In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few. 
- Zen Concept of Shoshin

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

macbook v. dell

macbook v. dell
Originally uploaded by gitsul
Normally I would have been in seventh heaven today. But upon picking up my newly assigned MacBook at work today, I realized that it just doesn't matter. I got my Dell Inspiron E1505 about eleven months ago and I still really like it. There are only two things I wish were different, the keyboard and the weight. It's heavy, but not that heavy considering it is a 15" notebook. It does seem bad when on your lap or moving it around your desk, but stick it in your backpack and you know you've got some beef back there. The keyboard is just a standard keyboard, but due to my lazy typing skills my finger tips often get caught on the bottom edge of the keys and then they come loose. This particularly happens with the 'e' and the 'i'. It must be the callouses on the tips of my middle fingers. Other than that it has some great features and has served me well. I plan on it continuing to do so too. (Side note: If I hadn't just reinvented gitsul. and deleted all old posts, I would link to a post about when I got my Dell last year.)

At work we are assigned new notebooks every four years. And traditionally they have been Macs. I had a 12" iBook G3 until two years ago when I got a mid-life upgrade to the iBook G4 because my school was going to pilot a 1-to-1 laptop program and since students got G4's, I got one too so we would have the equivalent computing power. I didn't mind one bit. My G3 had a hard drive crash and burn once and I was pushing it about as fast as it could go at the time.

At this point you're probably asking why I would purchase a notebook when my work provided me one to use 24/7. C asked me the same thing. Basically, I wanted to be able to keep my personal computing separate from my work computing, email, surfing, web projects, etc. So, upon being hired as an independent web consultant (I was paid to re-build a school's web site - which will be moving to soon) I decided to purchase my own notebook. I looked hard at the new MacBooks, at Gateway, and at Dell. I ruled out Gateway and the decision came down to MacBook verses Dell and Dell won. Dell one for one simple reason. Money. I got my E1505 with a 1.7 Mhz Core Duo and 1 gig memory, and for an additional $9 I also got a printer/copier/scanner, for grand total of about $800 on sale including tax. To get the equivalent in a Mac at the time I would have had to get the MacBook Pro, which was about $2300 plus shipping and tax. Unless I drove to MPLS an picked it up at the Apple store where I would have substituted my cost in gas for shipping . You do the math. Dude, I got the Dell.

Two weeks ago I was instructed to turn in my iBook, because we were getting new notebooks. It doesn't seem like it has been four years already, but then I had an upgrade in the middle. Most of our teachers have been using the same notebooks for four years.

Today I picked up my new notebook. It is a 13" MacBook (not Pro) with a 2 Ghz Core Duo 2 and 1 gig of memory that cost the school about $1100 (the products have improved for your money since I got my Dell) and will be assigned to me for the next four years. I do love the design of Apple products, but I cannot say I am overly impressed with the MacBook. Yet. I haven't played with it too much, but I already know I like the keyboard. I barely touched it, but my finger tips did not get caught like on my Dell. I haven't played with the built in camera, but that will be cool. I don't like the feel to the touch pad. But then it is clean and not totally changed by the oil from my hands, like my dell's, and my spacebar, 'f', 'j', 'd', and 'k' keys. I really like the magnetic latch. No hooks sticking out at me. The magnetic power supply connection is awesome. It should be a requirement on all electronic equipment. I do wish I could run OS X on my Dell. Maybe someday.

But, if I start saving now, three to four years from now when I need to replace my dell maybe I will be able to afford the Mac(Book?) of the future. I've started to migrate my computing to online apps and be less dependent on specific operating systems. I wasn't excited to use Windows, but there wasn't an iTunes for linux last summer. Is there one now? But now that I've got my Dell with XP all 'personalized', I don't think I would move to Ubuntu anyway, which is what I planned on doing when I got my Dell and before I realized there was not an iTunes for linux.

What is my point in all of this? I am totally spoiled.
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