“I have it just the way I like it.”

Well-loved iPadThere was a time when I worked as IT Support at my old school. We were rolling out new laptops to the teaching staff, and I found myself helping out my old teachers with their computer troubles.

I remember one teacher warily watching as I tinkered with some settings.

“Careful,” she said. “I have it just the way I like it.”

Her computer was a mess. It was an older model, in bad need of updating. Where she could have been power-using with the latest software, she was (in my humble opinion) putting up with a system that was only just holding together at the seams …

… It is now 2019 and I look over my old iPad. It’s an iPad 2, purchased around 2012, and sporting signs of being well loved. Hairline cracks in the screen’s boarder are held together with purple tape. The once bright-red third-party cover is tattered and worn, with grime worked hard into its fabric.

And the software … I’m not sure when the operating system had its last update. Social media, streaming video, and anything requiring the latest update has been purged from the system. This iPad exists for one reason only. It’s an archive. A library. A museum for computer games.

Sword & Sworcery. Crow. New Orbit. The Secret of Monkey Island (Special Edition). Waking Mars. Steambirds. Symphonica. Plants vs Zombies. Device 6. The Silent Age. The Room, parts 1, 2, and 3. Republique. FTL. (etc.)

I know as soon as I connect it to the internet, the iPad will insist on updates that the hardware can no longer handle. Some of these games will no longer work on the hardware I own. I even fear that some may even blink out of existence as they are no longer available on the iStore. The Apple model of device ownership will gently, firmly, passive-aggressively insist that I upgrade to the latest iPad.

But I don’t want to.

I have it just the way I like it.