Tuesday, January 16, 2007

help me os-1 kenobi, you're my only hope

Okay I don't actually know who or how many of you are out there who actually read this thing, but I could use your help right now.

Once again, my computer is in the shop. I took it in a week ago because it had a hard time connecting to the internet. I assumed it would be an overnight job, but they've run into all sorts of problems fixing it. It's to the point where I'm avoiding calling them to see what's up, partially out of embarrassment for them. They're the ones who supplied me with a new computer when it crashed last time, and I've continued to have problems with it. Those of you even slightly aware of my wired lifestyle know that I've had CONSTANT computer problems for the last FIVE YEARS.

Anyway, I have no doubt that I'll be starting completely over, and not just getting a new CPU and hard drive. I am SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING switching over to Mac. I'm always pretty hesitant about life changes, but at the same time, they usually go smoothly with very little hitch. Leaving Cricket for T-Mobile wasn't that big of a deal at all. I pretty much still use a phone the same way. Snowboarding for skiing went alright as well. It's brought new pleasures, and yet I'm still just as dorky on the slopes. Switching from blondes to brunettes was equally fruitful.

Anyway, I've got lots of options to mull over computer-wise. I look forward to using a Mac for pictures, video editing and publishing reasons. At the same time, I'm worried that I will have to sacrifice computer games (which I guess I don't really play anymore anyway) and internet options. Macs can be more expensive and I'm wondering if they're worth the extra money or if I'll even notice the difference. I hear Macs don't have spyware problems. Whatever the reason, how true is this? What makes a Mac a Mac Pro?

Anyway, more importantly, there are also the issues of public use and portability. My computer is traditionally the one used by visitors in my home. What do you people think specifically about the following options:

1) Get a Mac Pro desktop unit that will sit in the public area of my house on my desk. Will visitors be afraid or ashamed of using a Mac? I like this option because I'd probably rather do video editing on a desktop.

2) Ditch the old computer and just get a new Dell PC desktop. This is the most comfortable and cheap option which would completely eliminate the whole Apple presence.

3) Get my computer back, flaws and all, to use it as the public computer. Proceed to buy a MacBook for myself that I could have in my room, on the bus, on the beach, wherever. I'm hoping that having a more portable computer would help me keep up with blog entries and frivolous surfing. At the same time, I'm afraid I'll use it less because it doesn't have the convenient layout of a desktop environment.

4) I'm strangely leaning toward this one even though it's vomit-inducingly impractical. Get a new MacBook AND get a new Dell PC. I didn't mention above that it wouldn't be too much more expensive to get the Dell since I already have the monitor, keyboard, mouse, camera dock, printer and scanner (the printer and scanner, by the way, aren't working with the current p.o.s. I have in the shop right now).

Is there a combination that I'm not aware of? Should I make Rhett buy a desktop? Nobody's said that yet have they? What do you think? Give it to me. Remember, the sooner you get back to me, the sooner we can be gathered around the computer letting the radiation of YouTube hit us right in the face.


Blogger Maria said...

Checking with your roomates to learn of their possible computer purchases could be very helpful.

I hope the stop at the Apple store last night helped you a bit. Just as a reminder, there is also the option of the baby mac ( mac mini). That way, you can still keep your monitor, scanner, printer, etc. So, if you are going with the laptop plus new desktop option, that is another one to throw in the mix.

Also, the I Mac looked pretty sweet last night. I think if you are going to get a desk top, the Pro isn't necessarily the only option.

By the way- Laura is probably getting an Imac this weekend - so you could always check hers out once she gets it running.

January 17, 2007 8:59 AM  
Blogger laura said...

It's true. I'm getting an iMac. It was a grown up decision, but I had to buy a desk first because that is the less expensive purchase and once I have a computer desk, I'll need to put something on it.

Just because my logic doesn't make sense doesn't mean it doesn't work for me.

I can only advise you based on my reasoning for getting a desktop over a laptop and getting a Mac over a PC. You and I had a brief conversation about this months ago when I was undecided, but let me tell you how I came to a decision.

I was originally going to get a laptop. The only reason I would get a laptop would be because there wasn't room in the house to put a desk and a computer, and portability is nice. Well, I found room for a desk and cleared it with the roommates. And I don't really care about portability as much as I thought. I don't really want to carry a laptop around, and I don't like working on teensy keyboards when I write and I want a real mouse when I do design work. I know I can plug in an external mouse, but, eh. So a desktop it is.

PCs are much cheaper than Macs, this is true. But my brother loves his Mac, and he told me I wouldn't be sorry; if I have the money to get one, I won't sit around later wishing I had that extra few hundred dollars. Macs are better for design, they're better for pictures and video editing (not that I plan to go into editing, but the option is always there). I didn't know about the spyware thing or them being more reliable, but now that you brought that to my attention I'm feeling even better about my decision.

I've never really worked on a Mac before, but I'm up for the change challenge. My mom just got a Mac too and if she can learn how to use one, I can.

More advice: If you weigh your options and you really want a laptop, get a MacBook for yourself to take on all those bus trips or beach getaways you take. Rhett can buy a desktop. Or just stick the laptop out in the public area and get a mouse for it so it has the appearance of a desktop.

I really think you get more for your money with a desktop. So if you don't really NEED a laptop, don't bother with it. And with Macs, it's all one unit, so it's kinda portable.

I think it's sweet that you're taking the fact that your computer is the "public" computer into consideration -- looking after all those strangers that come to use your property, but it is YOUR computer, so get what you really want.

If money (or lack thereof) is an issue, just get a Dell. I'm working on one right now. I like it.

I'm looking forward to using a Mac for pictures, videos and getting more into design. I'm also looking forward to having a computer at home so I can watch episodes of Heroes, Lost and Studio 60 online. So I won't have to always remember to put a tape in the VCR or figure out how to use the timer.

Sorry, this comment is super long.

January 17, 2007 9:50 AM  
Anonymous abel said...

Avoid the MAC cult. Get a Dell.

January 17, 2007 10:33 AM  
Anonymous b.a. newbold said...

my sister, who does literary editing, and other friends, who do video editing, prefer their mac's. can't say i've heard of too many gamers switching over, though.

i, myself, have always really been a pc guy, ever since i graduated from apple II's in elementary school and mac II's and classic's in middle school. i've never really seen a reason to switch (even though they did put out that wicked eerie "1984" commercial to introduce them way back when).

as for the spyware and virus thing, mac's, like any other program-running machine, are not some impenetrable fortress. it's just that the writers for those viruses and such are looking to get "the most bang for their buck" and focus their efforts on microsoft and windows since, like, a billion more people use them worldwide. so until the majority of the population uses mac's (and unless microsoft goes enron on our A's, that's probably not going to happen soon), you should be safe.

January 17, 2007 2:12 PM  
Blogger charlottalove said...

I am going to take this RARE opportunity to give computer advice to the guy who taught me practically all I know about them. lol. Don't get a dell. The customer service reps are a huge hassle to deal with. I actually want a Mac.
there's my two cents. Now I'm off to the movies. The movie they probably edited using a MAC.

January 17, 2007 4:25 PM  
Blogger Saule Cogneur said...

Mac Mini’s are convenient but have comparatively little processing power. You’re pretty much screwed on the computer game front if you get a Mac, nevertheless, the terrain isn’t completely barren. I agree with what newbold said about spyware and viruses. Macs now use the same CPU’s as PC’s, so I doubt you have much to gain or lose in processing power. Mac hardware has a very good reputation, and the computer systems tend to have fewer problems than PC’s.

iMac’s are slower, less upgradeable, and have older graphics cards than Mac Pros. In my less than humble opinion, Mac Pros are for people who do heavy number crunching, render 3D images from scratch, or have lots of money and nothing useful to do with it. I think a new iMac would be fine for your purposes.

1) The cool choice. Stupid people are afraid of things they don’t understand; they tend to leave them alone. If you have smart friends (and as far as I know, you do), such shouldn’t be a problem.

2) The ugly but cheap and efficient choice. If you go with this option, make sure you wait for Windows Vista to come out. “Preconfigured” hardware is always a gamble.

3) The frustrating choice. Combatting your current computer will always be a losing battle. I’d bet money you will end up using your laptop MORE than your ’02 p.o.s. computer. If you get a MacBook, don’t plan on doing much video editing however. MacBooks share graphics memory with the principle RAM which will vastly slow down the computer.

4) The Expensive choice. Hast thou money?

5) The Wal-Mart (i.e. economically minimal) choice. Buy a used computer. It won’t be fast, but maybe it will work better than the one in the shop. It will also be cheaper than a new Dell.

If I were in your shoes, I’d go with an iMac if I were serious about video editing. If I weren’t, I’d buy a MacBook and leave it to somebody else to sweat the desktop thing. If you have money, get a MacBook Pro and a fancy 24" monitor for home use.

End Transmission

January 17, 2007 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm at work and I can't see the verification word. So you can post this for me or don't. Either way, here is my advice:

I wish I needed to buy a new computer right now. Don't get me wrong I love my Alienware laptop. But if I were shopping for a new desktop I would get an IMac. My brother-in-law just bought one. I was there when he purchased it and I was drooling. One of the huge selling points is the complete lack of a seperate tower. I would miss the video game stuff but now that I have a PS3 I can't see myself buying any more games for the PC.

I feel that the portability of a laptop is way over rated. I don't take mine anywhere. Maybe that's because it weighs nearly 15 pounds. Also, I agree that even though you think of it as the public computer it is still YOUR computer. Get what you want. In fact, have you thought that allowing your computer to be used as the public computer has greatly contributed to it's problems? Getting a Mac might discourage some of that public use.

So there then.


January 19, 2007 12:17 PM  

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