Today I deleted all my personal files from a computer I've had for some sixteen years and got it ready for Craig's List or donation. I've switched computers plenty of times through the years, but this was the only one that ever made me feel misty, and I even put off shutting it down for the last time.
It's not that I've had it pretty much as long as I've had The Internet (!!), or that I got it to write my Ph.D. thesis on (heh), or anything specific about the magic of the Mac Performa 5200 itself. Definitely part of it is that I started, grew, and finally passed on a publishing business conducted entirely on that system, a creative endeavor that I've gotten a bit distant from in the throes of parenthood. But even more, this was my last computer before a wave of technology cut me off, before USB ports made my peripherals obsolete and, even more, Apple's switch to a Unix base meant that my software and files couldn't be transferred to new machines. That means that for the first time I'm watching a large segment of my work and invested time get filed away in an essentially unreachable form -- there are Zip disks full of journal layouts, essays I wrote and correspondence I wanted to keep, scans and images and Christmas letters and who-knows-what that are now in practice paperweights.
I printed out some Supplement books for the new Acorn editor, in case she ever wants to republish any of them. I made sure I had clean copies of my two most important haiku theory essays. I played an ungodly number of games of that 1987 original Russian Tetris that has followed me to every computer since my very first (and that saw me through long stretches of 20-something angst and busy head). And then I shut it down and unplugged it. And moved on to other things.