Today’s pop-up target was my LCD monitor’s sudden affliction with creeping screen rot. It was bound to happen eventually, I suppose; I got this monitor back in 2008 or so, and nothing lasts forever. Especially nothing involving computers — though they do get cheaper; our very first computer, the Atari 800 of blessed memory (48 screamin’ K of RAM! Upper and lower case letters!), cost nearly ten times as much as my most recent computer purchase.
Of course, that was back when personal computers were still mostly the domain of electronics enthusiasts, and Gates and Jobs and Wozniak and their fellows were still regarded as (admittedly, fairly well-off) nerds, rather than as giants in the earth. These days, computers are appliances, like televisions or toaster ovens; they’ve gone from being a luxury good to something we assume most people have — at any rate, we tend to regard lack of computer access as a sign of economic misfortune, if not outright poverty.
What these changes mean for me is that I was able to order a new monitor of somewhat higher quality than the old one for less money than the old one cost, even figuring in the extra expense of speedy delivery. And I console myself with the thought that at least the monitor died this month, when the tidal nature of freelance income meant that I could replace it, rather than last month, when I would have been left with nothing to work on but my little netbook.