We have been through so much, but I have never properly thanked you.
I purchased you in 2014 as I prepared to start university. It was a transition period in my life, where I started to take on more responsibilities and ownership, and you were there every step of the way. Without you, how would I have managed my applications, or all the hoops that the admission process demanded I jump through.
I hate to admit this, but I didn’t buy you for your specs. I didn’t do any research about the number of cores, your RAM, storage, or battery power. I was incredibly shallow back then. One of my most important criteria was your weight (sorry). We would be walking together a lot and I wanted to carry you with ease. I didn’t realize how lucky I was getting the laptop that I did.
For my first year at UofT, I treated you like a glorified browser and text editor. You helped me write philosophy papers and typeset LaTeX documents for my math courses. I carried you everywhere, always ready to work or, more likely, watch YouTube videos and waste time.
When second semester came, you effortlessly helped me transition from a Pure Math degree to a double major in Math and Computer Science. I fell in love with coding during the polar vortex that struck Toronto in January of 2015. You made it easy to run python, and everything just happened to work. You stayed up til 5am with me, while I was running on caffeine and a lack of sleep, attempting to understand why my alpha-beta pruning algorithm was failing so badly (took me too long to realize I needed to deepcopy my state before recursing).
Through thick and thin you were there for me. I even dropped you once, leaving a sizable dent in your chassis. Immediately I thought you were finished, but you acted as if nothing had happened. I can’t help but notice this blemish every time we work together. In my eyes, it’s not a flaw but another aspect of your character, a reminder of our shared history.
As I grew, you grew with me. Your keys wearing to my idiosyncratic typing patterns. Some flaws you’ve never forgiven me for, as I continue to type “teh” and probably will to my dying day. When I started my 16 month internship, I was given a workstation with a computer. It ran a Windows operating system and had a clunky keyboard that put the arrows keys far away and included a number pad. I felt my productivity plummet as I fumbled on unknown keys. I know that I could have developed a chemistry with this new computer, but honestly I missed you. Within a week I convinced the IT department to let me work with you, and I am so happy that I did. It allowed me to work from home, which is where I did some of my most productive work. My internship was a success, and you were one of the reasons why.
You’ve put up with a lot of my bullshit while we’ve been together, letting me install programs that I never use. Sure RStudio made sense at the time, but it hasn’t been opened since 2016. Recently I got star struck with Apple’s latest offering. It was the same model as you, but newer, faster and with a couple more features. I won’t lie, I got drawn in by their advertising, completely forgetting what I already had.
It took me a while to realize that I didn’t need to “upgrade”, if I can even call it that. I would lose so much of what I currently value. Your keyboard feels like an extension of my fingertips at this point, and you remember things that I did once years ago. All the work I’ve put into our chemistry isn’t transferable and would have to be figured out anew. Also, there are some things that can never be transferred. I wrote my Amazon application with you, got through a Computer Science Specialist & Math Major at the University of Toronto with you, and we have watched an unhealthy amount of Netflix together. For so many things, my firsts have been with you, and nothing can take that away.
The last five years of my life have been by far the most formative and important. You enabled every major life event that have shaped who I am today. I literally could not have done it without you.
I find it funny, as I write this, that you’re helping me. It reminds me of neuroscientists enthusiastically celebrating the brain and all of its wonders, while being conscious of the fact that it is their brains coming to this conclusion. The brain sings its own praise, and, as such, you sing yours.
I know you can’t last forever. Like everything else, you will eventually die. So while you are still here with me, thank you.