I’m relieved to announce that I’m back on line again after a four-day absence, freshly equipped with a MacBook Air after spending the better part of a decade using a laptop that was teetering in recent months on the far side of obsolescence. The moment of truth came when The Wall Street Journal informed me that I wouldn’t be able to use its invoicing system as of November 1 unless I got a more modern piece of equipment. Not wanting to go unpaid, I bit the bullet.
I can’t remember the last time I went so long without writing anything at all, not even the shortest of e-mails. It was kind of fun at first, but I soon got restless, in large part because my identity is so completely tied up with the act of writing. Needless to say, there are other reasons why I felt disoriented: I use my computer, after all, not merely to write but to manage the smallest details of my life. At bottom, though, I felt a bit like…well, like this:
O you mortal engines, whose rude throats
Th’ immortal Jove’s dread clamors counterfeit,
Farewell! Othello’s occupation’s gone.
I collected my new machine on Monday afternoon, then spent the next few hours putting it in order and acquainting myself with its peculiarities. The kindly folks at Tekserve did their best to make the transition as painless as possible. Nevertheless, I still feel as though I suffered a very slight stroke over the weekend, or sprained one of my thumbs: I’m compos mentis, but my reflexes are a trifle askew.
My guess is that I’ll be completely back to normal a couple of days from now, and in the meantime I’ve established that I know how to do all the things I can’t put off any longer, starting with the two columns that I have to write for Friday’s Journal. Unlike Othello, my occupation is back—with a vengeance.
I rejoice to report that virtually all of my data successfully made the leap from laptop to laptop. The only exception, so far as I know, was some of the e-mail that was sent to me during my involuntary vacation. If you wrote to me between noon on Thursday and early evening on Monday, you might do well to send it again today.
Otherwise, I think all is well. Here’s hoping, anyway.