First, shame on you all for letting me go five weeks without writing an “End o’ The Week.” One would think you weren’t paying attention for the past month.
My new computer is built and, better, it works. But I’m going to keep all posts related to Monolithicious to Wednesdays.
Last week I had to bring my car in to the dealership for an oil change and to figure out why the airbag had come on. I was asked if I was going to leave the car there and I said no, that I would wait for it. I was warned that I may be there for some time, then, because there’s no telling how long it would take to track down the problem. I just shrugged and gave them my new catch phrase: “Is it what is.” Because it is. I have no friends within 1,500 miles so I was kind of stuck unless I felt like paying for a cab ride home and then back again. Which I didn’t.
So I brought a bunch of stuff with me, like a kid heading to grandma’s for the day: my camera, two books, the Nook, pens, pencils, and notebooks. It was at that point I was kind of wishing I had a laptop again.
And that got me started looking at laptops. The thing is, I don’t care for laptops that much. I don’t understand how people can only have a laptop. It’s alien to me. It’s not that I don’t see their worth when you travel or move around a lot, but I like having a big screen and a real keyboard. For me, a laptop is a second-class citizen. But, again, they can be awfully handy when you’re not at home.
There’s a lot of choices out there for laptops. There’s cheap, mid-range, expensive, super-expensive, and Apple. I wouldn’t be playing games on a laptop. What it would be used for would be writing, web browsing, email checking, and, possibly, editing photos when I’m out and about.
Logic would dictate, then, that I could go the cheap route and get something that isn’t a power-house. That sounds good. There is a however, however. The thing is, while I use Linux and Windows a lot I rarely use OS X. And by ‘rarely’ I mean never. One could argue, then, that it would be an investment in my career to go with Apple and learn as much about Mac OS X as I could.
People get the idea that I hate Apple. This isn’t true. Not entirely. I do have issues with Apple, the company, and with the culture that has grown around Apple products (the “i” generation).
The thing is, unlike the majority of people, I have been familiar with Apple since the 1980s. Maybe even the late 1970s. I never had one, but I read about them extensively. At one point I wanted an Apple ][ so badly I could taste it. And that lasted through having a VIC-20 and an Atari 400 all the way through actually using an Apple ][ in school. It was at that point that I realized the Apple ][ wasn’t “all that” and that I preferred my Atari (with sound and color), and the VIC-20 (sound, color, but no memory) over the Apple.
Time marched on and Apple was able to do what Atari and Commodore couldn’t: survive. I have respect for that, even though they came close to shutting their doors. I just didn’t have enough respect to actually be interested in any Apple products.
I could go through all the things that sort of disgust me about Apple and the attached culture, but that wouldn’t win me any friends and would probably take too long. I don’t think the products are designed like art (many times I think they’re kind of ugly). I don’t think they’re immune to virus’ (they aren’t). Unlike Apple, I know what the letters “PC” stand for.
Actually, that’s a big sticking point for me. When Apple says “PC” what they really mean to say is “Microsoft Windows,” but they don’t have the balls to say it. The letters “PC” stand for “Personal Computer.” The bad news is: Apple computers are PCs. They are personal-sized (as opposed to mainframes and mini-computers) and they are, surprise, computers.
Additionally, the advertising they had a short while back with the hip (douchebag) Apple guy and the stodgy “PC” guy was mind numbingly out of date. Those commercials would have been spot on in the 1980s, but, these days, they just don’t work. Apple computers run on the same hardware foundation that Windows runs on. There’s no “magic” in the box. They aren’t that different anymore. The only real difference is in the operating system.
And I am an operating system whore. I love playing with different operating systems. Windows, Linux, BeOS, QNX, and whatever else looks somewhat interesting. But I have never used OS X. And I really should know about it because there are companies (including the one I’m currently working for) that do use Macs in one capacity or another.
But they’re so damn expensive. It only takes a couple of minutes of rolling around Amazon or Newegg to see that you could get something similar in specs to a MacBook for a whole lot less.
But they aren’t Apples and they don’t run OS X. If I were intent on getting an Apple, then, it boils down to getting an Air or a Pro. You get a whole lot more notebook with a Pro than you do with an Air. Not only in ports, hardware specs, and features but also in weight and girth.
In the end, what it comes down to, is how much is it worth to me to have something I can lug around and write with.