Have Technology Will Travel — To The Coffee Shop

Murphy’s Law #6: “Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.”

Before starting this blog, I felt I needed a new writing tool. Not that there is anything wrong with my desktop, but sometimes you just want to stare at a computer screen in a different location. I wanted something more than a tablet and less than a fully loaded laptop and didn’t want to spend a lot of money. It’s like they say, “the budget wants what it wants.”

On Facebook, I put forth my quandary: “Technology question: If I wanted a portable word processor so I could write with an actual keyboard (not a touch screen) in a coffee shop and didn’t necessarily need anything beyond that (maybe internet if no other way to save something) – what do you recommend? (Cheaper the better)”

This was exactly what I wanted and gave me a good jumping off point to see the options. However, I am a very tactile person. I needed to touch a keyboard before spending any kind of money so I headed off to my  local  Fry’s Electronics. If you have never been, imagine Radio Shack in the 1980s and Best Buy in the early 2000s had a baby.

My general response to most of the selection was “Eww. No.” This was my reaction to either the style or the price. After typing on or walking past a decent sized selection, I ended up liking two of them. I looked up some reviews on my phone and they were both about what I expected; durable, functional, basic frills.

One sign read “refurbished” and the other read “third party refurbished.” I flagged down a sales person to ask what the difference was. He said, “Well, this one is refurbished and this one over here is third party refurbished.”


“Yes, I understand. What does that actually mean?” “Oh, either we refurbished it or we received it in stock already like that.” The work was guaranteed just by different sources.

I picked the one I liked slightly more, looked it up online, found it cheaper, took my phone over to the manager, confirmed that they do match internet prices, and walked out of Fry’s with a Lenovo ThinkPad L430 Intel Core i5-3320M, 14″ Refurbished Laptop With 8GB Memory, 240GB SSD, Windows 10 Pro that was marked “$399” and I paid “$133.” Not too shabby.

I decided to name him Lenny. So, I can say things like, “Yesterday, Lenny and I were at Starbucks when…” or “I can’t tonight. I have plans with Lenny.” Plus, I can’t seem to say the name without thinking about how Teddy says the name in Memento, which is just so upbeat.


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