I’ve blogged before about the different devices and computers I use to write and read with. From Nooks, to Netbooks, Ipads, Ipods, laptops and desktops, I’ve owned and used a lot. My recent purchase of the MacBook Air 2013 seems to be the wisest technology investment I’ve made to date.
My history of using laptop computers dates back to the mid nineties when I inherited an old brick of a laptop that I used to write my college papers on. The screen was small and it only displayed characters in clunky gray scale, making it feel like little more than an over sized calculator. No picture files, no music files, no real internet—just documents in the earliest version of MS Word. There was no mouse and all commands had to be executed with the control and function keys (a much bigger learning curb for use than modern versions of Word). I actually really liked that old computer. It was reliable, and I typed a lot of schoolwork on it, printed papers off on dot matrix printers and was able to save to a floppy disk with the diskette drive (the smaller version of the floppy disk). Wow! Suddenly, I feeling kinda old. I’m guessing there are a whole lot of people in the world today who don’t know what a floppy disk is.
After that antique beast, I moved on to various desktops and laptops, eventually writing my first novel on a Sony VAIO laptop many years ago (a $2000 laptop that I won in a raffle). In earlier blogs, I talked about my love of Netbooks for their portability and how they helped increase my productivity because I could easily carry them everywhere.
My point—I have a long history with PCs. During all those years of use, I watched the rise of viruses and of new software to fight them. Then I saw how some of the Antivirus software began to act like a virus on new PCs until you agreed to pay money for the ‘protective’ software. I learned how to erase such malicious programs from my PC (Norton, Mcafee, to name two) and download free software that kept them running more smoothly, but my PCs were never great. Although each new computer I bought was supposed to be faster, i.e. it had a larger processor, RAM, etc., they always seemed to run at about the same (sluggish) speed. I never really loved any of the newer laptops as much as that old reliable IBM I started with, and I never gave much thought about buying a Mac because of the problems with compatibility in the PC dominated world.
About two years ago, I purchased my first Apple product, an Ipad. I was immediately amazed at how reliable and easy to use it was and still is. It surpassed all my expectations and a year later, I bought a 5th Generation Ipod, which I carry every where. This little version of the IPad is always ready with a novel to read in the Kindle, B&N, or Ibooks ap, with a song or audio book to listen too while I do house chores, with my email from seven different accounts at my fingertips in one mailbox, with blogging aps, with a great camera and video camera that post directly to You Tube, with aps that access all my bank accounts and help pay my bills, a game for the kids when they are bored at a restaurant—you get the picture, I use the heck out of these to Apple devices.
So when my last Netbook started acting up (both hardware and software) as all PCs seem to do after about eighteen months of hard use, I started lusting for a Macbook Air. I researched and found that MS Word for Mac would do everything it did on my PCs, even saving the files as .doc so they could be seamlessly viewed and modified on a PC, and I felt confident I could use the MacBook Air for writing without too much trouble. Deciding that a MacBook Air was in my future a few months ago, I discovered a new version of the slim (and downright sexy) laptop would be coming out sometime in the summer of 2013. The newer version would have a longer battery life because of a new processor, an important enough advance to me to keep me waiting. So I endured my flailing netbook to the point that I would almost have an anxiety attack every time I sat down to use it. Finally, on June 10, I called my local Mac Store and found out they had them in stock. I had to buy MS Office for Mac as well so the MacBook Air (11”) was over a thousand dollars—much more expensive than my previous two $300 netbooks.
After using the Macbook Air 2013 for a month, I can honestly say it is the best computer by leaps and bounds that I’ve ever owned or used. I could go on and on about what I love about this slender, futuristic machine, but I don’t want to keep you so let me just say everything about it is awesome; from the keyboard, to the power cord, to the way it works smoothly, powers up quickly, battery life . . . everything.
Though it is nearly perfect and kills any PC I’ve ever seen or touched, it has had a couple of very minor problems to report: Safari (the web browser) has frozen up once and I had to restart it. And around the same time, I was using a website to create some bookmarks for my new book, Joshua’s Tree, which came out on June 28, 2013 (see the previous blog), on a website called Uprinting.com, and I couldn’t upload a photo to their site. This was clearly due to Uprinting not being completely Mac friendly, and I was able to email the photo to them and they uploaded the file for me, resolving the issue. Otherwise, that is all the bad I can say about the new MacBook Air at this point. I take it everywhere and it is so fun and reliable to use that my productivity is on the rise once again. I know these Macs are a bit more expensive than their PC counterparts, but I expect to get enough life out of mine to eventually make that a moot point. If you are thinking of buying a new laptop, do yourself a huge and life changing favor, check out the Macs. I also purchased a plastic shell to protect my new investment and a nice slim carrying case. I’m done with PC, never to look back!
If you have any questions about my experience with the MacBook Air, ask them in my comments and I’ll be glad to give you the good, bad and ugly as I see it.