There's been talk -- just talk, mind you -- about my getting a laptop. Several of my children have laptops, but I have been operating from a table-bound device with a behemoth of a tower ever since the days of shell accounts and newsgroups. LB suggested that I compile a list of what I want my laptop to do, so that we can make an informed choice in purchasing.
1. It needs to be mine, only mine, and never used to watch Spongebob episodes or view football highlights (and by football, I mean soccer). The WSJ will not be bookmarked.
2. It needs to have a mouse option. I have never learned to use those arrow keys, and it may just be too late for me. I'm not sure that such a laptop exists, but that's what I'd like.
3. This is somewhat negotiable, but I'd prefer it to be an Apple. Not a Motorola with an Apple-like operating system. Not a Sony. Not a Tandy, and not a Funai.
4. I'd like it to have a disk drive that can play DVD's as well as CD's.
5. I'd like it to be able to tell me if I really am hungry for ice cream, or just thirsty.
6. I'd like a little bell to go off every time I accidentally hit caps lock so that I don't TYPE 6 PARAGRAPHS LIKE THIS BEFORE I REALIZE WHAT HAPPENED1.
7. When I try to empty the trash, I want it to empty the trash without asking me if I really want to empty the trash. My laptop must respect my intelligence and not call my choices into question.
8. It must recognize and decipher nuance. Meaning I want it to be tell me if that person meant that comment the way it sounds, or if I'm overreating.
9. I'd like it to have a really cool cover. I'd love Hello Kitty, but I'd never be able to keep Olive away from it. Come to think of it, I'd like it to have an Olive Oyl cover.
10. The glass should be treated with that stuff they use on the lenses I wear, to prevent scratches.
11. I want it to have no "insert" key that I can accidentally hit, turning the function off and thereby allowing me to type over huge chunks of text I can never get back.
12. I have not used a function key since 1989. Therefore, I'm willing to generously forgo having them on this laptop if it means I can have the mouse feature instead.
13. I'd like it to come with a mail program that replies to all "return receipt" requests with an email that tells the sender, "In this life, there are some questions for which you are not owed an answer."
14. When I'm on a roll, I'd like it to do an automatic save every ninety seconds. Just like that old Tandy word processor I had in 1988.
15. I would like it to understand that the printer is old and cranky, and realize that it -- as the younger and more flexible device -- needs to take that first step toward working together and getting along.
16. I'd like it to save me time by remotely turning on other useful devices in the home, such as the dishwasher, the coffee grinder, and the children.