Byte-Sized? Not This Laptop

The Computer May Be Portable But What About The Gear?

A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney. It originally aired on May 19, 2002:
I was slow to come to a computer. For years after everyone else had one, I was still writing on that old Underwood over there.

There's no doubt about it, though, a computer is a great tool for a writer. It's so easy that I make changes I never would have bothered with if I had to retype the whole page.

And there's no doubt either that my writing is better since I started using a computer -- you may not have noticed that.

I recently bought this new laptop to use when I travel. Look at that ... fits right into my briefcase. It weighs less than three pounds. I lose that much getting mad waiting to get on the plane through security at the airport.

But that's it. I'm ready to go. Well ... almost ready.

Actually, I do have to bring the power cord and the AC adapter so that I can recharge the battery when I get to the hotel room.

Naturally, I want to get on the Internet when I'm away. So I bring the telephone cord. This plugs in here on the side, and the wall in the hotel room.

I always write on a floppy disk. I write anything I do on the floppy disk. That way, when I get back to the office, I can copy it to my regular computer. This plugs into the side of the computer.

If I write a letter or something -- anything I write, really -- I want to be able to print it. This is my printer. I bring that along. They make them smaller than this now but you can't buy a new one of everything the day it comes out, so I still have this one.

The printer has a converter. Naturally, I have to have power for the computer so I bring that along. There is a cable that goes from the computer to the printer, so I always have that.

Now, these are the compact disks with the encyclopedia and dictionary on them. I need some research tools if I'm going to write anything, so I always bring that. Now, this box is something called a D-Link. I don't totally understand it, but I know that when I'm using more than one of these other devices, I have to have it. So I always bring that.

But there you are. When I've got everything together, I put the computer in the briefcase. Then I pack everything else into a small suitcase and away I go.

To tell you the truth, I might be better off bringing my Underwood.