When I started at my current job in July 2006, I was issued a brand new Dell laptop. It wasn’t top of the line but it was a middle of the road offering at the top.
In 2009, I got a memory upgrade which helped speed it along a little bit, though by that time, it was already starting to show it’s age.
Now, as it nears it’s five year ‘birthday’, I’m still sticking with it. My employer doesn’t have a formal refresh program for the IT group, so you request a new computer when yours stops working or has problems.
I know that I would qualify for a refresh. It’s gotten to that point where it takes about ten minutes from powering on to be able to do anything with it, and the support staff probably wouldn’t want to put the effort into re-imaging it. The wireless network card works sporadically, and often times will hang various parts of the computer for about ten minutes at a time when turned on. The corner of the case has a crack in it. The battery wears out about every 18-24 months, and the current one is on its last legs. In other words, to bring it back up to snuff probably wouldn’t be worth the cost, so there’s definitely justification in asking for a new one.
But I haven’t.
Why, you ask?
Simply put, because the new one would be REALLY fast. It would do a LOT of cool things. It would RAISE the bar on what I want and expect out of a computer.
How can that be bad, you ask?
Well, the answer ties back to my home computer. The home computer is also a Dell. It’s a desktop version. It actually is about six years old, but because it’s a desktop (with more robust equipment) and it was top-of-the-line at the time, it actually runs better than the ‘newer’ work laptop.
Still, I know that if I get a new work laptop that my perception will change on the desktop at home. It will seem more slow, even if the speed doesn’t change. It will seem more limited in what it can and can’t do, even though it’s fine for what I need it for today. Simply put, it will be more tempting to replace it, even though I’m pretty much OK with it as it stands.
I have said that my goal with the work laptop is to reach five years. That will happen in July. If it really does continue to add problems, it will impede my work, but if it stays the same, I’m not sure yet if I will request a new one or not.