A tribute to a dying laptop

The heavy clouds seemed to weep God’s own tears as I turned on my netbook to discover that several keys no longer functioned.

This little laptop has been my constant companion for almost 5 years, and it was on this computer that I composed nearly all of Mad Science Institute, as well as the bulk of the Mad Science sequel and countless other writing projects.


A boson is a sub-atomic particle only detectable in powerful particle colliders. The desktop background of my Boson is a rendering of such a collision.

I called this laptop the “Boson” because of its minuscule size. With a mere 10” screen, it was perfect for wielding on the bus, which, given my day-job, is usually the most productive time of my day—and often the ONLY productive time of my day.

For 5 years, the Boson has been the R2 to my Luke, the Coulson to my Avengers, and the Rusty to my Soap. Its birthday would have been in November, when it would have retired to sail around the world on a yacht named the Live-4-Ever.

Like a trooper, the Boson has endured spills, crumbs, bumpy rides inside my bike’s saddle-pack, TSA X-rays, and even a few accidental drops to the carpet. Though all of that, it never complained or showed me a blue screen, and it stayed strong right to the end of my most recent major project, the Mad Science sequel, which was finally re-finalized at the beginning of this month.


Note the battle damage. This crack in the case was acquired in the first year, but never daunted the Boson for a nanosecond.

Within a few days of typing the last word and deciding I was happy with this version of the sequel, the Boson finally gave in to its accumulated wear. Several of the keys ceased functioning: namely the “V” (as in Very, Voraciously, Virtuous), as well as sometimes the “T” (as in Tower, Twain, and Tesla) and often the shift key (as in everything that’s capitalized).

Since its purchase, all major manufacturers have ceased to build netbooks of this size (tablets are now filling that niche), so my little companion will be difficult to replace.

I even considered keeping on with the Boson by copying-and-pasting those missing letters whenever I needed them, but the keyboard shotcut is shift-V, so that simply couldn’t work. Sadly, if the Boson were a horse, it would be time to load the rifle, take it out behind the barn, and then make up some lie about moving him to a distant pasture so the kids wouldn’t bawl their eyes out.

Goodnight, sweet laptop. May flights of calculators sing thee to Silicon Heaven.

This post was the last piece I composed on the Boson. The Vs, Ts, and capital letters were edited in later with the assistance of my desktop computer.



About Sechin Tower

Sechin Tower is a teacher, game developer, and author of MAD SCIENCE INSTITUTE, a novel of creatures, calamities, and college matriculation. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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2 Responses to A tribute to a dying laptop

  1. Mumzy says:

    So I think you should have Boson bronzed so it looks super nice in your museum (after all, all famous authors have their own museum)!

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