Bostonians: I need your small stickers!

Update: Thanks for the stickers!

Yo, Boston! I'm doing an appearance tonight at Harvard Books, and as luck would have it, I spilled a cup of coffee on my laptop this morning and killed it. Luckily, the twitters leapt into action and let me know that the Micro Center in Cambridge was well-equipped (and by the way, holy smokes, why the hell didn't anyone tell me how smoking awesome Micro Center is? Like Fry's where all the staff are amazingly smart and helpful, boo-yah!).

So now I've got a brand-spanking new ThinkPad X230 with my old hard-drive in it (for the record, turns out you can yank an Ubuntu 12.10 drive out of a ThinkPad X220 and put it in an X230 and it Just Works). There's only one thing it lacks: STICKERS.

I have been a laptop stickerer for a decade and more, but my precious supply of stickers is all the way in London and I have four more cities to go on the tour before I'll get back to them.

Which is where you come in. If you're coming to the event in Cambridge tonight, bring me your small stickers and I'll decorate the machine with 'em on my way to New Mexico and post a photo tomorrow. But I emphasize: small stickers -- otherwise you just don't get enough of 'em on the machine.

See you tonight!

(Photo: Bruce Sterling)


  1. could you further define “small” Cory? –
    some of the stickers in the photo (above) seem “medium” to me.
    I’ll be coming to the gig, but would only have medium stickers to share

    BTW – would it be possible to recreate your old laptop sticker configuration via 3-D printing? – or even via a really good color Xerox on sticky paper?

  2. Yep, just another awesome thing about Thinkpads…usually the hardware is only marginally different from iteration to iteration, so you can swap drives among laptops at will. Ubuntu seems to be particularly good at automagically finding the right drivers, but XP and Win7 will play well. Good luck with the tour and hope you get cool stickers.

    1. I’ve swapped an Arch Linux hard drive from an AMD Opteron on a Sun motherboard to an Intel Core i5 on an Asus motherboard and it just worked. The last time I tried swapping motherboard and CPU on a Windows XP install, it failed miserably but automatically changed the driver configuration enough that it failed even more miserably when I swapped it back.

    1. They are next to a Trader Joe’s and Starbucks though so I can get groceries, a new case fan and coffee in one go.

  3. Like Fry’s where all the staff are amazingly smart and helpful
    So … not at all like Fry’s, then.

    1. I wondered about that, and figured he meant “like Fry’s except all the staff are amazingly smart and helpful.”  Unless all the other Fry’s are completely unlike the one here in Slacktown.

  4. Not exactly a laptop, but I thought you might appreciate the phone case I created last time I was in Disney World. This was about half way through the trip, it got much, much thicker.

  5. Maybe Cory would like to detail the religious experience that accompanies spilling a large beverage across the laptop.  I know the last time I did that, I had a conversation with God that lasted several hours.  Many promises were made.

  6. Didn’t Micro Center used to be a nationwide chain? I remember shopping at a Micro Center back in the 90’s when I bought my first memory upgrade in installed myself. I needed the memory so I could run Netscape. It was a different world back then. 

  7. MicroCenter really is the best. In central Ohio, there’s no reason to go anywhere else. The prices are usually competitive, and the staff is great when you need help, and don’t insist on sticking around when you don’t.

  8. MicroCenter is great for high dollar items, in terms of staff. Competence is generally proportional to the cost of the items in their department, though.

    Sure, it’s good to have the knowledgeable folks answering your questions when you’re dropping a grand on a laptop.  But it’s also good to have someone who knows what a DVD-ROM disc is (had one guy escort me past the recordable media aisle- I was looking for dual layer discs, could only find single- and take me to the bargain bin of cheap DVD movies).  Or can figure out the difference between male and female plugs without an anatomy lesson (multiple occasions- fortunately dollar stores carry my archaic cable needs nowadays).  But I suppose that’s a side effect of commissioned sales.

  9. Thinkpads are pretty durable.  I have several old ones, from a 600E to a T43, still doing yeoman duty around the house and on the road.  They just keep on keeping on.  So I wouldn’t be surprised if your old laptop turns up on Ebay about a month from now, rinsed out and dried, and working again.  It’ll probably be missing its stickers, though.

    Alas, I hear that some of the newer Thinkies are getting more proprietary, insisting that you only use *their* disk drives, batteries, and so on.  Shame.

    1. Do Thinkpads still have the CMOS battery on the motherboard? When that battery fails, the PC no longer boots.  Its a built in self-destruct. 

      Other brands will still boot, and you might need to enter a date manually. 

  10. Okay, am I just a follower if I start copying Cory and sticker the hell out of my MacBook Pro? Or is this just naïveté because I live in some horrible backwater and have never seen anyone go that crazy?

  11. I’m waiting for the same thing to happen to my laptop, just so I can laugh, and rinse it out, and keep on working.

  12. Hmmm, how about KrazyGlue-ing an LCD screen to the outside of your case and running a live display of thousands of virtual stickers?

  13. holy smokes, why the hell didn’t anyone tell me how smoking awesome Micro Center is? Like Fry’s where all the staff are amazingly smart and helpful, boo-yah!

    And corporate treats those employees like crap.

  14. In college, and I’m talking undergrad days, I would mail-order bulk packs of floppy disks from Micro Center (then MEI Micro Center) to resell to fellow students.

    Back when 5.25″ floppies were expensive and hard to come by, and I was broke and hungry.

    I didn’t make a living at it, but it kept me in computer games and occasional diner meals with friends.

    * * *
    There was a Micro Center branch in Silicon Valley when I lived down there, 1997 to 2001. It was right off of 101, maybe in Mountain View? I bought a fair amount of stuff there.

  15. I think he’s misguided. The joy of putting stickers on something like a laptop comes over time, as each sticker represents a specific memory, the laptop becomes a sort of living document of a person’s life. You can’t get that if you just cover it with stickers from the get-go.

  16. Only marginally on topic as I’m not in Boston and don’t have any small stickers for Cory, but as to covering things with stickers…

    I used to use an Alphasmart Dana for writing with (seems so ancient now, with it’s green hued screen and Palm OS 4 on it) and pretty much completely covered it with stickers. I’ve been tempted to do this to laptops as well, but so far haven’t actually done so.

    Here’s a pic of the old workhorse:

  17. Maybe I’m just easily amused but I’m finding the commonalities between the two laptops and the commonalities within each laptop a sort of spot the differences game. Another game: can you count how many EFF stickers?

  18. “why the hell didn’t anyone tell me how smoking awesome Micro Center is? ”

    You needed someone to TELL you that a technology store situated mid-way between Harvard University and MIT would be good?

Comments are closed.