Last week at this time, I was celebrating with my friends from the Stir Crazy trivia team. We had just won the 2017 World Tavern Trivia championships, and each of us received a share of the $5,000 grand prize.
Now I don’t know of any bank that still takes these gigantic checks … you know, the kind that look as if they were issued by Publishers Clearing House … but yeah, that check was just promotional. We all received cash that night.
And after it was equally split among the six of us, I had $833 in my pocket.
And at that moment in time, I had three options.
I could either:
(a) Take it all to the casino floor and put it on red.
(b) Take it all to the casino floor and put it on black.
(c) Take it all to the track and put it on #5 in the tenth race.
And in the end, I chose Option D.
And Option D has been a long time coming for me.
I purchased a new laptop computer. An Acer with a 15.5″ screen, Windows 10 operating system, and a Microsoft Office suite (full licensed version, no subscription).
Let me explain why I did this.
I’ve owned the same laptop since 2011. I bought the laptop at Computer Renaissance after my previous lapper, a Sony VAIO, barely survived a malware attack in 2011. The laptop actually outlasted Computer Renaissance. Wow.
And believe it or not, my aged laptop runs on Windows Vista. And it still runs on Windows Vista.
No, seriously, stop laughing.
This laptop has survived a couple of hard drive clonings – the original drive was replaced with a solid state disc drive maybe in 2014; I’ve also replaced the power plug a couple of times. I’ve used it for several years as my designated stats computer for both the Premier Basketball League and for the National Basketball League of Canada; the stat program DakStats works wonders on Vista.
But yeah, it was time to upgrade. Microsoft put Vista on their end-of-line track in 2012; it completely ceased service on Vista just a few weeks ago. And this old laptop – a Toshiba Protege that I got from Best Buy during one of those “Black Friday” all-night-in-front-of-the-store-in-ten-degrees-below-zero weather – needed a serious upgrade.
And despite promises to the contrary, this laptop could not survive a Windows 10 upgrade. So once the NBL Canada playoffs are over – which should be in mid-June – this laptop gets retired. And by “retired,” I will transfer the data from the old laptop to my new Acer unit, and then pull the solid state drive out of the old laptop, put it in an enclosure, and use the drive as an external storage drive.
Recycling at its best.
And this time, rather than buy a refurbished laptop at a computer chop-shop, or purchase a display model at Best Buy … I chose a different option. I purchased the Acer through newegg.com, the preeminent site for computer hardware, software and peripherals. This way, I’ve got the newest model (this thing has a USB 3.1 port, I didn’t even know there was a USB 3.1 format) which should last for as long as I need.
And it’s a tangible example of my big trivia win. Aces all around. Positive reinforcement, kids. It’s either this, or I buy $800 worth of fidget spinners.
Besides … after all the craziness and drama I’ve experienced in the past year … I deserve a present from me to me. Right?