aleatory contract

my own personal Waterloo

Monday, April 27, 2009

So my powerbook is dying. I can’t complain; it’s five years old now. I’ve had it for four of those years, and I haven’t been easy on it. It’s been eaten over, spilled on, dented, knocked over, scratched, dropped, shed upon and clawed by malevolent cats. I’ve taken it into the bathtub with me, used it in the rain. It’s been the novel I curl up in bed with. It’s been my boombox. It’s been my shop manual. It’s been my cookbook, which is a particularly bad idea when baking, since sifted flour and electronics don’t really get along. It’s had a hard life, and the battery is gone, the screen has been going for a year or so, the fan’s been dicky since last fall. In the past few days, I’ve been getting more and more beachballs, and even Firefox is a challenge to run. So it’s time to think about replacing it. My little powerbook has been good to me, and I’ve been happy to own it. Never gave me a moment’s trouble in its long life.

The thing is, I don’t particularly like any of the current configurations Apple is offering. The macbook is pretty, but expensive, and it seems underpowered. $1200 is a lot to spend. The white macbook seems like just as much power, for less, which is closer to my price range, but even at $1000, it’s a bit spendy, and it seems like the macbook line has had more than its share of problems, everything from hinges to chipsets, and the thing I liked most about my old mac was its indestructibility.

Speed and power aren’t immediately important to me, although I do want something fast enough to stay useful for a few years. I’ve switched jobs, so I don’t need to run design software, and while I might want something for music editing and mixing, I’m not likely to need that any time soon, and can probably borrow what I do need. For the next two years, and probably past that, I’ll be using internet apps and a word processor and probably iTunes, and that’s about it. A netbook, then, is looking pretty attractive. I prefer OSX to Windows, but I am given to understand a netbook could be made to run OSX. There’s also linux, but my limited experience with it (using scott's partitioned machine) has been a bit off-putting; it seems like there's always a driver missing, or some damn thing. Customisability would be a fun diversion, but it's not something I particularly need. Mostly I just want something that will work whenever I turn it on.

It's a choice, then, I think, between dropping $1000 on a white macbook, or dropping $400 on a netbook, probably the Asus eee 1000H. Thoughts?