Call me a softie (unless you're Peter Beinart), but I found this post of Berube's weirdly poignant:
First the laptop goes, then the coffeemaker...I wouldn’t bother blogging about such a thing if not for the fact that the coffeemaker in question-- one of those nice steel carafe things that keeps your coffee warm without having it sit and stew on a hot plate-- succumbed, like the laptop, to a Mysterious Malfunction while insisting that it was actually in working order. (The laptop is still in denial about the loss of its USB ports; the coffeemaker continues to tell time and to insist that it will make the next pot of coffee at 6:38 AM even though it no longer heats water and brews coffee.)
Now I might simply be anthropomorphizing (that's an 18-letter word, y'all) some gadgets, but I found that touching. Like an aging, crippled dog that weakly barks at perceived intruders, or an old man who keeps coming into the office despite long ago being relieved of his work. The laptop and the coffeemaker are both making herculean efforts to remain useful, even as their usefulness has been effectively extinguished. I'll bet you that each morning, right at 6:38 AM, the coffeemaker starts trying to brew a cup of coffee, trying to heat the water, only to fail at the task and fall back, exhausted, but desperate to be given another chance the next day...
Update: Fixed the title.
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