So, What Did You Get For Christmas?

Every year I splurge a little and treat myself to a Christmas present and also something for my birthday in July.  This year I had to buy a new, replacement computer in the middle of October when the old HP notebook shit the bed and wouldn’t start up any more, so I’m not sure if that qualifies as my Christmas present or not. Since I bought a MacBook Air for a touch more than I get each month in Social Security I didn’t have much spare change to go get something special for Christmas. So I’ll call the MacBook my Christmas present.

I went for the large 13″ screen, which is a tad smaller than the HP. This is what it looks like:


I’m not going to go into an explanation in this post of why I bought this specific machine. I outlined that here if anyone is really bored and looking for something to read: If you want to know more about it look it up on your computer.

I will, though, make a few observations…One of the so-called “selling points” for the Macs is that they’re “easier to use” than a PC. Nobody ever explained how they’re easier, and so far, with over two months under the belt, I haven’t found any truth to that statement. There are several things I do like about this computer.

  • It’s light weight. A fraction of what the old HPs weighed, so when I went to the doctor’s appointment last week I didn’t hesitate to bring the MacBook along with me to while away the normally long wait, and I could get some work done editing my next book.
  • It uses “flash” drives instead of a mechanical disc drive for two advantages…reduced weight and without the drive there’s no fan whirring around and you can actually set the computer on your lap without getting second-degree burns.
  • The battery life is everything the Apple ads say it is. I’ve never had a notebook computer with any battery stamina at all. A couple of hours at the very, very best. I have run this unit for a bit more than 12 hours on battery alone!
  • Since it won’t burn you working with it on your lap, and with the extraordinary battery life, I spend most of my mornings out in the shade of the front porch working away with my rewrites. This allows me to occasionally chat with the people passing by on their way down to the river to wash when there’s no water pressure in the homes or simply to go swimming for a while.

Naturally there are some things I don’t quite like.

  • I’m not real fond of the touchpad, though I do use it  when working outside, but I use a regular mouse when I’m on the computer inside the house.
  • One thing that Windows does that I like better than the Mac is the cursor. In Windows you can change the color, change the size and program it so that as you move the cursor it leaves a trail which makes it easy to see where that little sucker is. You can also program it so that simply by pressing the Control key the cursor will flash on the screen letting you know where it’s located. Not so with the Mac. The damned thing gets lost all the time, and if there’s a way of correcting this it’s a HUGE secret.

I’ll be buying a bicycle in a couple of weeks, but that’s sort of to comply with doctor’s orders rather than for a recreational diversion. I’m supposed to walk at least a half hour a day for the cardio/pulmonary benefits, but my 72 year-old hips bother me when I walk. A lot! They don’t bother me when I’m sitting down, so the bike will be less stressful, low-impact exercise. I’ll write about it at the proper time.



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2 responses to “So, What Did You Get For Christmas?

  1. John & Susan Pazera

    Great info Richard!
    We are on the fence about buying the Macbook Air.
    One factor is the cost difference for a PC notebook verses the Macbook.
    For the price we can buy two notebooks.

  2. capt dan

    Don’t take the training wheels off too soon like you did with the motor scooter! I’ve got the same problems with my legs. So far, your advise on quitting smoking isn’t working. Any further thoughts?