One Computer Initiative

February 14, 2009

A couple years ago I had a fullsize desktop computer on my desk, a second desktop in boxes, and some old laptops.  Plus some extra monitors, peripherals and cables that hadn’t been used in years.  My usual process was to upgrade to a new computer and keep the old one.  The One Computer Initiative is an idea I came up with to simplify my collection of computers.  The older systems were kept for the usual reasons (it still works, perceived value, emotional connection, etc).  Because of my “long-term-temporary” living situation, I wanted to reduce the electronics bulk so it would be easier to move when I got a place of my own.

I liked them all for different reasons, and if I bought another one I’d probably like that one as well.  How many computers do I really need?  I like having different operating systems and keyboards available to me.  I would also like to have a four wheel drive truck with a stick shift.  I’d like a convertible sports car and a cargo van.  However I only have one car.  So why have four computers?

The initiative was about critically evaluating what I use a computer for and finding one laptop computer that can do everything.  Then sell off everything else.  Even if that meant spending more money and having less flexibility and a smaller screen.  Later on after the move, I could get a new desktop computer which would be better than the obsolete junk I had been holding onto.  It took more than a year, but eventually I got it down to a new MacBook as my main computer, and an old iBook G3.

The iBook stayed because it runs older software which won’t work on the MacBook.  Theoretically I could take the time to rebuild the documents and data in a newer program on the MacBook, but I really want to keep the iBook.  I like the shape and rubberized texture of the case, the sturdy keyboard, long battery life, reliable wifi signal.  Also I spent a lot of time and money upgrading it over the years.  I may just keep this one forever.

The last one to be sold was a IBM Thinkpad built in 2002.  Selling that one was tough.  It was relatively modern compared to my other stuff, and was solidly designed.  Beautiful screen, wonderful keyboard.  I considered using it as my main computer instead of buying the MacBook.  But, it duplicated tasks that I was doing on other computers so it wasn’t really NEEDED.  Getting rid of it was me putting the NO SPARES philosophy into action.  I let it go for FAR less then it was “worth” to me.  Even though I miss it, having the extra clutter gone is appreciated.

Have been thinking about this recently because it’s now two years later and the MacBook is getting old.  I may upgrade to a new laptop similar to my old Thinkpad, but faster with more memory.  The money has been saved up, but I’m hesitating because a new computer is a want, not a need.  My present system does everything I need.

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2 Responses to “One Computer Initiative”


  1. […] TV on Computer – Dilemma After going through the One Computer Initiative I settled on a MacBook as my main computer.  That was three years ago.  This springtime I was […]


  2. My cousin would fall in love this blog post. We were recently talking about this. lol


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