Dec 4, 2008

On Laptop Power Adapters and Digital Dependency

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How I missed ye

On a recent trip to teach in Detroit I committed an act of considerable forgetfulness, leaving behind the power adapter to my laptop. Though my newer Sony VAIO notebook possesses a powerful battery, at best I had only two hours of life left in the operation of my electronic sidekick.

My options were as follows:

• Drive back to Detroit and retrieve the adapter ($25 in gas plus 3 hours of my already limited time)
• Drive to Best Buy and purchase an additional adapter ($79.99 plus tax)
• Suck it up and hope the adapter was still there at my next class ($0.00, but a risk that the cord would be swiped by an opportunistic thief)

I opted for the third choice, as I am stingy by nature and I generally have faith in humanity. As it turns out, the AC adapter remained plugged into the exact outlet in which I left it, thereby validating my thriftiness and trust. However, I experienced nearly 48 hours with limited computer availability, and I was surprised at the degree to which I am dependent upon Internet access.

As someone on the move between a variety of workplaces, and someone who has a significant percentage of income derived from cyberspace, I was in a state of virtual paralysis the past few days. I desperately sought out university computer labs and library Web portals like a junkie jonesing for a fix, and I cursed the slow-moving community PCs that lurched like the overloaded pickup trucks of neighborhood metal scavengers on trash day.

At home, I had to jockey for computer time with my AIM-addicted teenagers, for whom vitally important instant messaging were obviously of a higher priority than Dad's distance learning class and student e-mails. Duh!

So I embraced my missing AC adapter this morning with relief and gratitude, better knowing now how vital is this piece of hardware. I will treasure you, oh provider of electrons, and I promise to never again treat you with such disrespect.

2 comments:

LTLOP said...

Mike, instead of going to Best Buy, try checking at the mfg. website. I had the power source go out on my laptop. Best buy had a universal power source for about $100 while on the website an OEM source was 44. They were able to express it

historymike said...

Thanks for the tip, LTLOP.