It's really nice, taking a laptop and/or a book into Jammin' Java or Cool Beans and spending some quiet time in there. It feels like the best parts of two "worlds"; the quiet time at home working on things you want to work on, and immersing yourself in a little slice of humanity as well. (Also, there is very good coffee and tasty food nearby that you neither have to cook nor do much of the cleaning up after.) Usually there isn't really a whole lot of interaction going on, but it's nice just to look up and see people walk in, and exchange smiles. And there are plenty of other people in there studying, or reading, or working on/with their laptops, so you don't get that feeling of being the "odd one" that you sometimes do in a restaurant reading or whatever. I like it. I think I'm going to make a particular effort to do most if not all of my actual studying/homework in coffee shops, once I start school in January.
It also felt surprisingly good to clean up the machine. To get rid of all the old crap, and organize things, and streamline them, and have everything running more smoothly than it was. No weird conflicts, or wondering what the hell was going on to make things take so long when you tried to access them, or wondering which process is hanging for some unknown reason and making booting to the desktop or shutting the machine down take so long. What started out being a chore that could use doing wound up also being something of a much-needed metaphor. To be honest, my apartment needs it more than my laptop did - but hey, I'll take my catharsis where I can get it, and the apartment seems a little easier to face now that the laptop has been vanquished.