"Hi. My name is Justin, and I'm a Gadget Addict."
"Hi, Justin!", says the crowd.
"So normally I can keep it down to the soft gadgets -- a memory card here, a printer there. Sometimes it's even kind of healthy, like with the new 27-speed bike. But there are times when I've just got to have the hard stuff.
"The latest battle really started at Worldcon. There we were at the Masquerade, and tpau was playing with her iBook. It really put a brought a lot of my current lusts into focus. I mean, here we are, poking along with a 4-year-old Toshiba laptop running (ugh!) Windows ME, weighing as much as a boat anchor and having such a puny battery that it's not even worth cutting the cord. And here's this sleek little machine, light enough to haul around all day, with a nice screen, a decent OS and a battery that doesn't instantly go flat.
"Well, I don't have to tell *you* all," he points around the crowd, "how bad it can be. I started paying more attention to the computer-store circulars, and all the slim little machines they had in there. 'I can wait,' I told myself. 'The machines aren't going anywhere.'
"It got worse last week, though. Turns out that msmemory's company has their own private pusher at Dell, offering a couple hundred bucks off of whatever sale is going on right now. I almost succumbed to the 700m right there, but managed to procrastinate until the best of the sale went past.
And today was the very worst. There I am, minding my own business in Costco, when I get accosted by this Sony Vaio. It's so *cute* -- only 3.2 pounds, even with all the bells and whistles I need. An ultraportable that still has a DVD drive! Okay, so the keyboard's a little puny, and the CPU isn't that fast. But small is where it's at for my laptop cravings: subtlety, not power.
"Of course, it's $1800, and even when the cravings are on me, that's a lot of money. So I managed to hold out for another day. But I just know I'm going to fall off the wagon again. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but probably soon..."
He shuffles off the stage, looking slightly embarassed, and trying hard to ignore the laptops that everyone else is taking notes on...