When I started freelancing for real (that is, when I stopped doing everything else, and hung out the little shingle that said “will write for food”) a couple of years back, one of the first things I did was buy a new computer. At the time I had a limping desktop and a moderately-reliable laptop, and I reasoned that if this was going to be my business I needed a reliable and up-to-date machine.
I found myself a great deal on a refurbished Gateway desktop and have been happy with it ever since. Coincidentally, my laptop hasn’t been quite right ever since the new desktop. It’s unrelated, and the laptop is so old it really owes me nothing at this point, but I reasoned that I would get my reliable desktop and then in a couple of years I could replace the laptop.
I had my new laptop all picked out about a year ago. And I decided to put off buying it, both because it cost a lot and because I was getting married and moving and oh, by the way, I married a Mac Guy.
(No, not this Mac guy.)
“Maybe you should think about buying a MacBook,” he suggested about a year ago, when the topic of a new laptop came up. I argued with him. All of my stuff is on my PC! I don’t need a Mac! I like having a mouse with two buttons! He didn’t push it (well, he did point out that Macs can do everything PCs do, because he couldn’t resist), and we let the matter drop.
Well, the problem is that it’s time to replace my laptop (a Sony Vaio, should you care, which ran flawlessly for about four years before it started having a nervous breakdown), and my desktop computer—which ran wonderfully for about a year and a half—is giving me fits.
My husband very graciously agreed to help me back up all my data and wipe the hard drive and reformat and I’m not even going to mention that it took the better part of a Saturday (oops, I think I just mentioned it), but the computer is still ill. It works, but it freezes up a lot. I don’t know what’s wrong with it, it’s out of warranty, and paying to have someone fix it would probably cost half what it would cost to just replace it.
Meanwhile, my limping laptop is now periodically refusing to boot up at all.
[As Pepe Le Pew would say: Le Sigh.]
“I can order you a MacBook today, if you want,” my husband helpfully offers nearly every day. “You can plug it in to your big monitor when you work at your desk.” My attempts to glower at him go unnoticed. “You know, I’ve had this computer for years,” he’ll continue, patting his PowerBook fondly. “No problems at all!”
I’ll admit, I’m almost ready. But last night I was using the Click-N-Ship on the US Postal Service site to print out some labels—that I needed for business purposes, I feel obliged to point out—and because my computer is still refusing to connect to our home print network, here, I hopped onto my husband’s Mac to get it done.
And I went through all 307 steps and clicked “Print” and… nothing happened.
It turns out that the USPS website doesn’t like Mac’s Safari browser. (We got the labels done using Firefox.)
I’m just not sure I’m ready to make the leap. Even though, once upon a time, I got all through college with a Mac Plus and two floppy drives. I don’t know why I am clinging to two computers that only seem to work well on alternate Tuesdays when the moon is full, but it feels precarious to switch.
My Mac Guy has promised to hold my hand. And possibly the Apple Key.