I’ve Fallen and I Need to Confess
I dabbled for a while in college, but I’ve resisted the temptation ever since. I knew it was the right thing to do. Others fell. But not me. I was the strong one. I was faithful.
That’s over now.
Eve had her apple. And now, I have mine.
I bought a Mac.
In my defense, it’s not just any Mac. Less than 2.5 pounds. Just over half-an-inch thick. Barely bigger than a iPad. And faster than a greased cat on a slip-n-slide. The MacBook Air 11.
Eve lost her soul for a piece of fruit. At least I held out for a sweet laptop.
Regular readers know that I’ve been searching for the right laptop for a while. Actually, it’s been almost a year now. And, that’s mostly because I’m a cheapskate. So, I kept trying to find the least expensive laptop that would do what I wanted. (Translation: I was trying to find a $400 laptop that would perform like a $1000 laptop).
So, it’s been a bit of a journey:
- Mainstream “Value” Laptops: I think I’ve tried at least four different laptops in this category. And, along the way I discovered that 14″ laptops are too big to use comfortably on an airplane. Maybe when my plans for world domination finally come to fruition and I can fly first class on a regular basis, this won’t be as much of a problem. But, for now, something smaller than 14″ is necessary. And, “value” laptops tend to be pretty heavy. I need more exercise, but this doesn’t seem like the best solution.
- Netbooks: I’ve also gone through three different netbooks. And, I really thought this would be the solution. After all, I was looking for small, light, and cheap, and that’s exactly what a netbook is. One problem: I also need some power. I always have multiple applications open (including a multi-tabbed browser), and I switch between them frequently. Even the higher-end netbooks start to bog down after a bit. This wouldn’t be a problem if I only used a laptop when I travel, but I use my laptop extensively when I’m at home as well. So, I need something a bit more functional than a netbook.
- iPad 2: Okay, I knew this probably wasn’t going to work, but I thought I should try anyway. So, last week I bought an iPad. And, I now have one more week to decide if I’m going to keep it. So far, I’m torn. It’s a nice little device and does a great job with what it’s designed to do. But, it clearly isn’t a laptop replacement. Even adding a bluetooth keyboard didn’t do the trick. It’s a niche device. I’m having fun with it, but I don’t know if I’ll keep it.
Having exhausted these options, I’ve developed a pretty clear picture of what I’m looking for. My perfect laptop needs to be (1) small enough to use comfortably on an airplane, (2) light enough to carry everywhere I go, (3) powerful enough to use every day without bogging down, and (4) have enough battery life to run at least 4-5 hours without being plugged in.
I’m sure you can see now why I was having a hard time finding something in the $400 range that met my needs. So, I’ve decided to shove frugality to the side and go with a laptop that actually fits those criteria. That’s how I ended up with the Macbook. I now have two weeks to determine whether this is the right move. If I’m not convinced by then, I’ll take it back and keep looking.
Other than cost, the only real drawback is that I now have to adjust to a Mac environment. I haven’t used a Mac regularly since I was an undergrad. So, there’s a bit of a learning curve involved.
If you’re a Mac person, I’d love to hear what programs you like to use. Feel free to comment on any of your favorite programs, but I’m particularly interested in the following:
- Word Processors: MS Word has been my processor of choice up to this point. But, if I move to a Mac, I may branch out a bit. So, I’m starting to toy around with Scrivener, Pages, Open Office, and Mellel.
- Bible Software: I’ve used Bible Works for years now, but I’ve heard that working the BW inside an emulator is less than satisfying. So, I may need to move to Accordance or Logos on the laptop, though I’ll keep using BW regularly on my office system.
- Research Manager: Zotero and Sente seem to be the leading candidates here, unless someone has another suggestion. (I’ve been using Endnote for a while, but there has to be something better.)
Anyway, that’s the story of my great fall. Thanks for letting me confess. I feel better now.