I wouldn’t say I was backwards, exactly, but I do have some very old technology sitting in my study, some of which is still in regular(ish) use. To take an example, I have a PC sitting on my desk that is almost 7 years old. Granted it’s only used for testing web sites, but it’s got to the stage where it’s struggling just to do that, and that’s taking into account that I reinstalled everything fairly recently too.
I also have an old Palm m125 which I’ve been carrying around with me to act as my diary, syncing it to my Mac when I remember to. It does the job, just about, despite being older than the PC (it would have been new in 2001). I say it does the job, actually it’s been throwing tantrums just lately, refusing to switch on and then losing everything in memory and thus any changes I’ve made since the last sync.
Then there’s my mobile phone, a Motorola L6. Granted, it’s nowhere near as old as the aforementioned relics, but I did buy it back in 2006, so it’s a few years older than your average mobile. I still reckon it’s got at least another year of use in it though, despite the paint coming off the bottom, a dodgy battery connection (sort of fixed by stuffing some paper between the battery and the cover) and a dead camera.
Anyway, the point of all this is that I’ve been looking at laptops this afternoon. My poor old PC really does need replacing, and a laptop would actually be useful now. I’ve steered clear of them in recent years, simply because I’m not mobile enough to warrant having one, but now it may serve a purpose. There are occasions when being able to take a laptop to meetings with clients would be an advantage. So it would be a case of combining the need for a new computer to test web sites on with the ability to take stuff to meetings. I’d need something cheap, small, able to run Vista, XP and Linux. Vista is important for future-proofing, allowing me to continue supporting stuff in years to come, while XP is needed so I can continue to test sites in IE6 (although I have found some software that emulates IE6 that works in Vista).
The Palm will probably be taken out of service before too long, though hopefully replaced by my mobile phone rather than another palm-top organiser. All I really need is my diary synced to a device I can carry around with me, and if I get a Bluetooth dongle I can do that with my L6.
Of course, then there’s the question of what I do with the old technology. I’m not even entertaining the idea of just throwing it away, far too much goes to landfill as it is. Thankfully I’ve found several organisations that will take at least some of my relics away for either recycling or reuse. My PC can be reconditioned and resold, as can the two CRT monitors gathering dust in the study, and hopefully some of the other bits and pieces can go the same way. Only a small amount would need disposing of, like my old Epson printer which can’t be fixed.
So, that’s the way the future’s looking for me – out with the old and in with the new. Although, knowing me, it’ll probably happen in reverse order. Still, it’s a good plan, especially given that we’re planning on moving house in a few months’ time – the less junk we have to transport the better.
EDIT: I have now purchased a new laptop! Yay! Should be here within 5 working days. It’s nothing too fancy, more for business than anything else, but should give me everything I need. It comes with Vista, which is important from a support point of view, and I’ve discovered that I can run IE6 on Ubuntu via the Wine emulator, so hopefully that should mean I don’t need to install XP as well – which is good because licensing restrictions mean I can’t install the version I’ve already got. No doubt I’ll post an update once the laptop arrives and let you all know what I think of Vista.