I suppose I'll need a laptop
Jul 17, 2006

One thing that I've been thinking about during this whole process, but only just now really started to do anything about, is the fact that I'll really need to buy a laptop. Right now I have 4 computers: A 2.0 GHz PowerMac G4 (original), a home-built Athlon 64 box, a 1.7 GHz ThinkPad X31, and a 1.8 GHz MacBook Pro. You might be wondering how having 4 computers, two of which are laptops, adds up to me needing to buy a laptop. Well, the answer is that the MacBook Pro isn't actually mine, it belongs to the company I'm currently working for, and the ThinkPad is old, has not very much RAM, is a little beat up, the battery lasts about 5 minutes, and I'd really rather use a Mac. I suppose I hadn't actually mentioned here before that I like Macs, and that I plan on doing freelance Mac IT... so now I have. So I basically have three options for laptops:
  1. Buy a new battery for the ThinkPad, and just stick with Linux (the OS that's currently on it). The problem with this is that I then show up as a Mac IT Consultant with a beat-up old PC laptop. Not really the best image, and can't inspire much confidence as it looks like I'm not even willing to use the products I'm supporting.
  2. Get a MacBook. A 2.0 GHz MacBook with 2 GB of RAM (from Crucial, Apple severely over-charges on RAM), a 120 GB HDD (oddly enough getting that from Apple is the best deal), and AppleCare (not going to go without on a computer that I'm trusting my livelihood to; will also be keeping it backed up) will run me about $2200 (actually will be less because I can get a few discounts). Not bad at all. The downside of the MacBook is that it doesn't look as professional as the MacBook Pro, and it has no Express Card slot so I can't get an EV-DO card for it for mobile internet.
  3. Get a MacBook Pro. A 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro with 2 GB of RAM, a 120 GB HDD, and Apple Care will cost me about $2800. So for $600 I get an extra 2" of diagonal screen space, a slightly more professional look, and the ability to spend more money on an EV-DO card.
So the question that remains is, is it worth $600 to look more professional? Actually, it probably is; if it helps me get just one client it's paid for itself. On the other hand, the black MacBooks are pretty slick looking too, so is the MacBook Pro $600 more professional? That one's a little tougher to answer. I think what I'm probably going to do is get the MacBook for now. An updated MacBook Pro will likely be coming out in the relatively new future, and the 2nd rev ones are always less problematic than the first. When that happens I can get a new MacBook Pro and sell the MacBook. But let's see what everyone else thinks.
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