The appeal of ultra-portable computers is kinda self-explanatory: they’re ultra portable! Or that’s the idea, at least — the combination of light weight and low profile means you can take them just about anywhere. Anywhere? Well, let’s see. In conjunction with our friends at Samsung, we’ve equipped one of our intrepid editors — specifically, music editor Tom Hawking — with the new Samsung Series 9 laptop and sent him off on a trip likely to really put the machine through its paces: a journey through Africa for three weeks! First stop: Cairo, home of the Pyramids and of Tahrir Square, a city that’s both a hotbed of social change and the home to a history that’s the envy of the rest of the world. Click through after the jump to read what he’s been getting up to.
The man’s face looks tired. Old and tired. Strands of wispy white hair still cling to his skull, and while his skin is cracked and leathery, his hooked nose and strong features are as distinctive and commanding as they must have been in his youth. His eyes are closed, and his body is frail, but all things considered, he’s held up pretty well, considering he died 3,225 years ago.
His name is Ramesses the Great, Ozymandias, king of kings. He ruled a united Egypt for 62 years. He conquered the Hittites and built the lost city of Pi-Ramesses. His body was entombed in the Valley of the Kings, where it remained for two hundred years before it was moved by the high priests of Ra to a secret tomb to protect it from grave robbers. Ramesses remained there for nearly three millennia before the cave was discovered in the 1880s by a goat herder. And in 2012 he lies in a glass box in the corner of the rambling great Egyptian Museum, where silly tourists stand grinning next to him taking photos in defiance of a strict no-pictures edict. (I borrowed the one above from here, before you ask.)
It’s a rather humbling experience to stand and look on the face of a man who was once the greatest ruler in the entire world. It’s easy to see it as some sort of existential lesson, but if anything, there’s something curiously peaceful about ruminating on the fact that today’s concerns, however dramatic they may seem at the time, will eventually be dust on tomorrow’s wind.
It’s not as if Egypt needs any sort of reminder in 2012 that even the mightiest will eventually fall, of course.