Saturday, October 01, 2011

My new name is Gene Wilburn

After all, I'm sitting in a coffee shop, writing on a MacBook Air. This is a good trick because the "real" Gene Wilburn is no doubt sitting across Lake Ontario (about 100 miles as the crow flies,) in a coffee shopt, writing on a MacBook Air.

There is a lovely symmetry to this, don't you think? Actually, it was my friend Gene's experience with his MBA that contributed to my final decision to make the jump.

Gene is a fellow photographer and fellow IT professional. With a long career as a techie, I figured someone who had been a Unix sysadmin, developer working on contract for a major, major online retailer, someone who dove into Apple and loved the experience, well ... what can you say?

Having been a long-time Wintel user, I had resisted Macintosh primarily for two reasons.

First there was the price. Mac fans will argue that there is more long-term value to the purchase of most Apple products, and won't argue that point as I really haven't been qualified to do so. But the fact remains that if you don't have the up-front cash, then you just don't have it. For some years I held that premise as a major barrier.

Second, there was familiarity. Once you're deep into knowledge and experience of a particular system, technical or otherwise, there is an inherent resistance to changing. Don't get me wrong, I am not stubbornly resistant to change. I just knew what a big, time-consuming effort it would be to make the leap.

Fortunately I overcame the first challenge with a really novel technique -- I saved. Shocking, I know. Every paycheque I put aside $75 into savings, moving some of it into a CD once I hit the minimum deposit for a CD. I created a spreadsheet predicting the date when I would be able to purchase a specific model of MacBook. I noticed that in general I would have sufficient funds just after the Air product line was likely to be refreshed.

This pleased me, since I deduced that I likely would be able to purchase a better, more powerful Air for the same money, or I could purchase a previous configuration for less in the event the refreshed models were not a significant upgrade. If you know Apple, you know that latter was not likely to happen. And it didn't.

I ended up with (delivered at 11:51 yesterday!)

MacBook Air 13"
128 SSD
Apple One-to-One

I'll write another post (or several) about my experience, but for now I can summarize my impressions as follows

* Wow -- amazing design and build quality
* Smooooooth
* Fast