Friday, 3 December 2010

Utnapishtim 3 (Trois)

A long, long time ago I bought an IBM ThinkPad on eBay and named it Utnapishtim (Utni, for short).  Utnapishtim is the guy who survived the flood in the Mesopotamian flood myth, and the gods offered him the gift of immortality.  (His wife, too.  She bakes him bread.  Sounds thrilling.)

I figured the laptop would last forever, since he'd obviously take on his namesake's mythical traits.  Surprisingly enough, it didn't work.  No bread, either.  Well, I should mention that Utni's still alive.  But his battery is dead, his bios battery is also gone, and he can't remember his own name.  Very sad and geriatric of him.  (Makes you wonder how the real Utnapishtim is doing.) 

So forth I went and purchased Utnapishtim II.  Utnu, for short.  He was a cute little iBook G4, and I loved him oh so very much.  I wore out the letters on his keyboard. Once, he got sick and I panicked.  This is the conversation I had with the tech guy (TG):

Me (calm) : "Yes, he hasn't been booting since yesterday."
TG (confused) : "He?"
Me (embarrassed) : "Um, yes.  I have a strong affinity with him."
TG (redefining reality) : "Ok.  So it, um, he doesn't boot?"
Me (worried) : "No.  He screams."
TG (polite but difficulty adapting) : "Screams?"
Me (wishing didn't feel Utnu was own person) : "Um, yes.  Well, he beeps three times.  Yes.  And he has kernel panics."
TG (back in realm of comfortable language) : "Those aren't good."
Me (too much information?) : "No, because when he panics, I panic.  It's really not a good scene."
TG (good old scout try) : "Oh.  Yes.  I can see that.  Well, ok, well, ship um, him in, and um, he'll see a, um, doctor.  Yes.  A laptop doctor."

I also sent him flowers while he was at the laptop hospital.  To Utnu, not the tech guy, though I hope he enjoyed them, too.  

Utnu at his favourite Second Cup.
When Utnu was geriatric, we went on a date to a Genius Bar at the Apple Store, and were informed that he was a good geriatric computer, but dying nonetheless.  He soon after clunkered out, after 3.5 years of fateful service.  I cried, I'll admit it.  To be fair, the unfinished Sorceress of Shadows was also trapped on him.  My brother, bless his patient technical soul, recovered all my information, but Utnu had some terrible issues and became Zombie Utnu (mostly because my brother wrote that on him).  Utnu was mentioned in the acknowledgements of Destiny's Blood.  He worked countless hours on it, too.

I needed a replacement quick - my manuscript was due soon!  So I ran out and bought a cheap netbook.  I named him Thoth.  He was cute, but he wasn't part of my Utnapishtim lineage.  I was convinced Thoth would die the day after his one-year warranty ended.  I was wrong.  He died three weeks after it ended.  Very sad.  Mostly because, once again, I was on a tight writing deadline.

But, possessing wicked laptop death powers of prediction, I had already started saving for Utnapishtim Trois (which is three in French.  Being bilingual gets me more options for cute nicknames!)  Utnapishtim Three, you see, would make Utni, which already existed.  Utnapishtim Trois, however, makes for a cute Utnois.   Not only had I started saving for him, but I'd gone to meet him a few weeks beforehand.  It's couth to meet your laptops at least once before bringing them home.

Utnois is a cute MacBook Air, 11 inches.  I always hesitate with first generation beasts, but he was so cute I simply couldn't resist.  He's extremely light, I enjoy the keyboard, he has wicked battery life and did I mention he was cute?  I signed up for the best warranty I could find, which covers replacement batteries, a necessity since it's one of those annoying integrated ones.  And, if this first generation clunkers out within four years, I get a whole new one!  Not that I want Utnois to die.  Oh no.  Not for 3.99 years, anyway!

So welcome to the family, Utnois!
That was just a photo op.  Utnois does not sleep with kittens.  Utnois is not pro-fuzz.