Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How long should a laptop last?

I've been waiting to see the day we could get an email like the one below:


Hi lovely people,

I bought a LightLap off you back in 2007 [the year ZaReason opened] and it's lasted me 7 years and still going strong. 

However, I'm now getting into some video editing and need something faster... Would also be interested in you opinions regarding what aspects/upgrades would be in the most beneficial for video/audio and professional image editing. <clip>

Cheers Jesse the Wind Wanderer
Username: storyjesse

P.S. I'm a professional storyteller/actor/entertainer and I make my own publicity materials using gimp and inkscape. Now I'm getting into making my own video's and thus far have been using kdenlive, which is the only open source video suite I could get working reliably. 

P.P.S. Feel free to use the 7 year lifespan of my laptop to promote yourselves. The only thing that failed on my laptop was the HDD which I replaced with a SSD and this gave it a new burst of life. I think I also upgraded the memory. That's all though, the rest of the system has been rock solid and I recommend you to all my friends when they are thinking about buying a new computer. <clip>


This email made do an involuntary "Yippee!" I hadn't realized how much I had been hoping to receive this type of feedback. 

The Linux community probably has more old-use machines than any other community. At several conferences, I've seen a few laptops that could be in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. Two in particular were ancient. Talking to both of these laptops' owners I found they were dedicated to minimizing e-waste. They were also competitively testing how long each laptop could last. 

CC SA, Cathy Malmrose
Every time I see one of these old machines, my reason is, "Wow! So cool that you've kept it in good shape... reduce e-waste... love seeing people who know how to tweak a system to last longer."

Personally, I love a fast, new, shiny machine, but grow attached to each one. Currently, I am using a machine from five years ago, an R&D model. I love it. I use only one laptop at a time and made sure the others were either gutted or other
wise reused. 

If you can benefit from the increased speed and space of a new laptop, then by all means, go for it. As long as you donate your old laptop to someone who can use it through non-profits like or any other, there's no reason not to upgrade - life is short and a fast computer feels oh, so good. Just resist the urge to let the retired laptop sit, especially if you know you won't have an active user for it later. 

I have access to some of the hottest, newest machines. Yet, my five year-old beat-up machine has circled the globe many times over and will continue to be my trusty workhorse for as long as possible. 

I was so glad that Jesse took the time to let us know that his laptop had had a good life. My laptop is having a pretty awesome life too. If you have a ZaReason laptop too, you're in good company. 

Better look of my laptop

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