Monday, January 15, 2007

It's a Guy Thing

I went to the b & m version of MacMall on Saturday with the intention of purchasing a 17" Mac Book Pro with the 2.16GHz processor which I saw on clearance sale in the catalogue. I'm teaching a photo class which is going to be using Macs rather than PCs. Now, the software isn't that different, but the computers are. In stead of simply selling me the computer I went in to buy, the salesman insisted that I should buy the latest and greatest, which is about $1000 more than the clearance model.

First of all, I've been a PC owner since the mid-80s. I took my first computer programming class in Fortran in 1968 and I edited a book on COBOL when I worked in publishing in the early 1970s. My spouse and I have a mixed marriage. He chose an "idiot friendly" Mac back around the time I was making that all-important PC decision. In the intervening years, my subsequent computers have always cost around a third of what I paid for that $3300 IBM XT with a 20 MB hard drive and a whopping 256 K of RAM. Having this salesman try to convince me to spend close to $3300 for the new Mac Book Pro simply sent me into a place where I left without buying anything.

Guys seem to want to buy the latest whatever gadget. It's all about measurement. Women generally don't go there. The photo instructors had a meeting last week and the three men went on and on with technobabble and the three women instructors looked at each other as if to say "what does this have to do with setting up the new curriculum where I don't have a wet room?" My brain started going to that flat-line place it finds when I hear individual words I recognize strung together in a way I can't comprehend.

I've purchased very nice top-of-the-last-line equipment over the years and I've been happy with my purchases. They do what I need them to do and if it's a little slower--well, slower compared to what. They're generally faster than my last purchase, and that's what I care about.

All of the software I need to teach is available for the PC as well as the Mac and I already own it for the PC. The only advantage to the Mac is that they are less pron to malware attacks. I just ordered a refurbished Epson Photo Stylus R2400 so I'll be ready to lecture competently about printing when that time comes. So, of course, the department ordered new Canon printers. Sigh. Unless something extraordinary happens, I'll just muddle through with the old Toshiba. It's a little sluggish, but it works just fine.


kathy said...

Evil sales person. Try the online Apple Store's refurbished section. Also take a glance at Parallels.

And maybe the Gimp and NeoOffice. Then blog about GNU copyleft, open source, and Creative Commons. :-)

M. C. Valada said...

Actually, Kathy, the on-line sales person at the Apple web store directed me to the refurb section and I did buy a refurbished MacBookPro 2.33GHz model. I hadn't noticed that link before. The new computer should arrive so. Thanks.

I may wait to add Windows until after the next Mac OS comes out. I'm told it will be easier to work with Windows and Windows programs with that. I'm in no hurry. The Toshiba is working well with it's new RAM upgrade.

kathy said...

Oh, yay! A good sales person. Congratulations on the shiny new box!!

And yeah, having an actual Windows box around beats simulating one through software means.