Monday, January 20, 2014

An Old Friend

This post might sound a bit Sheldon Cooperesque, but I'm writing it from an old laptop that I've not used in a couple of years. This Acer Extensa was an excellent value portable option when I bought it, but it soon became superseded by by a slimmer, lighter, faster, more powerful option, which itself has found competition from my smartphone. Saying that, I've enjoyed looking through this old laptop again today, much like I enjoy looking through old photographs, or browsing book titles on a bookcase.

One of the last photo's stored on this laptop, taken in the Grampians 2012. Caroline and I haven't changed too much since then.
I've worked out that this computer became obsolete about November 2012, so that's less than 2 years. It's strange that it should seem longer than that and a reminder about how fast technology is moving. This computer is running Windows 7 while my newer laptop is on Windows 8 (I haven't downloaded 8.1 yet), I'm using Chessbase 10 here compared to Chessbase 12 on the newer model (There are actually a number of features on Chessbase 10 that I really like that don't come on Chessbase 12, so I might have to use this one a bit more from now on!), and I have a Microsoft Word suite on this that I don't have on the newer comp which I miss at times (I just haven't quite fully cottoned on to Google Docs yet).

So am I suffering from a nostalgic view of my old laptop, or am I just trying to resist the pace of changing technology around me? There's actually been a lot of research done into resistance to change among humans, though this has been primarily associated with business. Still, the common reasons people resist change in the workplace can be related to everyday life as well. We do spend much of our adult life in the workplace after all! (Damn, I've forgotten there's a right and left click button!). Kanter's list of reasons oppose change certainly have a few points that ring true to me, such as not liking new things which means doing things differently and having to break habits, or not knowing what new technology involves and being lost and confused and even embarrassed by my lack of knowledge. This last point certainly isn't helped when I go into shops and young staff talk to me in jargon that they believe everyone knows about and I am clueless as to what they're talking about, phone shops being a big case in point there.

However, change is inevitable in our current environment so we'd better just get used to it. I saw this excellent little article about dealing with change. There's some great advice, and information and just thinking about change and being prepared for it can ease our transitions in life. Actually, if you think about some of the big changes that have happened in your life, you can see that the experiences have shaped you to who you are. For instance, I've emigrated, moved house/location many times, bought and sold properties, and changed employment many times, and these things haven't done me any lasting harm. In fact, although the stress that some of these changes brought to me was significant at the time, I can now look back and laugh at some of the experiences, and accept that if I hadn't have made the changes that I did, and took the opportunities that I was offered, then I wouldn't be in the situation that I'm in now, that is a very happy one.

So I'm pretty happy to be writing this post on an old computer, and I will work on this 'old friend' again, but I can see what is good about the newer technology, and am even thinking of upgrading again! I'm more than happy to embrace change (just as well, as my work is likely to be somewhat different this year), and seeing the words of many great authors before me fills me with inspiration about this.


We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly!--yet soon
Night closes round, and they are lost forever:

Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
Give various response to each varying blast,
To whose frail frame no second motion brings
One mood or modulation like the last.

We rest.--A dream has power to poison sleep;
We rise.--One wandering thought pollutes the day;
We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;
Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:

It is the same!--For, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free:
Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability. 

Percy Bysshe Shelley

"They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom" - Confucius

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change" - Darwin

"Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow to new heights" - Pauline Kezer

"The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions" - Ellen Glasgow

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