Friday, October 15, 2021

Old and new

I expected my new laptop—a MacBook Air, space gray—to arrive yesterday. But the delivery man from the courier company couldn’t find my home address; I’d later learn he didn’t ask around. The website thus registered the issue as “The company named in the Company Name field on the transport label is not the entity located at the physical address.” I was supposed to “provide new or updated consignee address.” Another person reading the notice would imagine I lived somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle.

This morning I went to the warehouse facility in GenSan, about 200 meters from my clinic. The security guard asked me to wait outside: they have my package. The laptop was wrapped in a brown box, which was wrapped by a thick transparent plastic. I placed the package in the backseat of the car, thanked the warehouse people, and drove to another hospital to see a patient.

I hadn't planned on getting a new computer. My old MacBook Air, around seven years old, remains functional. Sure, it’s a bit slow at times, when too many tabs are opened, or when I activate Garage Band by accident. There are moments when a restart is required. But the machine gets things done—Zoom meetings, Keynote or PowerPoint slides, Word or Pages, web browsing, and Netflix. I drag it in my clinics and use it for my consultancy and faculty work. It is only about 10 to 20 percent less efficient than when I had bought it at Robinsons Manila with my first salary; this was on my first year internal medicine residency. I remember that afternoon: my friend Racquel Bruno accompanied me after work. She said, “It feels like Christmas morning.” Her MacBook Air, she tells me, is still alive and kicking. We used our Macs on mortality reviews, meta-analyses, and the many paper work and researches we had to submit. 

Colored lines

My old Mac is special to me. It has been with me on my overseas trips for conferences. It has proven a trustworthy company in presentations, lectures, and audits. I wrote papers, essays, blog posts, and stories on it. I recorded my podcasts with its built-in QuickTime player. I used it for my diplomate exam in medical oncology. So it pained me when, on October 5, vertical lines appeared in the screen’s center. Forums in the internet said it could be an LCD error, which requires replacement of the screen. It could also be a motherboard issue, which needs a special restart (it didn’t work). I was forced to get a new one.

I borrowed my brother Sean’s laptop, which runs on Windows, to tide things through. I reached out to a schoolmate from Notre Dame who fixes Apple products at a minimal fee. Just when I was about to meet Jeff, the vertical lines had disappeared. The screen looked normal. MacBook Airs are self-healing, after all.

Mac

I had just finished transferring all files from the old to the new Mac, and I’m writing this post so I could get used to the keyboard. For the file transfer, I used Apple’s Migration Assistant, which clones the old to the new. It took 30 minutes to complete the entire process. Sean made me a cup of lavender tea for the meantime. I also entertained myself with an Elizabeth Bowen story, “Mrs. Windermere.” Sean said, “Daw nami man ang laptop mo, Manong, ah. Nami iya color.”

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