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


Gene Wilburn said...

LOL! Reading this and replying on my Macbook Air, natch :-)



Suzanne said...

Earl, this was hilarious. I too have fallen into the "Gene" pool and will be going to a MAC. We have been very similar in our approach to saving for it, but I am interested in the iMAC or was until I saw and played with the 17" MAC book pro and fell in love. So I will be saving for quite a while. I estimate by my birthday in Dec I'll have my computer.

That Gene is a pretty clever guy, so I just pretty well follow whatever he recommends both in cameras and computers.

I still miss your witt and comments on FB but totally understand..


WeeDram said...

Gene ... you cost me a lot of money!

Suzanne ... "the Gene pool" ... I LOVE IT!!! If the MBP will be your only computer, it certainly is worth getting the 17" and having the extra drive space and weight.

For me, the highest priorities were portability and weight. I have an HDMI TV in the spare room that I can use as an external monitor, and have a 1TB USB drive available on the network and a 120GB external portable I can use in the field, if necessary.

One thing I didn't mention is yesterday's rig. I had purchased a cheap ($10 @ Marshall's, aka TJ Maxx) but quite serviceable sleeve for protection. The sleeved MBA went into my Domke 803 bag, purchased as-new from Jack Martin.

In one of the front pockets was the external USB drive. In the other front pocket was Frank's XA, loaded with HP5+. Someone has to text Frank's XA until I can deliver it! And the HPT+ was a gift from Jan.

Do you see the theme here? I have such good friends. Seems like moving to TO would be a good idea.