Why do computers slow down as they age?


When I start up my five year old laptop, it feels like I am opening the book of Lamentations. (If you don’t know the book, it’s in the Bible and it’s a wee bit of a tough read. Moses will mail you a medal if you get through it. To save you time, Lamentations goes sorta like this: “He begat her, she begat him, they begat the other guy.” Lots of begats and begetting.)

My laptop seems to take forever to power up. I swear that it slows down a little each year. I even heard it complaining about swollen joints the other day. What’s next, Computer Dementia? Maybe I should give my computer a cup of coffee?


Funny thing, my two year old desktop feels slow and even my slick new Windows 8 Ferrari-Asus is updating and taking an hour. Why do computers become so slow over time? Maybe it’s because I got a flu-shot last year?


I find it interesting that the laptop actually takes only 5 minutes to power up, but it feels like it takes 5 years. What has changed? I think my expectations speed up the older I get. Interesting, my computer is getting slower but I am expecting it to speed up. I can tell this relationship is going to work real well.


Are my expectations realistic? I think so: It should instantly blast open and respond to my command. Come to think of it… sometimes I feel that way about my kids, other drivers, my TV remote. Okay. I have work to do.

What are the costs of this kind of impatience and anxiety? What does impatience do to the quality of relationships you and I have at work, at home, or with our friends? How does impatience effect how we think about ourselves? I am sure that someone has studied the impacts of slow computers, impatience with kids, other drivers and TV remotes. It is somehow connected with global warming, an increase in my waistline and/or grey hair. The world is flat, just like my computer’s EKG.

I know from experience that impatience clouds my attention. We know that attention span is limited, kinda like the RAM on my 5-year-old-computer. When I become impatient over things like computers, traffic, behaviour or systems that I cannot change, that impatience captures my attention. I have little left for things that really matter. If this stuff is so unimportant, why let it fill my mind? Maybe I need the coffee.

Keep it real

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