Not this year


I think we all have standards for large purchases that we use to measure the value of potential purchases. For some reason, mine goes way back to the car that I had at university. My dad and I both upgraded to Chevrolet Impalas (previously owned by someone else). His was a brown four door and mine was a blue two door with a Landau roof. (Whatever happened to Landau roofs?) They were listed at $1500 and because we bought two at the same time, we paid $1250 for each. Mine lasted me for five years of university and the start of my first job. That’s my standard.

When I left going to work every day, I needed my own portable computer at home. Since I was doing a bunch of speaking and presenting, I needed both Macintosh and Windows platforms. In a perfect world, I’d probably could have got by with just the Windows machine but I had a lot of Macintosh stuff which was in proprietary formats. Lesson learned.

So, I bought a MacBook Pro and I’m still using it today. It has a decent processor, lots of RAM, and a new SSD drive. I upgraded to that drive from the original spinning hard drive as it just seemed to get slower and slower. Or maybe I was becoming more and more impatient. Upgrading was an experience in itself; I bought the drive at BestBuy and took it home to install. I could do everything except for this one proprietary screw. There was a backlog at BestBuy so I went to Staples which supported Apple products too. After being warned that it was going to be a minimum of $50, I found out that my technician didn’t have the requisite screwdriver either. She was great though and called this smaller operation, explaining my problem, and they had the screwdriver. So, I was off to the other end of the city!

They were pretty quick and replaced the drive and, for no extra fee, offered to install the latest OS for me. It would take overnight. So, I went for their offer. The computer has worked well since then but I’m reminded that it’s now 9 years old every time I try to use the trackpad. It’s got intermittent issues with a hard click but generally functions well with a double tap or an external mouse. But, double tapping and dragging a scrubber bar is another issue. Then, there’s the battery – I’m now seeing a “Service Recommended” icon. I know that’s going to be more money and another trip inside the computer. Eventually, one has to move on.

Is this my moment?

It was with great interest that I saw new MacBook Pro computers announced earlier this week. Now, I think we all know that we’re paying top prices when we look at Apple products but I thought I would give it a look. It was kind of neat to see that Apple had given up on that goofy bar and replaced it with function keys. That’s a major move.

Off to BestBuy online to see what the pricing was. Gulp!

There was nothing there that came in at a lesser price than my blue Impala. Who can afford this? Apparently, quite a few people since many of the machines were sold out. They don’t ship until next week! So, it’s pre-orders.

Depressingly, the SSD and RAM specs are equal to this computer. The only difference is the processor; trusty old Intel has been replaced with M1 in one or two funky models. Had I not been suffering from sticker shock, I might have spent more time discovering the differences – think cores…

The other thing about this is that most everything is done in the browser these days. Can I justify the price of two or three cars for a really fast browser? <grin> Not this year. Not even if they throw in a $25 polishing cloth.

So, are you upgrading?

OTR Links 10/23/2021


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.