Technological Sentimentality

I’ve been thinking about making a list — a list of things that I want to get rid off/sell before I graduate. I’m moving a few hundred miles and I’d don’t want to take anything I won’t be using. I’m getting rid of things like my large desk chair (which unfortunately is not very comfortable) and a bunch of books that I don’t plan on reading again. But I also have gadgets and computers that I don’t use or won’t be using any more.

I don’t consider myself particularly sentimental, but a lot of things that I have are “firsts” — my first iPod, my first laptop and so on. At the same time I don’t like clutter and I don’t want to hang on to things I know I won’t be using. For some things the decision is easy: my Eee PC netbook I’m going to get rid of because it just doesn’t fit into how I like to work. It’s just a bit too small and underpowered for me to get real work done on it. The Chrome netbook works for when I’m on campus and connected and I’m saving towards a Macbook. Similarly I’m not keeping my Mini — it’s dying slowly (the wifi and optical drive are both dead) and a new Macbook will take over everything I use it for. My larger linux laptop will stay, even though it’s older than the netbook. It has a larger screen and I got an upgrade to 4GB of RAM (thanks to my summer work at Virginia Tech). The battery is dead, but it’s too heavy to carry around comfortably anyway (again Macbook to the rescue). But it makes a great Linux development machine.

But I also have 80GB iPod Classic (I believe it’s in the first generation of Classics), a 16GB iPod Touch, a 7MP Canon Powershot camera and probably a few other things here and there that I’m forgetting about. For each of these there are reasons to keep them around and reasons to get rid of them. The Classic is a better music player than the Touch and has more space. The Touch is my mobile Internet device and gets a good amount of use as a PDA and Twitter/RSS client. The camera, well, it’s a camera and it doesn’t really get much use. The Touch and the camera could both be replaced by an iPhone, but getting one of those is much less definite than the Macbook. And the Classic was the first device I bought with my own money. So even though I barely ever use it (except maybe for infrequent gym trips) it does have some sentimental value.

Decisions, decisions. Though writing this post has helped me clean up my thoughts, I haven’t made up my mind. In an ideal world, I’d be able to take my computers and turn them in for a shiny new Macbook. Likewise, I’d take my Touch and camera and turn it into an iPhone. But part of my dilemma is that I probably won’t be doing a straight upgrade (because I’m a starving college student and I want to wait till Lion Macbooks come out). The latest I can keep stuff is the end of May when I graduate. Going by Apple’s record new Macbooks won’t be out until September which means I’ll be out of a properly portable computer for summer. That doesn’t seem like a smart idea (considering I’m a programmer and all that). It’s been awhile since I’ve been in the market for a completely new replacement computer and this selling/buying process is starting to bring back bad memories of playing the upgrade/wait game.

At this point I’m considering getting rid of as much as I can and just dealing with the months I find myself laptop-less. There are still some things that I need to think about: I don’t know what I’m doing over summer and there’s the little question of actually getting rid of my machines. I don’t want to just throw them away. I’d like to be able to give them to someone who will find some use of them. (Which means if you really want something I mentioned, contact me).

Braindump complete.

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Published by

Shrutarshi Basu

Programmer, writer and engineer, currently working out of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

2 thoughts on “Technological Sentimentality”

  1. If you’re looking for cash for some of that stuff, check out gazelle.com .. I’ve been hearing decent reviews of them.

    And how did you get your hands on a CR-48? Some people are just lucky… 😛

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