welcome Sparkle!

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Sparkle on my tableSparkle a ‘Champaigne’ coloured Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook running windows 7 home premium joins my list of personally owned computers, dating back to 2004. Hooray!

Here’s how it all started:

In 2004 my employer provided me with a really good laptop and didn’t mind me using it at home. No need for a 2nd computer.  Until a 17 year old Swedish exchange student moved into my life, my home. My official role was “Host Mother”.  I didn’t think I’d be chosen when I offered my skills to the local Scandinavian society:

I drink, I smoke, I work long hours, live alone with 2 cats and have absolutely no experience of being a parent or living with teenage kids except with my brother but that was over 20 years ago so it doesn’t really count. If she and her mother are OK with that then I guess we can work something out

Much to my surprise, and slight horror, they choose me – for a year. At work my Canadian manager  told me I was crazy.   Unconvincingly, I tried to reassure him:

She’s a half Finnish Swede, studying cookery, we’ll work something out


You’re crazy, I left Scandinavia to get away from the bossy women and you’re inviting one home!

When a 17 year old moves into your home, is studying at Redmond High School (almost everyone’s parents work at Microsoft), you have to make sure they’re equipped with a computer.  I bought a HP Compaq and set-up a home wireless for her. She would be able to do schoolwork with privacy in her room, or join me on mine downstairs. There were times when we sat next to each other on the Sofa using MSN Messenger to talk to each other.  It was surreal and fun. When she left, she left the laptop.

Quickly I got used to personalising the machine and not carrying my work laptop home.  I started blogging and met other people who had their own laptops and blogged. I was hooked.  Sparkle makes me smile, helps me to sparkle.

Meanwhile, a few of you may remember my blogging from these laptops:

  1. Tinkerbell Silver HP Compaq Windows XP Home  – suicide in 2006 (Motherboard failure)
  2. Darling Maroon Sony Viao Windows XP Home  – retired in 2008 (XP irritatingness – traded-in for Sparkle)
  3. Neverland Golden Sony Viao TT Windows Vista Professional – suicide in 2010 (Hardware failure – power socket – much loved and missed)
  4. Cupboard Maroon Sony Viao Netbook – Windows 7 Starter – suicide in 2012 (Hardware failure – Screen-crack, touchpad left-click not working, some keys getting fussy and CRAP performance. I never liked the Cupboard much)

Can you guess how long I expect Sparkle to last and the likely main cause of her demise?

welcome Sparkle!
4 votes rating 4.3

11 bits of lovely banter on “welcome Sparkle!”

  1. ExpatEgghead writes:

    Dead screen after 30 months.



  2. wendy writes:

    I’ll be pleased with 30 months of usage. Apparantly Acer are a bit poor in the hardware reliability stakes and Asus are a bit hot – Review link



  3. ExpatEgghead writes:

    30 months satisfactory? My Dell Latitude has been going strong for 72 months with only a $45 dollar new screen required. Asus hardware is good though.



    wendy writes

    Ah, Expat, you’ve noticed that impressive hardware reliability was not high on my list of purchase requirements….



  4. ExpatEgghead writes:

    I sense a lack of commitment here. Yes, you want to date, but shy away when asked to meet the parents. I really feel for the poor sad old i386 in your life , doomed to life of crippling irrelevance all those so many years ago after he was dumped. No motherboard, no memory, the equivalent of Alzheimers for processors. Was ‘Tinkerbell’ consigned to the skip? Did ‘Darling’ end up in a muddy backwater of the Thames? As the acting secretary of ‘Stop Cruelty to Old Processors’ , I think an investigation is called for. As there seems to be a lot of retired High court judges available these days at low cost, we shall act now.

    So, Ms Wendy, did ‘Neverland ‘ make it to the retirement home she so richly deserved or was she cruelly dumped in Caversham cemetery? Concerned readers of your blog want to know.



  5. Pat writes:

    Expat’s onto something, the Cupboard didn’t suicide – you pushed it off your lap! You’ve never liked the Cupboard. We need an inquiry!



  6. ExpatEgghead writes:

    More evidence! Pat will be a key witness and unlike some inquiries there will be full disclosure. I anticipate life tv coverage.



  7. Scarlet writes:

    My new baby is still wrapped in swaddling cloth… She is frightened after reading your post and I’ve promised her life long security and unconditional love.



  8. Pearl writes:

    I do not know the name of my laptop as she refuses to tell me what it is…




  9. wendy writes:

    An Inquiry has been set-up.
    Preliminary highlights of the investigating judge’s reports will be posted before Christmas, the full report is due in 2015. The judge will be investigating 3 maincharges:

    1) torturing equipment – was the equipment tortured, leading in some cases to fatalities (the cupboard)

    2) Creating a broader climate of fear – equipment being disabled by not being able to come out from under the blanket or provide it’s name when politely asked

    3) Unlawful hacking – any code, phone or pony hacking will be teased out

    Scarlet, Pearl, Pat and ExPat will be called to give evidence



  10. James Sutherland writes:

    My laptops tend not to survive all that well – in particular, I think the one I’m typing this on now is the first to retain a working DVD drive beyond the first year of ownership!

    Having said that, the MacBook Pro I bought in 2006 still works well enough for my mother to use as her sole computer: no DVD drive, but it can still browse the web and handle emails, which is about all she needs. I had hoped to move her to the 2008 one, only to discover its battery has burst (bags of lithium-ion gunk sticking out!) and the screen is blank … hoping I can fix that affordably. Build quality doesn’t seem to be Apple’s strong point – although to be fair, those battery packs are actually made by Sony, as are most laptop batteries these days whatever brand you buy.



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