I have officially ended my experiment of using a Windows Phone as my computer. Yes, I can now write my blog posts on a real keyboard. I have learned a lot in the last couple of months and have formed new habits that will change the way I use my computer time. Was it worth it? Yes, without hesitation I am glad I stuck to my timetable and did not purchase a computer when the last one died.
At first being without a computer was frustrating, very frustrating. The only option I had at the time was a very old android phone or the use of the library’s computers. Without wireless internet I had zero reception at home and the weather was rainy making getting to the library a very wet prospect. Another problem with the library computers was that they are timed, you are able to have one hour per day, county-wide. That is if you could find a computer not being used.
Shortly after the loss of my computer my son passed on to me a Windows phone he had been given at work. I upgraded my modem to a wireless and proceeded to uses the phone for all my computer use. It worked, mostly. Things took a lot longer, but were eventually finished. I learned more about blogging when I had to use the phone as my tool. Adding pictures and links had to be done manually and very carefully or they would either not work or end up in the wrong places.
If you have read my blog for a while you will know that my son built my last computer out of parts he acquired for free. Ultimate reuse in my book. While the computer hadn’t given me any problem, until it suddenly died, I didn’t like having a large desktop computer in such a tiny apartment, I also felt guilt for the amount of wasted precious resources it used. My wish was to have my apartment look comfortable without the technology on display, my version of a vacation home. With no TV, or other electronics on display the larger older monitor was an eye sore. I set a date of July 1st to purchase, new or used, a laptop. Then suddenly the computer quit working.
Had I jumped to purchase a laptop out of desperation I would have ended up with something completely different from what I have now. I took the time, using only a phone, to learn exactly what I needed and wanted out of a computer. I asked around to learn which brands were reliable, and which ones had the least environmental impact.
While the Apple computers have the smallest footprint, they are too expensive for me to consider. In the end, I purchased an Acer Aspire One, a notebook rather than a laptop it is much smaller and lighter than a laptop. Being smaller it required fewer materials to produce. The battery life was another consideration, this one has about 7 hours of use before needing a charge, many laptops barely had 4 hours of use. This will reduce the amount of electricity I will use.
The computer did have a couple of pieces of plastic wrapping on the power cord and the plug for the cord as well as a thin piece of plastic between the keyboard and the screen and a shrink-wrap over the manuals. The rest was all cardboard. The box has a plastic handle on it, but rather than tossing it out I will continue to use the box as my carrying and storage case. It also makes a great table to hold the computer on my lap.
With the desktop, it was on most of the day. I listened to music on it and would have constant access to my email as a result. While relying on a phone as a computer I found myself spending less time online. I like the convenience of the phone for somethings and will use it for playing music, doing a quick search, and checking email. I see the computer being turned on once a day, taking care of what I need and turning it off.
My footprint has been reduced drastically from when I had the desktop running. To have a couple of fans running all the time in the tower, speakers plugged in, a mouse that needed both electricity and batteries, to the large monitor, and now to occasionally need to plug-in a phone or a notebook for charging makes a big difference
When you chose your computer what were you looking for? Did you consider the amount of power it would use or the materials it was built with?