This weekend I finally broke down and bought a laptop. I've been thinking about it for the last 2-3 years but never found the right one that had everything I want. There were always so many kinds made my so many PC makers that I found it overwhelming and too much work to be worth it. Besides, I had a perfectly good desktop that was only a few years old - and with all the modification I had made to it it was just as good as PC's currently on the shelf. Besides, by doing so I had convinced myself that I was still technically sophisticated, like I was when I was in high school and college. If I got a new computer, I'd need to familiarize myself with a whole new set of hardware and frankly it wasn't worth all the effort. Until now...
Since Apple came out with the new Intel-based Macs, I could finally return to the company that started me off into the world of computers with the old Apple II that my mom used to bring home from school for the summer. That got me hooked on Apples and Macs all the way through college. My old Mac LCII served me well until I tried to use it to access the internet from my apartment after graduation. Unfortunately, the ISP I was using didn't even have support for Macs - forcing me to run over to Best Buy and purchase my first PC in a fit of what can only be described as pique*. Since then I've gone through two additional PC's and have grown more and more comfortable with them. But I never felt good about all the money I was giving to Bill Gates**.
I had to re-familiarize myself with the Apple Product line. What better place to do so than my local Apple Store? I figured that surely the people working there woudl be significantly better than the 12-hour trained morons at the big box stores, right? So after doing some reserch just on the web I got up early on Saturday and headed down to the Michigan Avenue Apple Store. Inside, I found many Apple employees: 4-5 behind the checkout counter, 1 serving as an annoying greeter at the front door, 1 giving a presentation in the Apple Theater upstairs, 3 working in the "Genius Bar" upstairs, and another 2 working in some kiosk upstairs that I couldn't quite figure out what it did. This left about 3 people to walk the floor and answer questions for the approximately 118,000 people walking around the store. Sure, most of them were asking stupid questions like "Where are the iPod skins?" and "Can I use your bathroom?". And given that the 3 people on the floor are busy telling customers that iPods don't instantly make you deaf while grooming their faux-hawks, it was nearly impossible to find one who could help me figure out which laptop was best for me. After waiting for 45 minutes for one to free up, I grabbed one guy who looked annoyed at my question before giving me a cursory answer that really didn't help me much. Inspiring, indeed.
So I went back home, did some more research, and went over to my local MicroCenter and picked up the black Macbook which I am now sitting here composing this very blog post on. Sure, I can't connect my iPod to it*** but I'm still enamored with my new toy. And as soon as I figure out how to get my new copy of NeoOffice working, I'll be perfect.
Of course, this also means I'll be able to psot from the road more often too. On those rare occasions when I'm *on* the road that is. Prepare for postings from airports, everybody!
* Or, to coin a phrase, "e-rage" - it was the late 90's after all, wasn't everything new starting with "e-" back then?
** I don't care how many kids in Africa it inoculated against polio or how many inner-city kids if got through Head Start - I still don't feel good about it
*** My iPod is formatted for my iTunes on my desktop PC so my laptop won't recognize it. At least until I get Boot Camp and install a new copy of Windows.