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Friday, September 28, 2007

Eulogy for Mac Black

Thank you for joining me today to acknowledge the passing of my faithful and reliable work partner, Mac Black.




This Mac G3 PowerBook was built in 1999. In his prime he was employed by a music producer, until 2005 when he was deemed too old and slow to do the job efficiently. At that time, my husband bought Mac Black for me. I was slightly unhinged back then and didn’t even realize at that time how important it was for me to sit down and type.




Many of you already know that I resisted at first. The little black computer sat on the desk in front of me, the green light at the back pulsing cheerfully. I had to admit that it was a slick looking machine. It was curvy. The outer two thirds of the lid looked like leather and the centre resembles suede. I was impressed that a computer, a machine that generally never made any impression on me whatsoever, could be so cool looking. I ran my fingertips over the raised apple. I uncoiled the cord from the yoyo and plugged it in. Then I unplugged it and went upstairs with it. I could take it anywhere.




Mac Black proved to be an excellent partner, opening up a whole new world for me. Suddenly this aspiring novelist felt like working again. The joy of writing and creating was made possible.

In the almost two years that we worked together, Mac Black and I created a solid body of work. I started this blog, finished two novels, and actually wrote one complete and completely awful novel in just one month. The letters on the keyboard were almost worn off.



In the last few months, I knew the end was getting closer. The screen was very dull, and the whole thing was getting slower and slower.

The difficult decision was made last weekend. There is a possibility that we can still revive Mac Black so that the kids can use it to type up their homework, but for me it’s over. I’ve had three weeks of working with Mac White and to move everything back over again would be too time consuming to be worth it.

For some of us, sentimental attachments are a powerful force. I know that familiarity means comfort to me. I often thought of Mac Black as a well broken in comfy old pair of boots.

Old boots are one of life's great joys. You can be wearing the nicest, slickest outfit but it just doesn't feel right and you never quite feel like yourself unless you've got your old boots on.




New boots are stiff and uncomfortable. They rub in all the wrong places and make your feet sore. The excitement of getting new shiny boots is not enough to overcome the discomfort. Even though you know they’ll eventually wear in, someday maybe even becoming the comfy old boots of the future, all you can think about is that it’s just not the same.


There’s truly nothing like old boots.




But there comes a time when it becomes inevitable...

....you really do need to buy new shoes.


And you move on.

I hope, in the near future, to get another computer of my own. i admit it's kind of exciting to think of me getting something brand spankin new, even if it's all weirdly new and unfamiliar. I rarely get a chance to own anything new. Maybe that's a big part of why I like all my stuff well broken in. I wonder what it'll be like to do the actual breaking in.

Even though it was just a hunk of plastic with a bunch of wires and stuff inside it, I’ll always be thankful for Mac Black. It wasn’t the computer that made me write again...that was me. The computer just made it easier.

Sometimes we need that little nudge to get us going. I got my nudge from a gracious antique.

Mac Black, it was a blast.

19 comments:

Anita said...

Alas, poor Mac Black, we knew him well...

her indoors said...

Goobye fella, goodbye, you were loved by all who knew you

Biddie said...

Good, bye Mac Black.
It won't be the same without you.....

dilling said...

bye bye, Mac Black...and thank you for bringing Heidi to us. We all love you for that.
I suggest Fluevogs... They make snazzy new boots(and shoes) that are comfortable...and some don't even look new....

Tod said...

Poor Mac Black.

coffeypot said...

RIP, MacB.

Anissa said...

Farewell, Mac Black. Your work here may be done, but your memory will live on forever...

Heidi the Hick said...

Thanks for coming over and sharing your last respects.

I'm still not quite hip to this new computer but I admit that it's pretty slick.

Does Fluevog make computers?

Does John Deere make computers?

I think I'll be okay. You know how it is. Change. We fear change.

Go well, Mac Black! This here is all because of you!

terry said...

RIP mac black. you served heidi -- and through this blog, us -- well.

pluvialis said...

I still have my Mac Black; it doesn't work at all, but I simply can't throw it away...sigh. I *loved* that computer.

FOUR DINNERS said...

'n I thought I was weird...

I like you more every day

Dig a hole, bury it...sorry, him...and put a little cross up.

chocolatechic said...

Mac Black, it was a good run!

Heidi the Hick said...

oh my gosh...a dead computer graveyard!

I can't throw it out. I still have the ripped up blown out rubber-toe-cap sneakers that I wore in 1984.

Yep. Weird.

LadyBronco said...

Fare Thee Well, Mac Black.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

rain said...

I'm sure if there's a computer heaven, Mac Black is there....
We have a dearly departed computer that we don't know what to do with - it's too broke down to donate to anyone, you can't put it in the garbage, too toxic, and we watched a documentary this week that shows how old computers are being sent en masse to 3rd world countries for salvaging and destroying the water etc., so we are scared to take it to the recycling area.. I think you should put legs on Mac Black and use him as a side table. He was such an attractive computer!

A Paperback Writer said...

No, not a cross! Put up a little apple for his tombstone!!
I send you my sympathies, Heidi. I have said goodbye to several computers (all of them Macs) in the last 15 years, but I DREAD the day when this little iNotebook G4 (3 years old now) must go... My MSc dissertation was done on this computer, plus 2 novels and the blog.
I shudder to think of my loss, having seen yours.

Travis Erwin said...

I guess the old saying about -- Once you go black ... -- isn't true after all.

Nicole said...

Heidi, my first 'puter was a Mac Power Book, back in the early 90's. But alas, times change, and I married a - gasp! - PC guy. I still have my trusty computer around here somewhere, too. Soon, you will only have the good memories of Mac Black. Until then, it's difficult...so (sniffle) very difficult...

:'-(

Heidi the Hick said...

Hey.

D'ya like how I worked Johnny into that blog? About the whole comfy old boots/ new shoes thing? And stuff?

I know.

genius.

thanks.

Seriously thanks for commiserating with me about the passing of my old computer.

You guys are great! Thank you again and I value each one of you and I will always be thankful that I got into blogworld. YOu just don't know how much I've gotten from this. Thanks.