Clark Nova Gets Reprieve

          Clark Nova is the name of my computer. I borrowed it from a David Cronenberg film, Naked Lunch. The film is an adaptation of a William S. Burroughs’ novel of the same name plus metaphors from all of his work and a couple of characters that were Burroughs real friends in the Beat Movement.

          Clark is the main character’s typewriter. When William Lee is in the Interzone, the typewriter transforms into a gigantic bug, and assigns missions to Lee: two of which are to kill his wife (an agent of Interzone Inc.) and find Dr. Benway, a distributor of the “black meat,” a centipede like metaphor for heroin or other drugs.

          My Clark Nova is an Apple 12” Powerbook that is more than 4 years old, a year beyond its normal depreciation curve. Over that time, I’ve replaced the CD/DVD drive, the keyboard, LCD, and the motherboard. Luckily, all of them were covered under an extended warranty. While in Fort Worth, one of my sister’s dogs got tied up in the power cable and pulled it to the ground. No evident damage, but I hear a screw rattling around in the case. The screw wedged in the backlight power feed for the LCD, and the slightest quick movement grounds out and shuts off the backlight, rendering the LCD useless. I lived with this problem for 3 months and was thinking about a new laptop, but Apple does not offer anything of comparable size with greater functionality. The Thin is promising, but the hard drive is too small, and the processor is not much faster.

          I am going to Boston to check out the sublime lifestyle of modern colonial, and with a six-hour flight, I want to be able to work on watch a film on the plane. I decide to get the blinky LCD fixed, or if necessary and if not cost prohibited, get it replaced. I take Clark Nova to a local Apple only repair shop, The Total Mac, and the tech., Andrew, finds the screw and reattaches a cover bracket for the charge of one-hour billable. He is fast and Clark is back within a few days, wow.

          When I return, I am going to update the hard drive and maybe the CD/DVD drive. I am not running the latest OS, because the processor architecture changed from RISC to CISC; and as time passes, more and more of my software will fall behind, especially web technology. At some point I will have no choice, but with all the chitin patches, Clark should be good for almost a year.

          Although Clark Nova does not transform into a mythic, gigantic bug and assign missions, it performs all the tasks I need with relative speed. I surf the net, write, and on occasion cobble together a short video. Clark is also my jukebox, 27 GB, ACC.

          Rock on Clark Nova, rock on.

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