This is love.

I recently purchased a new laptop. It’s an HP Envy, with a pretty sweet processor and graphics card. Fortunately, it should make gaming a lot easier, and just in time too, since Diablo 3’s release date is right around the corner. Unfortunately, it means I’ll no longer be using my old Dell laptop as my main computer.

I love that thing to death. Seriously, check out the picture above. I wore the W, A, and S keys off the keyboard from years of gaming. It’s going to be hard to see this thing retire, and I’d like to continue to use it in some way. Maybe I’ll put Linux on it or something. But as far as gaming goes, my old computer is toast.

I set out this morning to find a way to properly memorialize my computer. I’ll admit that I have this strange tendency to anthropomorphize my electronic devices. Retiring my old car was a genuinely traumatic event. I drove that thing since the time I was 16, and it was really hard to let go. I also hate seeing technology fail. I swear that last night, I almost had a heart attack when my Kobo ran out of batteries.

But in all seriousness, I’ve come to rely on certain devices so much that it’s hard to move on. Since I spend so much time on the computer writing online or researching my dissertation, my laptop especially has become a sort of stalwart friend.

HAL 9000- the bad kind of computer friend.

Of course, there’ s no shortage of advice out there on what to do with a retired computer. Here’s a great article on PC World with some suggestions on giving your computer a second life.

Anyone else surprised by suggestion #5? Frankly, I love the idea that old computers can be used to create art. Now, I’m not saying I’m going to open up the motherboard on my laptop and paint a Van Gogh, but it seems like a noble way to retire an old laptop.

Canadian Museum of Civilization

This past weekend, I was at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, Canada. In the First Peoples Hall on the first floor, there was a neat tapestry of recycled mother boards fastened together into a Native symbol. It was really an effective way to make a statement, and a great use for old computer parts.

I still keep three retired cell phones in the top drawer of my dresser. Maybe I can create some crazy artistic installation using my outdated devices someday. Anyone else out there have creative suggestions for a retired desktop or laptop computer?