The Lap(top) of Luxury

The biggest luxury in my life for the last few years has been my Macbook Pro. A workhorse of a machine, its sleek, aluminum body has been upgraded with more memory, and holds more design software than you can shake a stick at. However, I only use it for the internet, MS Word, MS Excel, and a handful of other low-level programs that any dunce could figure out with a little work. The only design program I open is Photoshop, and then only to resize photos. In other words, I’m working on a $1800 designer machine when I could really survive just fine with a basic old $400 laptop.

In my defense, I was required to buy it to attend grad school, so it wasn’t a purchase made lightly. I knew when I bought it that I probably wouldn’t get that much use out of it, in the conventional sense. What I didn’t know was that I’d fall in love with the idea of being the kind of person who uses an Apple product, and go on to buy an iPad and an iPhone. I don’t regret the iPhone one bit – I love it, couldn’t function without it. The iPad was a stupid decision, and it didn’t take long before I realized it wasn’t the best idea I’d ever had. A friend’s boyfriend is using it now.

The Macbook Pro was going to be around for the long haul, though. Emphasis on the was.

At the beginning of this week, something in my computer screen began to glitch. It had happened before, a few months ago, so I knew just what to do. I rebooted, updated software, went through a few more steps, and as expected, everything was fine. Then a few hours later, the screen died completely. I went through the process again, and everything was fine for the rest of the day. Then the next day, the screen started to REALLY go crazy. Pixelated stripes, different colors, flashing pixelated images from nowhere, running green stripes that looked a lot like the dashed, moving roads from Frogger…then nothing. My screen was dead.

Luckily, I work with a bunch of tech heads, all also Mac enthusiasts, so my boss was able to take out my drive and put it in the body of a 13″ Macbook Pro (that’s what I’m using now – it’s so much lighter than my computer!). My Macbook went through a barrage of tests, only to find that it was beyond basic repair, and would need some serious work. We’ll have to take it to the Apple store to get it fully checked out, but from what I’ve read, the problem could cost in the hundreds to fix.

Which leaves me here.

Can I buy another Mac in good conscience, knowing full well that I neither really need it, nor can afford it? Does the luxury of being able to be able to show off with a sleek, beautiful laptop overpower the necessity of saving my money to do better things with my life? There’s no doubt that walking into a business meeting with a second-rate laptop will be a huge blow to my ego – and maybe my professional image, since working in social media automatically defines you as a tech-savvy new adopter? But right now, a new Macbook could cost more than I make in a month. There are bills to pay, and little kitty mouths to feed.

I’m afraid that my days of living in luxury might soon be coming to an end.

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10 thoughts on “The Lap(top) of Luxury

  1. treatwilliams says:

    Hi- what was wrong with the ipad? I was reading in the magazine part of a paper that tablets and a keyboard are the done thing in business now? Obviously not though. I like your blog- always enjoyable- cheers!

    • Anna says:

      It’s too small to type on (even with a keyboard), and I often use five or more programs at the same time, and need to see all the windows. It’s much too difficult to do this on my iPad and be able to see things.

  2. Amy Warren says:

    Oh, I hear you. I’ve had that moment when the beloved laptop dies – though mine was a PC. Then I had to splurge on another fancy laptop because I was in grad school. But when this goes, that’s it for me and fancy laptops. A $400 one (or cheaper) will do the job.

    Just curious – why was the iPad a mistake?

    • Anna says:

      My iPhone does everything the iPad did, and it fits in a pocket or purse. The iPad size made it too small for real work, it didn’t have a disc drive or USB slot, and it was too big for carrying around conveniently, so it ended up sitting around and gathering dust. I ended up only using it to read books, so I sold it, made most of my money back, and asked for a Kindle for Christmas. Win win 🙂

    • Anna says:

      Hey Treat, as you might have gleaned from my post, I don’t have a computer at home anymore. I typed this post from work, and then worked from my phone all day yesterday. Since it’s kind of a pain to reply from that tiny screen, and since I replied to another post that asked basically the same thing, I chose not to retype my answer.

      I’m sorry you’re so easily offended, but it’s not rude to take a day or two to respond to something. Please take it down a notch, and consider the stress you’re putting both of us through being so reactive over literally NOTHING.

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