I've had the Macbook for a little over a week and I have to admit that it's been a great experience so far. Sure, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that I'm accustomed to on my PC, but I've been slowly figuring out ways to work around them. For example, I don't have Microsoft Office on it. I looked into it the last time I was at the computer store, but I'm sorry – I'm sooooo not paying $499 for a new copy. The only copy I do have (on my PC) was free, having wheedled a free copy out of Microsoft when they owned Expedia and screwed me over by double-charging me for a ticket. Sure, it's Office 2000, but it was free and I see no need to upgrade given my limited needs.
So I started exploring options and found an application called NeoOffice that is a full set of Office-like programs for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint where I can open and save as those document formats. And it's free! Sweet. I'm using the word editor right now and I's' pretty sweet. Of course, it's early – after all I've only gotten to my second paragraph.
However, despite my ability to find acceptable substitutes for the PC-stuff I need/want (NeoOffice, Firefox for the Mac, Escape Velocity, and Stuffit) and the great stuff that comes on the mac to begin with (iTunes, iWeb, iDVD, Widgets) I'm still suffering from one problem. I still have a raging case of laptop-bag jealousy.
You see, the GF got on board the Mac Laptop train waaaaaay long before I did*, and when she got her kick-butt G4 Powerbook she also picked up this awesome sling/messenger laptop bag. It's practically perfect in every way – lightweight and compact, but with room for the laptop and a bunch of other stuff too**. It's totally cool and great and I want one just like it, except I don't want to look like I'm copying her, because that would be lame.
So I've been raiding every electronics store and big-box retail between home and work, including Best Buy, Target, two different Circuit Citys, MicroCenter, Marshalls, and Office Depot – but none of them have had anything nice and light and small like what I want***. So I've resorted to internet searches to find the largest luggage stores in Chicago to try and finish my quest for the Semi-Holy Grail of laptop bags****. I found one that looks promising, and will head down over the weekend to scope it out. If I find anything promising I'll post pics next week. Hopefully, that'll happen, but if it doesn't, maybe the GF will let me borrow hers when she's out of town sometime.
Then, at least I can pretend...
* Because, well, she's way cooler than I am. In that "nerdy girl who knows about all the cool underground stuff before the rest of us and knows where all the cool vintage stores are" sorta way.
** I've seen her clean it out before – trust me, the holding capacity of this thing is amazing. It's like those old cartoons where Bugs Bunny pulls a giant hammer or a camel out of his pocket...
*** I've got a briefcase for work that has a laptop compartment, but when I just want to walk over to a coffeehouse and write, I want something more “Hey, he must be cool underground writer” and less “Hey, he must be a dorky consultant/tool of the establishment”
**** The Fully Holy Grail of Laptop bags is currently residing under the GF's desk at work, probably