A Very Nerdy Model Of How My Neurodivergent Brain Works

This is a post about my laptop.

It is also an excellent model of how my neurodivergent brain works. {1}

I like my laptop, but the one thing that I’ve noticed is that there’s something up with the hard drive controller. Read and write speeds are… slow. Even after replacing a spinning disk drive with an SSD, it’s still underperforming.

I’m assuming that it’s a hardware issue. While trying to fix it, I managed to hose my EFI (boot) partition, so I had to reinstall the operating system, so that was fun.

What I have set up as a work around is that it delays using the disk drive as much as possible. It keeps information in RAM longer than you’d expect before committing it to disk, and uses the CPU to figure out how to write it as effectively as possible.{2}

This works pretty well… except for two times.

1) When I’m starting a particularly large program (modern web browsers, complex games) it can take a while. Once loaded, they run just fine, but getting them started is a thing.
2) When there’s too much going on and either the CPU or RAM get overwhelmed. Since I’m leaning on those two to compensate for the hard drive controller, if either of those max out it can cause my system to become unresponsive for a little while until it plods its way through enough hard disk activities, and then it is back to normal like nothing happened.

There’s supposed to be something here. Some coda, some resolution. Some way to "fix" things.

Trying too hard to "fix" things made it far, far worse. I spent yesterday reinstalling my operating system.

Instead, I have to show it a little bit of patience. It works great most of the time — there’s a reason I’ve not replaced it — and it’s tougher than all the flimsy ultrabooks and such that are the fashion these days. With the amount of traveling I’m doing and how clumsy I can be, its ruggedness and durability are really important to me.

There’s no "fixing" it. There’s living with it, and planning around it. I don’t wait until the last second to start loading programs for work, or videoconferencing, or running D&D games online.

And when I forget to do that, my laptop will freeze up for a while, sometimes display some visual artifacts, and seem like there’s something really wrong for a short while until it gets itself sorted again.

This is a post about my laptop.

This is a post about my brain.

{1} MY brain. Results are not generalizable; this is anecdata only, and a model that helps me make sense of how it works. If it works for you, great! If not, no problem!
{2} If you think this is a discussion about schedulers and SSDs, it’s not, and congrats on being as big of a nerd as I am.

Featured Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay