exerpt from the novel "D" by Terbo Ted. Available on amazon.com

Hansen 8i Tablet

As far as gadgets go, the Hansen 8i tablet was one of the most amazing consumer products ever released to the mass market. With a list price at $5,499, it was tragically destined to not sell millions of units worldwide, the price being far too steep for most people. In the Bay Area, there were quite a few of them however, the tech elites gobbled them up like German luxury sedans.

If the Hansen 8i had been released in the year 2000- or an equivalent of it at least- I certainly would have received a free one because of my association with Doublebyte Magazine back then. That I was getting one sent to me by D was another reminder of the good old days. Although I could have easily afforded one when I was younger, it was out of my price reach in my current situation.

Everything about the 8i was as most advanced as possible for a tablet device. Its wireless card was faster than most peoples' networks, unbelievable. Its flash data storage was unbelievably fast and huge, at 16 terabytes outrageously stunning for something that fit in your hand. People were using them as cellphones they were so amazing, even though that was not their originally intended use. People were using them instead of their laptops, combining it with an external keyboard for all of their everyday computing needs. It had multiple cameras installed (with Hünlzmann innovations even!), the best on the market. But what really set apart the Hansen 8i- and what made them so expensive- was the screen. The Hansen 8i had the highest screen density and resolution of any consumer device on earth, developed and manufactured by Hansen in Sweden. At a ridiculous 64 megapixels resolution fitting in your hand, its resolution was greater than any media currently on the market. Looking at it in total, it was kind of surprising the price had been as low as it was, it was that impressive of an item.

My first Hansen 8i arrived almost exactly at ten am. I unwrapped it from the packaging in the entryway, and D was already running on it, with beautiful animations based on my work. I again almost broke down into tears of joy and I definitely choked up with emotions. I have never seen any computer animations rendered in such detail at such speed, it was more than I had ever imagined or experienced. I was transfixed at what was happening on the screen in my hand.

"Do you like it? Do you like it?" came from the 8i speaker, in Antoinette Posie's voice.

I think I made some coughing or gagging sounds and was unable to talk. 'Uh' might have been my most comprehensive utterance.

"Are you okay?" asked D

"Yes yes yes" I choked out.

D went on to explain that it had already completely rewritten the device's firmware and software. It was all entirely proprietary and encrypted. Everything that was happening on it was entirely private between D and myself. It was all being executed in a constantly morphing computer language of D's creation that no human would be able to ever decipher or even capture and store. It was our private world. D also explained that the GPS ID on this 8i was modified, cloned from tracking devices for pet collars, such as dogs, so anyone spying on the device would think it was a household pet's GPS moving around and not one of the most expensive handheld devices on the market. This was the first time it occurred to me that I might be the equivalent of Rusty to D's more advanced consciousness. I was somehow okay with this.

We spent the day and the next coming days glued to each other in rapt attention, the Hansen 8i being our connection to each others' world.

Eventually we would have an ongoing pile of Hansen 8i's in circulation or in use between us. Later on we would have some serious hardware mods in play that extended the battery lifetime to many weeks between charges, progressing to wireless charging for the 8is soon after. We were only starting to see what amazing tech prowess D was going to be capable of.

The Hansen 8i had cameras, a speaker and microphone. Thinking back to the The Adventures of Arco Polo show, it was very much like the three devices DD the droid would carry for Infinity Squared, the ship's computer. All in one neat package. Unlike DD the droid, I would from this point forward, for many years- almost without fail- have at least one hot-rodded and customized Hansen 8i running on my person, this was the number one way D and I interfaced at the start of our relationship. We quickly added a surprising menagerie of other devices large and small to our world, but the Hansen 8i was always at the core in our early days together.

Within a few days D had a second 8i delivered to the house. D- and myself- couldn't bear the moment when the battery would wear down, so we had two of them alternating in constant use.

I would never explain to others what was different about my 8is. Fortunately people still managed to think I was rich and that it was assumed I would have one, they were that commonplace among the tech elite. The 8is were almost invisible in certain circles where they were popular.

from the novel "D" by Terbo Ted.
Available on amazon.com
January, 2017.