Grateful for my Gateway

photo by steve newvine

photo by steve newvine

This column is the last one to be typed on my trusty old pre-millennium computer. Our Gateway brand system was purchased in the mid-1990s. It’s time for a change. We put it off for a long time.

The old computer is still working, but it is painfully slow. The new model promises to be faster, take up less space, and have far fewer wires than the old one. The new model combines the computer and flat screen into one compact unit. It will have just one cable going from it to the wall outlet. 

The new system replaces the cube-like monitor, spare tire sized tower, and what seems like seven-hundred and fifty-three feet of wires that run from behind the old computer to various add-ons such as a printer, speakers, wireless router, and modem.

If the local salesperson’s assertions are correct, that can-of-worms cable mess behind our computer desk will disappear.

My fingers are crossed.

We had a few Apple computer products before purchasing the Gateway. We were given advice at the time that “Apple is nice, but we live in a PC world.”

I will miss that good old Gateway computer. So many things happened for me on that antique. My family’s first internet hook-up ran through that system back in the AOL (You’ve got mail.) era. I started my book-writing career on that keyboard; seven books were written and edited on that computer. My latest book project started on the Gateway, and will hopefully be finished later this year on the new system.

All of my opinion and editorial (op/ed) columns, beginning with a 2003 tribute to newsman David Brinkley, came out of that computer. My twice- monthly columns here on pass through the darkness inside the Gateway microprocessor before seeing the daylight of the on-line world.

Our new computer promises a lot of things. I’m sure I’ll adapt as I have adapted to so many changes in my fifty-plus years. I remember someone in college referring to an electric typewriter as a “sort of computer” back in the 1970s.

I also remember when cell phones looked like a quart carton of milk. I remember when new cars were sold with a full-sized spare tire in the trunk.

A lot has changed in our lives.

I’ll get by with our new computer. But just in case, the old Gateway with the block-style monitor and all those wires, will stay in my closet. Just in case.

Steve Newvine lives in Merced