Into Thin Air: How I Spent $5,000 on Air and Made Fifty-Year-Old Women Swoon
Day -1095: Waiting for a Macintosh that comes close to a Vaio in size, weight, and, most importantly, battery life.
Day -60: Rumors start circulating about a super-cool, super-thin MacBook.
Day -30: Go into Apple store and tell them to put one of these rumored super-cool, super-thin MacBooks aside for me if the rumors are true.
Day 0: Steve announces MacBook Air at Macworld Expo in San Francisco.
Day 6: "Accidentally" drop my Brother label printer on my MacBook Pro and crack the screen. View this as a message from God to buy an Air.
Day 7: Having read all the specs and reviews about the Air, decide that this "no-compromise" machine has way too many compromises. For example, no Ethernet, no CD/DVD drive, tiny hard disk/solid-state drive (I have forty gigabytes of pictures alone), incompatible with my 30-inch Apple monitor, and a ridiculous new power supply. Therefore, order a totally souped-up MacBook Pro 15-inch.
Day 8: Entourage database corrupted for the umpteenth time. Old MacBook Pro hard disk now too small to rebuild (my email database file is 9 gigabytes). Need to do something soon. Delete to make space and rebuild Entourage for hopefully the last time.
Day 9: My six-year old daughter bugs me for her own computer.
Day 14: Totally souped up MacBook Pro 15 inch arrives.
Day 18: Still haven't opened the MacBook Pro box. It's a non-trivial task to transfer everything over and get set up, so procrastination sets in. Also waiting for a copy of Office 2008 in order to do everything at once.
Day 19: Microsoft Fedexs me three copies of Office 2008. Install on the old MacBook Pro and two son's machines.
Day 21: Apple store tells me the have a MacBook Air with solid state drive for me. What's a Guy to do?
Day 22: Go to Apple store "just to look at it." End up buying it. Duh. Now own my old MacBook Pro, a new MacBook Pro, and a MacBook Air. Apple-store folks rock--how can I walk out of there without an Air?
Day 23: Still haven't open either the MacBook Pro or Air.
Day 24: Research about returning a custom-configured, souped-up MacBook Pro reveals that you cannot return an online order of a custom-configured, souped-up MacBook Pro. Now have at least one too many computers.
Day 25: Decide to open Air because my partner wants to try it. First thing: Reinstall system without all the unnecessary fonts and printer drivers. It's going to be a long time before need Sanskrit and need to print to an Epson printer. Also delete iMovie, Garage Band, and other stuff you'd never use on a computer with limited storage. Save about six gigabytes of storage--that's a ten percent savings right off the top. Why Apple loads up the solid-state drive with this stuff is beyond me.
Day 26: In the dressing room of my hockey team, my buddy Erin tells me he forgot his cup. Live close to the rink, so we jump in my car to get one. After the game (we lost), tell team that want to sell a brand-new, unopened-box, souped-up MacBook Pro. My cup-less friend offers to buy it for his father--after all, did protect his family jewels.
Day 27: New sense of freedom because new MacBook Pro is gone. Still, man cannot live on Air alone, so what's going to be my "main" computer with a big hard disk? Back to Apple store. Buy an iMac and while there, some bling for my Air: external drive, two power supplies, and Ethernet connector. Did Apple hire some MBA from Gilette who thinks the real money is in power supplies, not computers? The next time Steve buys a pair of New Balances, I hope his old socks don't work with them.
Day 30: Begin transfer from old MacBook Pro to new iMac. Oops, got the wrong configuration. Need the one with the bigger hard disk. Reinstall system so that whoever gets this iMac can't see my bookmarks, cookies, etc. Return to Apple store and get the right iMac. Apple store employee tells me she gets five hours battery life with Airport on. Finish transfer to iMac. Give old MacBook Pro to daughter. She asks why the screen is cracked.
Day 31: Fully converted to iMac. It is, by far, the best Macintosh ever owned. No can install Office 2008 on Air because used up all three serial numbers. Send frantic emails to two Microsoft buddies and bump into one while making speech at Microsoft's offices in Mountain View.
Day 32: All three buddies come through. Now have enough serial numbers to open up a Microsoft distributorship. Install Office 2008 on Air.
Day 40: First rebuild of Entourage 2008 data file on Air. Fully adjusted to new philosphy of Macintosh computing: iMac is "base machine" with big hard disk, Quicken, etc. Air is travel and not-at-home machine--"a big iTouch" if you will. Total cost of conversion: Approximately $5,000 for "no-compromise" compromised MacBook Air, totally sweet iMac, AppleCare, Ethernet adapter, two power supplies, and external drive. Time Machine Airport to come. Not clear to me that I'll get five hours of battery life, but it's a Macintosh.
Day 45: Table of fifty-year old women in deli on Colorado College campus express lust for Air. New value proposition for Apple: "Helps you meet older women in delis."