Jay Beeler

I am now the proud owner of one of the world’s smallest computers. It’s called the Asus Viviobook Flip 12, which is smaller than a piece of business paper and about ¾-inch thick. It’s amazing that these things perform just as well as many desktop computers yet sell for under $400.

The purchase was motivated by the news that my sister’s ashes will be interred early June in Massachusetts, next to her husband, Don, who passed in 2009. Joyce Morissette died Dec. 2 at the age of 83, after several years in a nursing home following a brain aneurysm. Now that the coronavirus pandemic is easing up, we can plan to travel once again after a two-year hiatus and see our numerous east coast relatives.

This new mini laptop will allow productivity and connectivity while traveling, including the use of Splashtop, which provides connection to the home and office computers. The older Dell laptop that was used during travel was bigger, heavier and taking more than 15 minutes to boot up its software functions. It’s now relegated to laptop computer heaven.

The Dell clunker is akin to the early generation of computers we acquired in the 1980s that sold for less than $10K. A few years later my company purchased one of the first desktop publishing systems for about $5K that featured a vertical screen that took its sweet time refreshing itself.


Former CSULB president Steve Horn took advantage of our new Ventura Publishing system to prepare political mailers in his bid to become our congressman. Steve and wife Nini would come by our office to see how this newfangled system could arrange an entire page of text, headlines, graphics and photographs without the need to mount them on art boards.

It was their son, Steve Jr., who would drive us crazy by presenting new material to add after the layout was completed. That meant more time lost as the monitor s-l-o-w-l-y refreshed.

In subsequent years the office computers got much faster and cheaper. The greatest problems were programs that would freeze up and hard drives that would crash. Now we use one terabyte, solid-state drives that are rarely a problem.

Each issue of the Beachcomber is laid out using Microsoft’s InDesign software, which seldom freezes, unlike Ventura Publisher. We’ve also added an office printer that produces impressive color proofs of our 11- by 17-inch pages.


Our online poll has been asking readers their opinion of the $4 “hero pay” for grocery store workers. Those in favor were 12%, against 86% and 1% undecided. 

The new poll asks whether President Biden should allow the influx of non-citizens at the border, in direct conflict to the Trump policies. Go to and vote at the bottom of page one.


Here’s some coronavirus humor that needs to be shared before our long, world-wide nightmare is over:

  • This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her dog. It was obvious she thought her dog understood her. I came into my house and told my cat, we had a good laugh.
  • Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands?
  • I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to the backyard, I’m getting tired of the living room.
  • Never could I have imagined going up to a bank teller wearing a mask and asking for money, but here we are!


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