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01/20/2012

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick of the Week

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick is a weekly First Person Arts blog post that lets Jeanne, the Marketing Intern, share with you a recent story that has sparked her interest from the World Wide Interwebs. Please feel free to comment if you are moved to do so!

My last week of college I barely slept a wink in order to complete a thesis paper for my capstone course: History of Anthropological Theory. I finish on the due date lying in my bed with my Hewlett-Packard laptop. Elated, I make a frantic dash to my roommate's printer. Smack! I trip on the adapter wire and my HP crashes against the hardwood floor. The monitor instantly turns black and cracks that look like a spider web form on the screen. My eyes swell with tears.

The blue and silver HP served me well for four and a half years. It had countless pictures of friends and memories that I wanted to have for a lifetime. It had all of my favorite music! Mixes made for me by first loves and best friends. Smack. I thought it was done for.

The nerds of my family examined the device and diagnosed it as still useful! We hooked the laptop up to an old Gateway 2000 monitor that had been stashed away for 9 years and…voila! It was a brilliant setup: A giant off-white monitor with a convex screen sat on my used Ikea desk alongside the HP laptop that was now only useful as a hard-drive and a frame for homemade stickers.

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Weeks later on a hot summer day I came home from a run dripping with sweat. The door to my apartment is ajar and I feel a sinking feeling in my gut. The apartment has been trashed and robbed. I walk to my room and the Gateway 2000 monitor is standing proud but next to it is an empty space. My old school HP laptop with the cracked spider web screen that I had decoupaged with kittens and Johnny Depp photos is gone.

I received an A in my capstone course. I had emailed the thesis to myself several times before the smack and had saved it on dropbox and a zip drive. I never thought to back-up my memories, pictures or music. Out of all that was stolen, I was most upset to have lost those.

My story of woe is only a brief chapter in the life history of the HP. The story actually begins half-way around the world in Shenzhen, China where many of our gadgets are made. In a podcast from This American Life, Mike Daisey performs an excerpt from his one man show “The Agony and the Ecstacy of Steve Jobs” and shares in-depth insight into the working conditions of these gadget factories. Few of us will see these conditions first hand but most of us will have a connection to them through the products we buy and use.

My Pick of the Week: Mr Daisy and the Apple Factory

Jeanne Lyons

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