Friday, June 12, 2015

The Unbearable Lightness Of Doing Necessary Things That Terrify You

When I had first returned to Singapore almost 2 years ago, the temperature and humidity of the place appeared to start taking a toll on my somewhat old laptop and on my pretty-dang-old one. Very quickly I started observing that the ancient one was no longer able to keep cool even when it was in sleep mode, something that had not happened even when it was subjected to the higher temperatures in Texas (which was a lot dryer.)

For two years, I had struggled to make use of my newer laptop for professional purposes. At first the heat and uncomfortable surface made it hard to work while resting on my bed (necessary at night because I had to be protected by the mosquito net,) and so I bought myself a laptop fan. The fan turned out to not be particularly effective, and while the extra padding meant the heat wouldn't get to my legs, abdomen or chest quite as fast as the bottom of the laptop the extra weight made it highly uncomfortable. And so I got myself a laptop tray for the bed so I could actually avoid direct contact. This worked for a while until my practice of leaving my laptop on sleep when I do not use it, also started to take a toll on the device ... to the point where like the ancient laptop, it too started to overheat when merely asleep. Turning the thing off each time I stopped using it became a hassle - it is relatively slow now and with an older spinning harddrive, starting up and shutting down felt painfully slow. And now not only did I need the laptop tray on my bed, I also needed the fan to go between the laptop and the tray. The contraption was getting ridiculous, and independent of the trauma of my skin issues I got increasingly unproductive.

It has finally come down to a necessary, but terrifying decision if I wished to have any chance of continuing my plan to work my way out of this place - make a huge purchase that takes a big chunk out of my local savings, while unemployed.

So ... yah ... ouch. I hope this pays off.

Updated 6/20/2015 - the new machine runs a little hotter than I would have liked, but for the moment it seems to have paid off. I feel more productive professionally, there is no need for a bulky and ineffective laptop fan, and it is no longer a mind-numbing 1-2 minute wait for the machine to start up or shutdown each time I feel like I have to leave the machine alone to think/rest merely because I'm uncomfortable leaving it alone in an overheated state.


Kevin Jang said...

The new report generally warned against putting the laptop on your lap because the radiation heat can burn your skin. On the flipside, electronic stuff should not be too expensive in Singapore now, compared to Australia or even Japan, to be honest.

Chee Wai Lee said...

The heat is just uncomfortable, as is the weight resting on your skin. Works for a short while, but anything more than 10 minutes and it gets painful. Well, I've already paid for it and it is a big chunk of what I have here.

Kevin Jang said...

On the flipside, you need to treat yourself better every once in a while. I am not sure how these electronics cost here, although they are still cheaper than in Australia or Japan, mainly because of the fact that Singapore is the main place for mass assembly of the spare parts.

Chee Wai Lee said...

Shipped from Shanghai yesterday. Expecting my new work machine tomorrow. Hopefully it will remove that annoyance factor that has been throwing me off.

Chee Wai Lee said...

Happily using machine, and updated the blog entry. It's a mostly good mixed-bag. Fingers crossed the heat from this thing isn't bad by industry standards, and won't get worse anytime soon.

Kevin Jang said...

Well, I also have this thing about treating myself once in a while to something worthwhile every now and then, although I am making almost next to nothing beyond the bare minimum.