It probably passed in one ear and out a hundred times: “Minimize noise in your working surroundings!”. I got so used to the loud fan noises from my ordinary workstation that I was no longer aware of the slight tension and dread at approaching my home office. Finally, the computer performed an exquisite, maddening, death spiral of instability, which last week resulted in its retirement.

My new workstation arrived just two days after ordering it from the other side of the country. It’s a lovely little nearly-silent machine from Anitec. There is a serenity in the room that has been missing for a long time. The downside? I listen to music rather quietly now, and it doesn’t quite block out brat noises from the rest of the house.