Reflections on putting my computer in the shop

My 2012 MacBook Pro slowed to a crawl this week.  I’ve been contemplating replacing it for some time.  But it seemed too much like ditching a good friend.  Besides, it would be expensive — like $1500.  So, I called a few repair shops and asked them what they could

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do. A technician from The Computer Hospital of Houston answered the phone and told me that he could make it run faster than ever for a fraction of the replacement.

cost, and that he could do it in less than 24 hours.   I know that P. T. Barnum said “there’s a sucker born every minute,” but I at least wanted to try to resuscitate my old friend.

So, I brought it in, and less than a day later, I tested it out with the technician.  True to his word, it now runs much faster than it ever has!  He was able to clone the old hard drive, and send me on my way.

Even to put “Old Sparky” in the shop for 24 hours, I had to move my schedule around.  I thought “this is crazy!”  I got along for half my life without any kind of computer, and it seemed I did just fine.

I bought my first computer 27 years ago in 1992, as a brand new church planter. It was a desktop PC that I got pretty cheaply.  I connected with a high school kid who told me he could build me one out of parts.  I can’t remember what he charged me, but it was alot less than they were going for back then.   I needed a machine to do church bulletins, promotional materials, keep the books, and other basic functions.  However, I don’t think I used a computer for sermon or lesson preparation until 1998 or 1999.  I started using email about the same time, but wasn’t really dependent on it as a communications medium until 2004 or so.

Previously, I had made it through two graduate programs with a manual typewriter. Not only did I not have a computer, I didn’t even have a home phone for some time!  Writing was either pen and paper, or pounding it out on the old Olivetti.  I actually real letters and put them in an envelope with a stamp!  I paid my bills by check!  During this period, I did some work as a bookkeeper, and we used a double-entry ledger.

So, I thought, “wow, the world sure has changed, and I sure have changed!”  I can prepare lessons and sermons much faster.  Searching online and cutting and pasting really saves alot of time. Having practically all the information in the world at your fingertips can be helpful.  Being able to publish my writings online and let them find an audience is a benefit.

Is it better?  I’m not sure.  I miss those days when all that I had to do to get away was to get away from a landline.  I wasn’t always connected.  It seemed like as a family, we played more board games before Netflix.

We can still do those things, but it takes being more deliberate, and not giving into the inertia of watching Netflix.  It takes real creativity to do the fun things that we did naturally.  Hiking, riding bikes, reading books, baking, just hanging out.  But it’s worth the extra effort1

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