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Jorge Arango's



No. 37

My livelihood depends on my laptop. Because of this, I’m very cautious about my computer. Whenever I buy a new one — something I do every three years or so, when the extended warranty runs out — I don’t get rid of the one it’s replacing. Instead, I keep the old one around in case I find myself without my main machine.

Last week this policy paid off, as I had to send my laptop back to Apple for repairs. As a result, over the previous few days, I’ve been working on a six-year-old computer. I’d assumed the experience would be painful. But except for one particularly heavy app (which is very slow when working with large files) it’s been fine.

More than fine. It turns out there are some things about the older computer that I prefer. Namely, its keyboard — which in this model hadn’t yet succumbed to Apple’s obsessive pursuit of thinness — has a much better feel than the one in the newer model. And with its full complement of ports, the old computer is also blissfully dongle-free.

In 2013, when I bought it, this computer was better than the one it replaced in every way. It raised the bar for what I considered a good computing experience and made using the previous model — which up to then had served me well — feel barbaric. At least I assumed so. In reality, there were tradeoffs. Perhaps I sold myself on the idea that the new one was indisputably better?

I’m typing these words on my old computer. They’re among the last I’ll write on it; this machine is undoubtedly too slow for my current needs. But the thought has crossed my mind: Do I need to be on this continuous upgrade cycle? For 80% of my needs, this old thing would do.

Also worth your attention...

The Informed Life With MJ Broadbent

The latest episode of The Informed Life podcast features an interview with my friend, graphic recorder and facilitator MJ Broadbent. In this episode, we talked about how she uses visual thinking to help folks understand themselves and each other more effectively. MJ also shared about her upcoming seminar on this subject at Stanford, which sounds like a great opportunity to learn how to make drawing a greater part of your life.

The Informed Life Episode 16: MJ Broadbent on Graphic Recording

Thanks for reading!

-- Jorge

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P.P.S.: If you haven't done so already, please check out my book, Living in Information: Responsible Design for Digital Places. You can buy it from my publisher, Amazon, and other fine purveyors of the printed word.

Disclosure: this newsletter includes Amazon affiliate links.

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Jorge Arango
P.O. Box 29002
Oakland, CA 94604

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