It has been a very long time since I bought myself a computer. I think close to ten years maybe. I have a great computer via my job so for the most part I’ve not needed a personal machine. Historically, my great work computers have also been laptops so I really haven’t needed a computer at home. But I decided I needed one now. My work computer is a beast of a desktop workstation and I have some personal projects I really want to build and I can’t build them at them at the office.
Thus, I broke down and bought a computer. I really debated a lot about what computer to buy and I’m sure I’ll hear from a few people giving me shit for the choice I made. But I think I’ll be happy with it.
I bought a Mac Book Pro. I’ve never bought a Mac before. I had some real issues I had to work through in my mind before I’d buy it. But, in the end, I decided it was the best path for me even though it is more expensive, by a lot, than the other laptops I considered.
I gave a lot of thought to a variety of smaller ultra books (including the Mac Air) but I ended up ruling them out. I also seriously considered buying a computer that was custom built for linux (Ubuntu seems to be the only flavor I could find a custom build for). But, I have a long long history of bad luck with Linux and I’m really not in the mood to fight for Linux anymore. I also really don’t like the user experience of Windows 8.
I could have gone with a Windows 7 machine but I didn’t like the feeling of buying a computer that won’t be supported going forward unless I follow down the windows 8 path. I really don’t like windows 8.
So I bought the Mac Book Pro, 15” with “Retina” display. It just arrived yesterday and I haven’t had nearly enough time to play with it yet. However, I can say that I really really like the display. My monitors at the office are pretty good - they have 1920x1080 resolution. But there is a definite difference in the crispness of text on the MacBook. I don’t know if that is because of the 2880x1800 resolution of the screen or the difference in the glossy coating or what. But it’s definitely not a placebo effect.
I don’t really notice the SSD performance change. I had heard that it would be a huge shift for me and that I’d never want to go back to a regular hard drive. So far I haven’t really noticed anything spectacular but I also haven’t done much with it. I’ll be curious to see if I ever really notice the change.
I did pay for the upgrade of RAM to 16GB. I was able to use my Marshall student discount so that that additional chunk wasn’t too painful over the crazy high base price of the computer.
The biggest thing I’ve noticed about the computer is how freaking light it is. I know I could get other laptops that are lighter (though I’m not sure I could find a lighter 15” laptop). At just over 4 pounds and less than 3/4” thick it’s really pretty remarkable to just hold.
I think if I hadn’t used a Mac Pro when working at Marshall I probably wouldn’t have considered the Mac Book Pro this time around. I was pretty skeptical of OS X and my ability to bounce between it and windows. But it really wasn’t that bad. I’ve covered must of my issues with OS X elsewhere and, fortunately, I’ve found workarounds like Moom and Witch that help me get past some of those issues. Plus I’ll be spending the vast majority of my time either in the terminal or in Sublime Text 2 so the changes won’t really bother me at all.
So now I just need to start building those projects I’ve had my eye on. When I get a couple of those knocked out then I won’t be put off by the price of the computer anymore because I’ll have finally gotten my ass into gear and gotten some things done.
If I don’t.. well, you can line up to kick me for being a dumb ass.