Thursday, May 28, 2015

Temporary Insanity

Acrylics and collage, 5x5" on canvas panel
Or, if it ain't broke, don't fix it...

Last week, when I did all that pinning and wound up with right shoulder problems, I momentarily thought maybe I needed a new computer.  Although for no other reason than text and image size on my screen, which is easily fixable on my current system.

Tuesday, I stopped into my local computer shop and looked at the hot-off-the-press Lenovo laptop currently available.  I was merely looking, but by Tuesday evening I'd decided to buy it, although not for a couple weeks.

I didn't sleep well Tuesday night.  I did not have that feeling we're "supposed" to get when something new is on the horizon, that feeling of, "Ooh, I can't wait, I'm so excited."  Nope.  I felt unhappy, actually.

I woke up Wednesday thinking I could override that discord inside ~ you know, build the desire for a new computer, aka "manufacturing consent" in Noam Chomsky's words.  I spent yesterday cleaning up my hard drive, deleting files I no longer need, backing up all my data onto my external drive.  And reading reviews on Amazon of the latest version of Photoshop Elements.  I'm using Elements 7, which is several years old although it works perfectly for me/my needs.  (The issue for me is that although Elements comes with two licenses per disc, I'd already installed my copy on two different computers.  So I would have to buy another copy to install on a new computer.)  After spending at least an hour trying to decide whether to buy the latest version, 13, or get a new copy of an earlier version, I remembered that I had previously decided to not bother with Elements any longer, because I can get the photo manipulation tools I need online, for free.  So then I spent another couple hours previewing various online photo programs and found three that I like. 

It was late afternoon by this time.  And gradually it dawned on me ~ "Why am I buying a new computer?  For what reason?  Just because I sometimes like bigger images/font size on the screen, when everything else works perfectly just the way it is and nothing needs to be upgraded?"

I'd spent the day basically out of my body.  I hadn't even meditated in the morning.  The good thing was that while I was doing what I was doing, I was mindful of being out-of-body.  I literally watched myself go through this entire process.

My initial reaction to the idea of buying a new computer, on Tuesday evening, was, "It'll be cool to do something nice for myself."  By last night, I was like, "Why the hell would I want to put myself through the stress of all that totally unnecessary change?"

The upshot of 24 hours of temporary insanity is that I won't get a new computer until I truly need one.  Although I've had my current Lenovo laptop for nearly six years, I'm using the most recent stable version of Windows (7), I've got all the software I need and want and it all works perfectly together, and there's nothing I need or want in a computer that I don't already have.

There are always hidden costs to bringing something new into your life.  If you upgrade one piece of a system, likely other things need to be upgraded as well.  It all costs money (which is not the issue for me here, for once), and it takes its toll in stress, temporary inconvenience, a new learning curve, unnecessary complications, etc.  I already discovered, years ago actually, that "new and better" very rarely is, all things considered. 

The reality is that I'm virtually unAmerican, with my anti-materialistic, non-traditional, under-the-radar, simple-living minimalist ways.  And I love it here, in my corner of paradise.

12 comments:

ileneharris said...

Listening to your inner voice is, well, priceless...

Jan said...

What Ilene said...you are an inspiration for me! and I like your painting. :-)

The Idaho Beauty said...

We're on the same page here. Until it dies or doesn't function as you need it to, no need to replace. Some of my equipment is older than yours and still doing what I need just fine. I shudder to think all I would have to replace that is still operating just fine should I "upgrade". Sleep well.

Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen) said...

Indeed, a system upgrade is always a can of worms. Six years old? Guaranteed, you'd have to start replacing programs and have unpleasant surprises... (Btw, you usually can use your Adobe software license on another computer as long as you un-install it from one of your previous ones. However, that said, there's a good chance your version of Elements wouldn't work with a much newer system...)

I actually ran out of room on my iMac(!), and will soon be putting a new hard drive in it. It's only 4 years old -- obsolete, no doubt, to many. But there was no way I was replacing it outright yet! I'm actually quite dependent on Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. I hated it when it went to a subscription model, but grudgingly came to like it. It's one of the rare things that actually has improved with new versions -- there's no comparison between the CS5 I had and what is available with CC. Photoshop alone can do much more now.

However, Adobe recently got me! I've been informed that unless I put in a new OS immediately, I will no longer be able to have any of the software upgrades that are part of the package I'm paying for every month. I'm hoping this won't be too big a deal now, with the hard drive being replaced at the same time. But if this is going to be the direction they're headed -- basically, screw you unless you have the newest (and buggiest!) OS -- it's not going to be good in the future. My experience has always been that the fastest way to turn a zippy, perfectly functioning older Mac into a frozen, jittery paperweight is to put in a new OS. Soon, a new computer will be necessary... Apple has been rushing out a new OS roughly each year now... Perhaps Adobe and Apple have some kind of kickback scheme going on.

At any rate, good for you. If it's doing what you need it to do and you like it, that's all that counts!

Meg Fowler said...

Ellen is so right! If it's doing what you want it to do and you like it, don't change. I lost the use of a very expensive laser printer after the last time I upgraded the operating system on my computer. Supposedly, there were new drivers from the manufacturer that would allow the printer to work with the new OS. Never happened!!! I'm not very fond of my 'paperweight' ........

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

Isn't it great to go through the process of intuitive decision making. In case you didn't get me email, thanks so my for the stamps etc. Now I have no excuses not to go make some mail. xox

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

Well done! I am so opposed to all the hoops we have to go through whenever we upgrade the hardware or OS. One thing I got a few years back which I highly recommend is an external hard drive to store my photos and documents... lots of room for a very reasonable price, and if I do switch computers, I can just plug in the hard drive without having to go through the trouble of backing up files to disc and copying to the new PC hard drive. BTW, I think you DID do something cool for yourself... thought through your options and went with what you determined to be the best one! We should all be so thoughtful before going off half-cocked!

tms95304 said...

Regarding the licenses for Elements - you can legally uninstall it on one computer to load it on your new one. It would be nuts if you had to buy another license whenever you bought a new computer. There's instructions on Adobe's site.
Love that collage - those neutral grays and browns are so much more interesting to look at than they sound in words.
(this is Leslie but signed in on my work account - doh!)

Alice said...

An interesting story of how you worked your way through to a decision. And I like the painting, too!

Charlton Stitcher said...

You are so right. I recently bought a new PC - my old one was 10 years old, operated on Windows XP and anyway it had finally crashed irretrievably - so no alternative. Lots of time later, I'm up and running and reasonably familiar with the new system but it did take me ages to adapt (and lots of muttering and moaning - ask my husband!). A lesson for me here: New in the computer world = more complicated = not necessarily better / or what I want.

my croft said...

I'm on my third laptop (since c. 1992). Two did not have USB port, and when I had to replace it many of the salespeople I spoke to about doing a data migration had never heard of such a machine.

I am also reluctant about software so-called upgrades. What I've found is that some problems get fixed but also some things that were perfectly fine (for me) were either eliminated or made maddeningly cumbersome.

A archivist friend has difficulties all the time with not having a machine to run donated materials on or because the media is unstable.

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose . . .

Maggi said...

I've had several instances recently where I've stepped back from what I thought I needed and, after a few days of reflection, have realised that I just didn't need to make a purchase.