Obsessive-compulsive computer disorder
This guest article was submitted by Chris King.
“Hi, my name is Chris and I have OCCD.”
Here we are with our economy in shambles, yet companies keep pumping out all of these small computers . . . and we can’t get enough of them. From Sony, we have the VAIO P and from Viliv we have the new S5. UMID has brought us the mbook M1, while ASUS, Acer, HP and others continue to come out with multiple models of netbooks. Apple introduced us to the wonders of the iPhone, while Nokia gets ready to update its Internet Tablet. Small notebooks that used to cost upwards of $1,500 can now be had for less than a third of that, with even smaller dimensions and more features. You gotta love the march of technology, but I’ll tell you, it’s enough to drive me crazy sometimes. In fact, it may have already started.
I know I’m not alone, not on a website devoted to these kinds of devices. No need to raise your hands, I know who you are. Even those of us lucky enough thus far to escape the clutches of OCCD are right on the cusp, edging ever closer with each new product introduction. We can name the specs of these devices from memory as if we were being quizzed in school. Buzzwords such as Atom, GMA500, SSD, and Bluetooth would be required entries if we were creating a new dictionary today.
It can start innocently enough, maybe with the purchase of one notebook.
That’s what happened to me about 15 years ago when I bought my first subnotebook, a PowerBook Duo 280c. At a cost of over $3,500, I remember I had to save for months just to afford it. But it was worth every penny because it was the height of technology in the Apple ecosystem at the time and it was extremely thin and light. From there, after a few years I would find myself owning a few more PowerBooks, and it was becoming apparent that OCCD was taking over.
Fast-forward to today and the situation has worsened. Right now sitting at my MacBook Pro 17" typing this article, I can look around on my desk and see no fewer than four other small computers. An Eee PC 900A running the new version of Windows 7. A Fujitsu U810 running Windows XP Tablet, while its younger sibling U820 hums along on Vista. Oh, and did I mention the Everun Note I just purchased? It’s here too, along with a MacBook Air and a Toshiba Libretto U105.
Why do I have all of these? I have no idea! Maybe just because I can. Is that a good enough reason? It should be because the way technology and price keep moving in opposite directions, it will probably continue.
These are just the devices that I currently have, and I'm sure I have left out a few. In fact, I purposely left out quite a few because I wanted to avoid getting a cramp from typing all the various models. But look at the picture to the left and you can understand how OCCD has had its grip on me. In that picture, I don’t even own the top two netbooks in the stack anymore, and I'm really surprised that I still own the other three. That's how dire the situation has become. In the picture below, I have enough boxes to keep UPS and FedEx busy in these downtimes, so you can’t say I’m not doing my part to stimulate the economy.
Of course, this article is just my light-hearted way of bringing up a situation that many of us face. By no means am I being boastful of how many small computers I have, because I know there will be someone out there who has just as many. In fact, I can think of one person who may have me beat, and she occasionally reviews new products on this site. We all know who I'm talking about (Hi Jenn!).
But seriously, how often do most of you buy these small computers, and do you own more than one or two at a time? I would like to hear some comments from my fellow OCCD sufferers, since therapy can be the best cure.
Chris King (orbitalcomp) is a long-time handheld tech user, dating back to the original Newton MessagePad and then moving on to dozens of different devices over the years. Currently, he finds himself surrounded by a multitude of touchscreen devices, including a pair of Fujitsu U-series, a Nokia N800, and an iPhone 3G.