Writer’s first laptop computer
By MARY ZACHMEYER
Tappity-tap, tappity-tap. The writer next to me types away on her laptop as the author educates at the writing conference. Or perhaps, you’re at a meeting at church and a tappity-tap distracts you.
This tappity-tap drives me crazy, but how efficient and professional I’d look tappity-tapping on my own personal laptop, I confess confidentially. I’d love to have a little laptop that I could type on like I tap on my arm.
There was a time when this wild hair took over my pea-sized brain. I went shopping for my first laptop. Well, in 1996, they were still new. This writer spent $2,000 on a laptop that weighed a lot, had a lovely black case, printer and more. The battery was the length of the computer and weighed a couple pounds! But I thought I was going to write the great novel and I had to have a fancy new machine to do it!
I set it on the kitchen table—for it just wouldn’t sit on my lap. Why do they call it a laptop anyway, I growled at the pictures on the wall. Even my grandson didn’t fit on my lap that year.
At least the typing was rather quiet. (Is it tappity-tapping or tap-tappity?) Most of the keys were the same as on a typewriter, so I breathed a sigh of relief there. The ball-cursor thingee felt like I was looking in a mirror as my hand drew everything backwards.
Well, I paddled through a paragraph, typing and playing with the ball-thing. Next I had to figure out how the printer worked. Oh, my poor brain. But I did figure it out and loved it.
I went to Arizona for a couple weeks, toting the lovely, heavy, huge laptop and printer. At the airport, I felt like an criminal as the inspector demanded I open and display all that was in the case. I tried batting my big browns, hoping they’d believe someone like I am would never stick a bomb in something already heavy enough to break every toe on my foot, should I drop it. Didn’t work. I had to prove I wasn’t a bomb-maniac.
I stayed with a writing friend, trying to accomplish anything great in writing. The fancy machine didn’t work magic for me. Of course, the great novel is still hiding under my desk or behind some books.
Now, laptops really are lap-size and light-weight. Do they still have that ball thingee? That’s really hard to get used to.
It was a lesson in humility for me. At one time, I thought I was so mod. Ha, all I really did was play a game on myself. I’m sure God had a good laugh watching me struggle, frown and talk to the ball thingee. I still have that 1996 laptop. Don’t know what to do with it! Is there a computer museum anywhere out there?
Until next time, don’t be afraid to try something new. Your “grands” will think you’re really cool.