Saturday, February 16, 2019

My Brain is Apple Shaped

My MacBook Pro is eight years old. I can't update the OS to Mojave. It has been abandoned by Apple and, in my head, this is an emergency.

I don't understand why.

As I type this, there are nine working computers (laptops and desktops) in our house. I'm not counting the smart phones, pads, gaming systems, smart TVs, smart speakers and smart watches we pay attention to throughout each day. I'm writing about the nine computers with monitors and keyboards that are all capable of browsing the web, sending email and word processing. Those are the main things I do on a computer these days. Occasionally I organize our pics or edit a video. Sometimes I'll play my guitar through GarageBand. That's how I use my computers on my own time.

My work laptop is the big, sweaty Clydesdale that pulls an Adobe plow through the rocky soil of my work-a-day life. And there's Deb's laptop. I make sure she has a PC with enough juice to handle the demands of her job. Those are the computers that need to be powerful and consistently updated. But, I'm pretty sure the other seven computers in the house could and should be basic and economical.

Then why am I planning a trip to the Apple store today to drop $1,200 on a new MacBook?

I won't take a deep dive into my Apple past but, like most Gen Xers Apple provided my first computing experiences. In my first real job I used nothing but Macs and the majority of computers I've purchased for myself have run the Apple operating system. I am embedded in the Apple ecosystem. My phone, my watch, my pad and TV were all designed in Cupertino. They recognize and talk to each other all the time and they let me join in the conversation whenever I want.

I do recognize that I overpay for my Apple tech. The computers I buy for my family aren't Apple. They are heavily researched and provide the highest feature to price point value I can get. My family seems happy with their computers. They all are faster, have more features and many more capabilities than my MacBook and, most significantly, they were all about a quarter of the cost of an equivalent Apple product.

I want my MacBook.

I've thought a lot (and I mean A LOT) about building a high-end PC. I recently helped a friend build his son's computer and I drooled over the powerful machine we created at half the cost of  the latest Mac Pro. Right now, I have the specs and the courage to put together a Windows-based PC that looks cool and has benchmark results that would devour the MacBook (that I'm almost sure I'm going to buy today).

So why am I so dumb?

I don't know. I feel insecure about venturing outside of the Apple biome. I love walking into the Apple store and being warmly welcomed back with enthusiasm because they know I'm going to burrow even deeper into the Apple warren. I know that my Mac is just going to work without driver downloads and bios tweaks.

But I know I'm a sucker.

I don't need an Apple computer. In fact, I don't even need a new computer. I do need new windows for the house, tires for the car and some new underwear. I need to build our nest egg for when I lose my job or when one of the cats eats a rubber band. There are things that I need and a Mac is not one of them.

The only real question is do I get silver or space gray?

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