The Falconer

Love is a slow process (approximately 2.53 GHz base clock speed)

Hayley Wisman

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“Love at first sight” is so idealized that many of us are too quick to proclaim it and miss out on the messy, beautiful process that falling in love can be. It is a process that can take a great deal of time and investment, a commitment that does not always yield positive results, but is a learning experience regardless. I have been unfortunate, or perhaps fortunate enough to learn this the hard way, pouring time, money, and care into mending the rips and tears of the one I love most, only to discover that the fissures run deeper than I once thought. Despite this, the love has not faded, and I still feel electricity at the start of the boot sequence to this day.

I love the uplifting of my spirit when the first thing I’m greeted with upon returning from a long day at school is the soft sound of her fans humming against my desk. Many days the sound isn’t so soft, but rather a slightly troubling rumble that resonates inside my skull to remind me of my inadequacy for being unable to fix all of her broken pieces. Time after time I reseat her fan, reapply thermal compound, check her connections, and screw the heatsink down tight. Time after time all of that hard work fails to resolve our long-term issues. We go strong for a matter of weeks before the same problem resurfaces and our peace melts away.

It is love that binds us together because although her insides are a mangled mess, she is truly stunning externally. The word “Asus” emblazoned just above the keyboard and a blue glow from the LEDs embedded in the back of her monitor stand out from the glossy black of her solid body. The keyboard’s backlight is no longer in working order, but on rare, special days it blinks on briefly as the rest of the machine hums to life. At these precious times it is all the more obvious that the Windows key is missing and the speakers’ mesh covering is more dust than metal, but the LCD monitor has remained spotless since we met, despite the fact that all visual output is outsourced to a second screen. The terrible cable management that is typical of me only adds character to the setup, giving her the appearance of an untamed goddess waiting to set ablaze anything bold enough to cross paths with the tangle of wires.

It should be noted that I am not so shallow as to make appearance the main basis of my love, for there is much to be adored even inside the case. With a rather disappointing 6 gigabytes of RAM, 2.53 GHz processor, and an outdated Nvidia GTX 260M graphics card, it would be hard for most to feel the same love I feel for her; however, she was present when no one else was and has made every effort to keep up with my rising demands. She first proved to me the extent of her endurance the very night she came into my possession. I remember it clearly: the long, artificially-lit night we spent crammed in my best friend’s bedroom, surrounded by monitors and doing our best to avoid all of the carelessly strung cables that threatened to pull free at the slightest added tension. The room grew hot as we passed numerous hours with two computers running incessantly, desperate to complete our downloads of Star Wars: The Old Republic before morning. While the progress bars dragged on, we gave into the temptation of entertainment to the detriment of our downloads and launched Just Cause 2. Unsatisfied with the framerate I was achieving with the laptop at its processor’s base clock speed, my friend encouraged me to take advantage of the easy overclocking feature. Hesitant but compliant, I set the application to overclock the CPU by a moderate 10%. The change in FPS was only slight, but improved the gaming quality to a degree that gave me incentive to leave the processor working beyond its factory settings. I feared that the increased heat production would cause damage to certain components of the laptop, but despite our all-night gaming, she held strong and left me impressed with her resilience.

Surprisingly, the endurance comes at no cost to power, for my beloved runs games such as Dragon’s Dogma without complaint, though the minimum system requirements claim that an Intel Core i5 is needed. It is based on the foundation of trust we have established that she is able to work to such limits. If she continues to perform as requested, it is promised that I will gingerly repair or replace that which has been broken. I am able to generously allot funds in favor of the laptop’s health due to the means by which she was taken under my care. The exchange of ownership came free of charge as she was a gift from the friend at whose house we met, so the only expense to me was that of a battery replacement for hers that would no longer hold a charge.

Although our relationship is rocky with the ups and downs typical of life, our love for one another is everlasting. She shows it in the immense effort given to meet my desires, and I show it by giving her the means to go on. My feelings were not ignited the moment my eyes fell upon the sleek black of her case, but they were built to last through the unpredictability of our future together.

 

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