A Word to the Wise: Nothing, even computers, lasts forever

By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
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I am having trouble with two of my devices — my iPod and laptop. The iPod will not turn off and now the laptop doesn’t even recognize the iPod. It still plays for four hours, and then it shuts down and needs recharging. The laptop is another issue. It has taken to shutting off on its own. It seems as if it runs hot just before it goes blank. Now, for context, let me clarify a few things. I have had the laptop for nearly eight years and the iPod for six and a half years. Both devices have proven themselves useful and have needed minimal repair. In fact, the iPod has never given me trouble — until now. Here’s the thing — I didn’t want to write this week’s column and have the computer conk out on me in the process. So I wrote these words the old fashioned way first, with a pen and a legal pad. It’s kind of endearingly nostalgic. From time to time things break down. It happens. Nothing lasts forever, and many things don’t last long. We are in the market for a hot water heater. The salesman advised me to purchase the extended warranty. Never have, never will. I am old fashioned enough and hard headed enough to ask, “Why aren’t you willing to stand on the merits of your product as is?” There is no automatic word count now, so I had to stop and tally each one by hand and it is just over two hundred words so far. As a side piece of trivia, these columns run four hundred words a week. And so I have begun researching which of these four devices I would buy if it fits our budget — a laptop, iPad, iPhone or iPod. It didn’t take long to rule out the first three. A friend suggested the iPod touch, and that is the tentative choice. By the way, I am not necessarily sold solely on Apple products. If you have other suggestions, please email them to me. I have written before and state again the observation that all too often our luxuries become necessities. We own our devices and then our devices own us. So while I have thoroughly enjoyed the use of the laptop and iPod, life could go on without them. In fact, life would go on quite nicely without them. Reach Tom Rupp at