Thursday, August 11, 2005

It's official!; I'm a Mac man now

I've ended my procrastination and took possession of a G4 Mac Powerbook. I'm now the owner of a sleek, metallic 17-inch laptop (which fits into my briefcase--a non-negotiable requirement)and am now learning how to use the thing.

I didn't buy it new. I decided to be uncharacteristically frugal. You see, my neighbors Scott and Jessica both have laptops and Scott is a Mac man, knows everything about Macs that there is to know. So when I mentioned a while ago that I was thinking of moving to Apple, he helped me research the internet and I bounced tons of questions off him. Then things got busy with the paperback release of 'Gabriel' and I put the whole thing on the sideburner. Anyway, he called me recently and said he was getting a new more powerful Mac--he does lots of CAD design work--and asked if I was interested in buying his old one (only around two years old approx) for a good price. I took him up on his offer.

Most people don't like to buy second-hand ('pre-owned' is the American euphemism, I know) but I was comfortable and Scott has spent two hours setting my systems up and answering my questions as I used the thing. He was also dead nice in that he wanted me to have a 'first time Mac buyers experience.' So, he put the Powerbook (along with its cables and manuals) I was buying into the same pretty box his new laptop arrived in and let me open it as if I'd just taken delivery of a brand new machine. It was a really neat idea because, as soon as I opened it and took out the incredibly slim, silver oblong and felt its weight in my hands, I fell in love with it as I've never fallen in love with a computer before. The only other laptop I owned was an Hitachi that I was very fond of, but it was stolen from my hotel room in London--an inside job, the police said--about five years ago.

Already, I've learned a lot--there isn't a great amount of difference really--and its much faster zipping through the 'net' than my old one. One thing I'm missing is the PC mouse with its double click to do 'cut and paste', though I've been told I can buy any mouse that's USB compatible and it'll work. But the Mac shortcuts more than make up for this shortcoming in the interim. Another learning curve issue is adjusting to the notebook keyboard and I'm touching one button that makes everything uppercase.

I've also splurged and got a 'router' so I can access the web from any part of the house and bought a 'cruzer' which backs up all my stuff into its key ring sized storage device that's 1.0GB. Next on the agenda is the acquisition of a new laser printer because my old one does not run on the Mac operating system, but they've become a lot cheaper. Currently I have a Brother 630 that cost bout $550 when I bought it seven years ago and it's archaic, prints only 6 pages a minute.

I'm hoping for great things from my Powerbook! Not least, I'm hoping it'll inspire me to complete my latest novel which I haven't worked on in yonks--more about that in another post. And my old faithful PC will retire from its writerly duties (just as soon as I email myself my manuscripts), but its hard disc will churn and resound onward for all within earshot to hear because it's become Larry's toy.

So all in all, I'm pleased as punch (should a writer worth his salt resort to cliche ever, I wonder?) and am happy to have great neighbors who are also friends. Now onward with that new novel...

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