keyboard you could use.
Today, laptops, many by HP, are fast, powerful and lightweight, with massive HD screens, bigger hard disks and keyboards, inexplicably designed to throw off anyone who learned to touch-type. Mine is none of those things. It sports an Intel Centrino, which is so many generations of processor ago, it may as well have fought at Waterloo. It even has a sticker proudly announcing “Designed for Windows XP” Yes, the dinosaur that refuses to die is still with us.
So, it has Norton 360 now. It’s still running a version of Avid so old that kids graduating from college now will not have even heard of it. Never the less, it manages to work. I’m currently outputting a massive quicktime file of a show I filmed here at the Edinburgh Fringe. It’s about an hour long. Rather than tie up the computer with outputting three clips and then the massive file, since the computer seems capable of only using one processor per program, I’m exporting the massive file, then opening quicktime where I’ll chop off two of the three bits I need, then use Avid simultaneously to make the third. All this, on a computer that was old in 2006.
Even the hardware works… sort of. The firewire port doesn’t seem to work (which is fine as I have a PCMCIA card – it is a PC and not an Apple after all) and the DVD burner turns out not to be a burner at all, which I guess means it isn’t technically broken, just disappointing. The hard drive is, get this, 80gb (75 usable.) There are 4 year old iPods with bigger hard drives than this thing. And yet. And yet.
God bless well made machines. My $5000 Apple lasted a month before something major broke.
Oh, look. It just crashed because I closed the lid and Avid thinks I changed the resolution without asking permission. Oh well. Ctrl+Alt+Del…