A Damascene Moment

Hans Spekeart – Conversion of St. Paul on the road to Damascus

I’ve had an epiphyllum – or an epitaph? No, that’s not it.  I’ve had an epiphany!

Some years ago they who seek the bubble technology even in the cannon’s mouth persuaded me to ‘invest’ in a laptop (I could never reconcile the word ‘invest’ with the context of a computer because they depreciate at 100% the instant you buy them, making them about as sound a gamble as penny shares) ‘because’, they said; ‘look at the advantages’, they said; ‘you can take it anywhere’, they said; ‘you can work even when there’s no electricity, they…’ – well, you get the idea.   I’m sure you’ve heard all these things too.

So, I invested.

And I tried hard.   I really did.

But then I had my epidural – last week.

The result?  I am sitting before it now.  Be envious, all you less fortunate mortals!   Be insanely jealous, as you squint down the tube at your fifteen inch screens and your 1.5 font size task bars – as you try to read ‘don’t add space before paragraphs of the same type’ or discriminate between ‘Find’, ‘Replace’, and ‘Select’!   As you reach into your drawer once again for the magnifying glass in your hopeless quest for ‘Delete header/footer’ think of me and my twenty-seven inch – yes, twenty-seven inch – MONITOR!    (Of course monitor – what do you think I was talking about?  Oh, please!)

Yes, I’ve returned to the fold.   I am working with a desktop PC once again, a wireless keyboard and mouse, and a screen large enough to serve dinner through.   I have sufficient disc space for the archives of the National Library and a work screen so large I might need a small ladder to see the top, all for about half the cost of a new notebook.  It is, although you might judge me guilty of understatement, colossal fantastic majestic superb spiritually fulfilling and just bloody marvellous!

Confession time.

I was getting to the point at which my lack of vision was getting in the way of my writing.  Although I am a contact lens wearer I have always needed spectacles for close work and reading.  Down the years my eyesight has deteriorated, aggravated by macular degeneration (for that fascinating whirlpool effect) until now, in spite of long range vision which is still good, I cannot read small print even with optical help.  Imagine, then, what a pleasure it is to be able to write this with only my contacts to assist me.

I haven’t disposed of the laptop: no doubt I will still use it from time to time, especially because it carries all my music files.  But as a working instrument it can offer no contest to my new prize.  MF, as they say.

I abjure you all, follow my lead.  Subject your laptops to a Ray Bradbury moment!  Your eyes will thank you for it, and WordPress will be filled to overflowing.  Enjoy your own, unrepeatable, Damascene experience.

9 responses to “A Damascene Moment”

  1. I am with you. My computer has a large screen and my eyes beg me not to go near that laptop.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to hear about your declining vision, but as someone whose own eyes are continuing their downward spiral, I just may be joining your desktop-computer world in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks fo your sympathy, Carrie. Believe me, magnification is good. No more headaches!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a laptop only because my desktop died, and because I need it (not a tablet or an ipad) for when we travel, as now (we are in Tasmania). But, like you, I find it so darned frustrating!
    My eyes aren’t too bad yet, & I’m ‘keeping an eye on’ my maculars, as Dad had severe degeneration. I’d really love to have a decent desktop, but can’t financially justify it – how could we afford to holiday in Tasmania otherwise? (Admittedly it is Tassie in the winter, when things are cheaper!)
    Dad had a large TV screen for his book scanner, which meant he could read books, his mail, etc for longer – until it was time to progress (?) to talking books). All the best to you, Frederick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And to you, Linda. I’ve got a tablet, but it throws frequent hissy fits and seems defined by the things it can’t (or won’t) do. By and large it was a wasted investment, since my tolerance does not extend to hours of playing ‘Candy Crush’ or working through what truly is an ‘Endless Quiz’. I’ve seen remarkably little footage of ‘Tassy’, although what I have seen makes it a beautiful place- almost a little England, it seems to me. So I hope you have a very happy holiday, and please give my best to your laptop. I meant no disrespect!


  4. Sorry about your vision. I get that. But I could never anchor myself to a desktop again. I hate sitting in a desk chair, I always have. I did all my work in school on my bed except typing (remember those days). I love my laptop. I can sit wherever I want, I can move around, and I can take it wherever I go. And for small font? There’s this thing now where you can increase font, increase the whole page by zooming, and change the lighting on the screen. I will never, ever go back!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I couldn’t live without my desktop and my huge monitor screen. I have a small MacBook for portability when I want to go to a coffee shop or the library to work (as I type this, I’m on my Mac in a coffee cafe), but for really gritty, hard-concentrating writing, I always use my desktop with its large screen.

    I’ve always had a desktop (since the days of monochrome monitors) and if this one eventually goes belly up, I will buy another. I love my Mac (I have a laptop and a SurfacePro 3 too…both given to my husband), but the big monitor is my workhorse.

    And I’m with you on the eyesight. I can’t see up close without the help of specs!

    Loved how fun and entertaining you made this post!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My father has the same problem, actually he barely sees from one eye and his computer is a mac the size of a movie screen. I’m nobody to give advice but staring at a screen for long periods of time as you probably know is not very good for the eye sight. Take care of those eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Charly. I’m afraid it’s a case of bolting the stable door after the horse has gone, but I’ll do my best.

      Liked by 1 person

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