I can haz 15 inchiz!
And a sleek and lovely thing it is, giving me the greatest pleasure. I'm referring to a brand new 15-inch MacBook Pro – more thrilling to me right now than anything else you might imagine.
Anyone who knows me even slightly knows how I have been whingeing these past 18 months or more about the poor old eMac and the frustrations of being unable to upgrade operating system or browsers. Using the computer online was a constant struggle as the browsers jumped without warning to pages I didn't want to be on, took hours to complete simple operations, and frequently froze and had to be restarted.
What is less well-known is that I do a lot of volunteer work for the local Neighbourhood Centre, a very active organisation in addressing the needs of this community. I'm Secretary of the Neighbourhood Association which operates the Centre, taking minutes of meetings, writing official letters, etc.; I'm facilitator of the very successful, long-running writers' group, WordsFlow; and I edit and proof-read sundry official documents as required – in all of which I've hitherto been considerably hampered by working sometimes on the oldish Windows laptop at the Centre, with which I'm far from comfortable (just can't get the hang of it – so many unfamiliar operations to go through before you get to do what you want) and sometimes on my increasingly dysfunctional (desktop) eMac at home.
Further, this did not bode well for the course I'm scheduled to run at a nearby Community College in a few weeks, on "Brilliant Blogging" for the non-geeky. I was going to have to use yet another oldish Windows machine. Not a good look, for the tutor to be fumbling around incompetently!
All that is past.
As most of those who know me also know, I have been unashamedly begging for donations to help me get a new machine, as well as stashing away any extra I managed to earn by my own efforts. People who love me have been looking out for likely second-hand Macs for me, "previous generation" capable of being upgraded; and a Mac engineer I know was ready to vet anything they found ... but meanwhile I still had to amass the funds. The car reggo came due and I needed to dip into the amount I myself had contributed to the savings. Wouldn't touch other people's donations, given in good faith for the specific purpose, but dipping into the rest made a big hole in the fund.
It was all getting a mite disheartening. So in a recent casting of circle and talking to the Archangels, I thought of asking for something for me, namely that I get "the right computer for my needs" and that I get it before starting the blogging course – and that my dear, deserving Spouse should soon get one too. His own desktop computer, a nice little iMac that replaced an ancient laptop which died, is beginning to falter for the same reasons as mine: the software cannot be upgraded. I was clear that all this would take a miracle, but I also have experience that they can and do happen. The very next day, the Neighbourhood Centre Manager, out of the blue, asked me what exactly I wanted in the way of a laptop.
The Centre has an amount for special purchases, tied up in such a way that it isn't available to go into general running costs. She thought part of it could be used for a new laptop, and that as I'm the person who, almost exclusively, used the old one, it had better meet my needs. Such a large sum needed authorisation by two members of the Finance Committee. Fortunately they too could see that the Centre would benefit from the increase in my efficiency.
I said I would like a 13-inch MacBook Pro. After having a look at them, she said, "They're VERY tiny" and suggested that the 15-inch model would be more efficient, and that it would be good to get one of the just-released aluminium ones which would be stronger than the polycarbon. We were able to source one of those. This was a piece of luck; most suppliers around here are still selling off the polycarbon models before getting the aluminium ones in stock. We'd have had to decide whether to wait some weeks or settle for less than what we wanted, except that we found one shop where a customer had ordered in a 15-inch aluminium one, customised to a faster read speed than usual, and then decided not to take it after all.
So off we went and got it! With three years of Apple Care into the bargain. I feel very valued.
The Neighbourhood Centre owns it and I am the custodian user. (The fact that it's not exactly mine –only to all intents and purposes – means that I'll be taking VERY good care of it.) I'm an enthusiastic supporter of the Centre, not planning to sever relations until I'm really decrepit – which of course will be never. If some unforeseen reason to leave should arise, I guess I'd have to try and buy "my" computer from them, but will cross that bridge when I come to it.
Oh the joy of being able to operate smoothly at last! This is in fact the very first brand new computer I have ever had to work with. I'm getting used to it, and the Centre Manger was quite right about the 15 inches. Sometimes bigger is better, lol.
Bonus – the computer fund can now go towards a "previous generation" laptop for the beloved Spouse.