I've been using this laptop, a Dell Latitude C640 known as "Escape Pod," since January of 2006. I got it second hand, so [checks Dell service tag] it's actually turning five on June 13th.

It's been halfway around the world with me, and I've used it to type more essays, silly quotes, resumes, love notes, and late-night e-mails than my wrists and tendons will ever let me forget. I've watched almost all four seasons of Battlestar Galactica on this laptop, since my desktop doesn't have internet access (and I don't even *own* a TV.) I read the entire Marvel Civil War series, and about a bazillion other comic book series, on this laptop: if you flip the images sideways in Cdisplay, most scans fit just perfectly on the screen, and I can read in my hammock...
I've used this laptop for post-production of more conference audio/video recordings than I care to remember. It handles Sound Forge, Premiere, Vegas, Photoshop/GIMP, Vdub, Reaper, Audacity; every A/V production tool I've ever thrown at it. I've had more trouble with the Adaptec PCMCIA USB2/IEEE1394 cards than I have with any of Dell's original parts. (Okay, I did have to replace the DVD drive once. And the "Prescott" Pentium IV runs hot enough to burn a hole in my lap if I don't crank up the fan speed, but that was an after-market upgrade.)

What's more, I've written almost every 'blog post I've ever made with this keyboard, with this screen. I've been through two different cameras in that time, but the escape pod has faithfully taken everything I can dish out.

This laptop does everything I need, which is my rationalization for all the times I haven't given it up. I've had plenty of opportunities to "upgrade," but I don't think I could ever replace this machine.

That's how I felt about it last night, anyway. This morning, I've been getting memory errors and protection faults, and (after another blue screen/reboot) just a few minutes ago the BIOS said I lost one stick of 512MB PC2700.

Off to run memtest86... *sigh*

An old picture of... well, to be honest, I'm not sure what I was doing...

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