I feel like the guy in the movies who quits his corporate job but keeps his fancy Mercedes. The car gets beat up and dusty over the years, a symbol that he's left the fast line for something a bit slower and less lucrative.
I used to have fancy cars, but the item that makes me feel like the movie guy is my laptop. It was once state-of-the-art. It's an IBM Thinkpad T60 that I bought as an IT consultant about 5 years ago. It cost me a small fortune, about $2500 at the time, but back then it was about geek-cred, having the most technologically sophisticated laptop, cell phone, you name it.
My amazing cell phone was a victim of the AT&T and Cingular merger. My infant son sucked on my wife's cheapo free-with-service cell phone and when I went to get a replacement, they couldn't give her another phone without replacing mine. My $300 Nokia, folding-keyboard, bluetooth, world-phone became a paper weight. Actually it became a toy for my son to suck on. What's even more sad is that my $30 replacement phone has most of the features of it's high end replacement.
Five years after I bought the laptop, it's still as powerful as most budget models, or at least it would be if it wasn't so nearly broken. The motherboard only reads half the memory, so my 1GB of RAM only works as 512MB. The two PC-card slots, still referred to in painful acronym speak back then, only has one working slot available. The near final straw is the keyboard. The "e" key doesn't work well. It's probably sticky from one too many IT lunches eaten at my desk so I could leave my soul-sucking job 30 minutes earlier.
I'm shopping for a Dell, most likely a refurbished Vostro laptop. As most of these computers are only slightly more powerful than my aging Thinkpad, it's hard to justify the expense unless that "e" goes for good. Half dead also means half alive.