Well I finally did it. I bought a new laptop to replace my six and a half year old Apple Powerbook. I has been saving up for it for quite a while. I almost spent a chunk of the money this past Spring on an iPad instead but I couldn’t find one in the store. I could have ordered the iPad online and waited a few weeks for it to arrive but somehow I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to walk into the store, buy one, and go home. I figured that I would wait a few weeks and then get one when they were in stock. But they never were.

Somehow during all of that waiting a couple of months passed by. I continued to save up money as I knew I had to replace my old laptop sooner or later and then a funny thing happened. Sour grapes. Since I couldn’t get an iPad I lost interest in owning one. I had some ideas for things that I wanted to use it for but they got less interesting to me. Soon I lost interest in the iPad altogether and decided to replace my laptop before getting an iPad.

Though I knew I was getting an Apple notebook I had a hard time deciding which one to get. I have a tower that I do almost all of my work on and that is my main computer. I do my writing on the laptop. That explains how I could still be working a six and a half year old computer. I don’t need it to do the heavy lifting. When I bought the Powerbook it was easy for me to decide which one. There weren’t a lot of models and options and I just chose the smallest and cheapest one. A 12 inch Powerbook. It was the bottom of the line.

Now Apple has about twice as many options in it’s Macbook Pro line plus it has a Macbook Air line. I was checking out the Macbook Pros. The 13 inch one is the smallest nowadays but there is a choice of two processors and two levels of RAM. So each model size 13 inch, 15 inch, and 17 inch, actually comes in four choices. And bottom of the line is a little more bottom of the line than it was back in 2005.

I had a choice to make. Do I spring for more RAM now? Do I get a faster processor? I wanted the 13 inch one but that one comes with a glossy screen and I prefer a matte screen. They only come with matte screens once you’re up to the 15 inch model. And it’s an extra $150 for a matte screen. Yikes! I’d go to the Apple online store and add on all of the options I liked to see what they all cost. Plus I kept saying to myself that if I added on just one more thing it would be a much better machine. Pretty soon I had a computer costing $2800 when I only wanted to spend about half of that.

I really couldn’t decide which I wanted to buy. Then I read that Apple was about to update their Macbook Air line. The Air line is less powerful than the pro line but makes up for it with portability. The Macbook Airs are thin, light, and have solid state flash hard drives. They come in 11 and 13 inch models. The base 13 inch model was right in the price range I was looking for. Sure it didn’t have the matte screen but I wasn’t going to end up paying extra for that anyway.

About a month after I decided that the Macbook Air was the one for me Apple finally confirmed that the new model was coming out in the middle of July. I had the money I needed saved up and was ready to go. Except I wasn’t. I think it was the “What new thing can I do with this” question. Before I buy any big new piece of equipment I like to prioritize my purchases but asking myself that question. Y’know how sometimes a person can get all excited about an expensive new gadget and when he gets it home it doesn’t seem like a very big deal anymore? I like to avoid that buyer’s remorse by deciding what an expensive machine can actually do for me, or what I can do with it, before I buy it.

That is why I originally decided to buy the iPad first and the laptop second. I thought that I could do something new with the iPad, content creation-wise. Of course now I can’t even remember what those ideas were. Hence no iPad. Now here I was buying a new laptop but there was really nothing new I could do on it. It was a replacement purchase. There is nothing very exciting about replacing something.

I even like my old laptop. I’ve had it for six and a half years. Last year I opened it up and replaced the logic board in it. It’s seen me through a lot of writing sessions. It’s been durable and reliable but eventually it would need to be replaced. It already can’t run the newest operating system and its battery life is down to less than an hour. I hardly even use it on battery anymore so it’s always tethered to the wall. I was ready for a new one. Still it took me a week to actually buy it.

I planned on going to the Apple store a few times before I finally did. I couldn’t seem to bring myself to. It was hard to spend the money I had saved a long time for but why else had I saved it? That’s a strange feeling. After all I didn’t want to spend it on anything else. It’s not like I wanted a jet ski or something instead. I think I was a little annoyed that I had to spend the money. I kept the Powerbook running for a long time and it still was running but nothing lasts forever. Especially computers. There is a difference between “have to” and “want to” but sometimes the line gets blurry. I think it was that blurriness that was bothering me.

Ask anybody today if it’s time to replace a six and a half year old laptop that you depend on and they’ll tell you it is. Yet I was having trouble accepting that. I knew it to be true but that truth was going to cost me a bunch of money. It’s much easier to except truth that doesn’t cost you anything. Yep, it took me about a week to accept that before I went in and handed over my dough. The new machine is nice and I have no buyer’s remorse so in the end it all worked out fine. After I spend more time with it I’ll have to write down my impressions of it. Stay tuned.

Oh, and happy birthday to me.