Saturday, November 29, 2008


Junk all around yesterday.

Drove the laptop up to the Computer Fix-It Man (who is also in our farming class) and he said the laptop is toast. He will try to get the data off the hard drive, which is my biggest concern.

Unsure what caused the meltdown. We bought it refurbished in Missoula, it went to Mexico with us (braving the salt water air), got a new hard drive in Grangeville, got a new operating system in Portland. So basically, we're done with this money pit.

We committed to saving our money up to buy a MacBook. I've had it with PCs. So, I am shopping, for prices only, to try to figure out how much we need to save. We probably can't afford a brand new one, but by the time we save up close to the amount we need we should be able to get a good deal.

The bad news is that will likely be months from now.

The good news is that, as I already told Keith, I have been mentally preparing myself to get weened off the internets since we're moving into the Tiny House soon and there is no wifi there. I need a couple of months to unplug and get my brain back. So that will be good for me.

Also, I will feel more compelled to save money on food so I can buy a MacBook, which hopefully will translate to my pants fitting better. We were talking last night about how exercise was just part of our day, something we took for granted, when we lived in the city. Here, not so much. I walked to the train, to work from the train station, with the dogs a couple of times a day, on errands, downtown to people watch, etc. = several miles every day. Here we're limited to very little walking and it's mostly a brain block because walking on the highway just isn't very appealing to me and the only other road near our house goes down to the river and I'm ashamed to say that gets old fast. Anyhow, saving money for a MacBook is my new diet. I'll be keeping track mentally, like this:
= one week's worth of superfluous food
Calories for a MacBook 2009!

Needless to say: if anyone out there in the internets has experience getting a good deal on a Mac, please let me know. It's all new to me. And Google is only so helpful in rooting out the best deals.

All of this means posts will be sporadic and probably limited to major Tiny House developments. [We have the trim painted (doors are primed, ready for paint) and we have to find someone to help us get the big windows in. Keith says each one weighs about half again as much as a whole wall (which Keith, Mom, and I were able to lift). Then the floor. Then the stove.]

Here are some photos from our other junk adventure yesterday--a trip to Dale's Salvage Yard in Grangeville to find a new alternator for the Whatchamacallit. We found one but when we got it home to test it, it was bad. So we ended up buying one from the parts store in town and it came in this morning. The trip was not wasted, however, because we got out of the house and I found some inspiration in the junkyard. Always nice to look at old rusty peeling things.

Bonus: There was an unopened Miller High Life (of indeterminable age) in this old bus. Keith said, Buy an alternator, get an old beer free!


Chris said...

I've lusted for a Mac since being introduced to them via the Mac Mini my father-in-law gave us. In fact, when my current PC fails, I'll probably get a Mac.

I don't know if you must have a laptop, but the minis are cheaper and work great.

brett said...

For the MAC, I would suggest Twitter and then Craigslist. Don't limit Craigslist to just around where you are. Expand out to where you have friends too who may be willing to go check it out and even ship it to you.

Also, since you are in farm class, you may qualify for the student discount which for us was $100, making the macbook $1000. Still expensive, but less expensive.

Loving the can of Miller, what a find!

Patia said...

I'm a longtime Mac owner, typing this from a MacBook, and I believe Macs are far superior to PCs.

However, neither is immune to mysterious and sudden hard drive death. My current MacBook had to have its hard drive replaced nine months after I purchased it; my last computer, an iBook, needed a new motherboard at only seven months of age. Both, of course, were under warranty (and I always buy the extended warranty), so the replacements were free, but the downtime, hassle and lost data weren't.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't assume a Mac will live forever. And think twice about purchasing a used computer that doesn't have a warranty. I know they're expensive, but if you can possibly swing a new one, do it. If you want to take your chances, Craig's List and eBay are both good possibilities. Or look into a refurbished one from Apple. Also, getting last year's model will save you money.

Brett's suggestion of a student discount is a good idea. You can find more information on the Apple Education Store site.

Also, FWIW, you and Chris might be interested to know that laptops use far less electricity than desktops. (Although they do tend to be more expensive.) And in a tiny house, a laptop will take up a lot less space.

arimoore said...

I'm a Mac fan - I've never had anything but, and I've worked in a Mac repair shop in NYC. I also vote for getting a new computer with as good a warranty (AppleCare or whatever) as you can afford. However, recently a techie friend of mine had the good idea to get a cheap little netbook and put OS X on it. I thought this was a really good idea - and I just might do it when my little iBook G4 runs out of juice. Granted, we have a MacPro over here too, so I'm spoiled. But I thought I'd put the idea out there, since your eye's on your budget...