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Old Tech

This post is coming to you from a Mid-2009 MacBook Pro running Mac OS 10.6.8, (released in June of 2011)

I have basically three pieces of software installed on this laptop:

  • Eudora Email (because it remains the best email client of all time)
  • ArcticFox (Firefox derivative that has some recently updated security)
  • MarsEdit (for writing blog posts)

I put a new SSD in it for $20. (I actually laughed out loud the first time I saw it boot up it was so fast.)

But why even bother, you may be wondering?

Basically, it’s an experiment in reducing distractions. If I have a computer that is dedicated to basically two things – personal email and writing on the ol’ Blog, will I actually do more of both? My hypothesis is yes. When I open up the work laptop at home… there’s always work to be done. When awaken my desktop, there’s photos to edit, news to browse, etc. things to distract.

On this laptop, it’s stripped down to the bare minimum of functionality.

As technology marches on, I do think it’s worth looking at the lessons of the past.

Look, for example, at our music consumption. Why has vinyl experienced such a resurgence, despite Apple Music, Spotify and the rest offering a vastly more convenient option?

Or, take notebooks: Bullet Journals, Moleskines, etc. With all of the digital tools available, why do folks bother with pen and paper?

I think the reason to bother with this has to do with the intentionality of use. What can I learn from using a simpler machine with software that is over a decade old?

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