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The laptop is pretty much dead – I need a MacBook Pro! June 17, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, geekifying myself, personal life, random thoughts, Web 2.0.
Tags: , , ,

A while ago, I wrote about how my laptop (e-machines) was dying. I was going to write to e-machines and say “hey, I’m your poster boy for laptops – I took such good care of mine that it lasted me THREE YEARS!”.

Well, the problem is that the barcode is almost gone so I have no clue of how to contact e-machines and let them know that I need a new laptop (they should have given me a new one since there were more than four physical failures, but whatever – the last one happened pretty much after my Future Shop 3 year warranty expired). And I wouldn’t expect Future Shop to give me a new laptop (though I won’t stop them if they do!).

I was talking to Rebecca about how I really needed a new laptop and how I thought that Apple should send me a new one (or an Apple distributor like MacStation) or some random stranger (like it happened to Mostly Lisa, who got a new Mac Book Air sent by a secret admirer!)

WHY DO I NEED A MacBook Pro?

Well, there are various reasons why I don’t just want a MacBook and I need a MacBook Pro.

– I am a researcher, and a substantial part of my work involves (and will involve even more) mathematical modeling. I need a laptop that can handle a substantial of calculations, and that has strong computing power. Whatever that might be 🙂

– I am also interested in urban sustainability, geography and planning. Thus I am bound to use (unavoidably) Geographical Information Systems (GIS). I need a laptop that can handle ArcView swiftly and neatly.

– I plan to do some consulting on the side, which means I need Visio and other neat stuff to draw diagrams. Powerful graphics and beautiful visualizations = MacBook Pro.

– Almost finally, I have a blog whose readership seems to be growing (thank you everyone!). I would like to continue providing good content and to do that, I need a powerful computer. Hello MacBook Pro!

– Last, but not least: my friends are Mac geeks. With very few exceptions, almost all the geeky-friends I have are Mac users. I must assimilate to The Collective. Resistance is futile.


Good question – and the true and honest answer is – I can’t, right now. My budget is limited (as I am in a job transition). If I had $ 3,300 dollars to spare, I wouldn’t buy myself a new laptop. I would fly to Paris, Rome, Madrid, Ibiza and Prague for a MUCH DESERVED holiday. THEN, and only THEN, I would think about hardware… but I digress, hehehe.

The easy way out would probably be to buy myself a cheap laptop (on my credit card – WHOA – Nancy Zimmerman would probably berate me for increasing my credit card debt!). Or ask e-machines to see if they’d give me a free one (or at least a new one with a substantial discount). But I think I need to move towards Mac. It seems like the sensible option.

So in the next few weeks, I hope you don’t mind but I will be publishing a series of posts basically trying to harness the power of Web 2.0 in a quest for a new (hopefully Mac) laptop. We’ll see if I’m successful. Either that, or I’ll land a dream job with a six-figure income and my first paycheque will go towards a new MacBook Pro. Seriously!

I could start a Facebook petition (but I’m not on Facebook), or implement a “Tip Jar” button on the sidebar. But heck, I haven’t figured out how I want to harness the power of Web 2.0 to get my new laptop. If you have any suggestions, you’re more than welcome to drop me a comment!



1. Tawcan - June 17, 2008

Or you just need to find yourself a secret admirer and get her to send you a macbook pro hehe.

I’ve been wanting a laptop for over 2 years now. Still stuck on a desktop. Since I hate Vista with a passion looks like I’ll be going down to the Mac path as well…unless I become even nerdier and jump on the Linux bandwagon.

2. Tyler Ingram - June 17, 2008

Raul you would still use an e-machine laptop after you’ve had 4 failures with it?

I’ve worked on e-machines (and sold them) and I would never recommend anyone to get one of those. Though I’m in the same boat as you (more or less) I want a Macbook but don’t have the cash to drop on one. Though my want is more of a ‘looks’ sort of one. I’ve used Macs since my LCIII (68k mac @ 25Mhz!!) and only reason that has stopped me from going back to Mac is that a) Windows based PCs are MUCH cheaper lol c) because of their market share parts are much more readily available and c) how would I game on a Mac when the games don’t come out for the MacOS or are delayed a bit longer than the Windows version?

Why do you want a MacBook Pro? Why not a regular Macbook? ($3000 compared to about $1100?)

If you sign up for PayPal (don’t think you need a credit card to accept payments/donations) but they could then click on a link with a specified donation value or enter their own value and send money to you that too. Image $1 a person for 1000 people? lol you’d get there in no time!
Though if you’re looking to monetize your blog you’ll have a much easier time doing it by self-hosting WordPress ($6/month bluefur hosting can be done!).

3. Ryan Cousineau - June 17, 2008

Look at the Mac Books one more time. As nice as the Pro models are, excepting the larger screen size, the performance gaps are very small. Yes, the better graphics card might help (a little) with GIS stuff, but it’s rare indeed that essentially 2D apps are performance-limited by graphics cards of any design.

If nothing else, I’d commend to you a stop at the UBC bookstore or the Apple Store to load Arcview on both machines and test it out.

The sweet spot, in my opinion, would be buying a Mac Book, and then (when you can afford it) get a big outboard monitor for GIS madness. The other advantage is you have a reasonable expectation that your salary will rise over the next two years, so it will be easy to justify an early upgrade to the Mac Whatever at that point.

4. crunchycarpets - June 17, 2008

Oh I know..I spent an hour or more at Best Buy last night basically fondling the Macs. The massive desktop giant screen of love was sweet…and Adam was in love with the Airbook…ooh man.

And I am a PC user..but for Movie maker alone I would buy one of them.

5. Jodi - June 17, 2008

I have a MacBook Pro and naturally I love it. My husband has my old PowerBook, and it’s starting to fade. I was VERY hard on it before I gave it to him. Anyway, he needs to be Mactel to run newer softwares. He wants the black MacBook. They are pretty sweet. Extremely portable at that size.

Welcome to the club!

6. Beth - June 18, 2008

If anyone out there is thinking of sending Raul a Macbook Pro, I think you should send him two, so that he can give one to his good friend Beth. =)

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