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Tomas Gallucci

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Dilemma [Oct. 26th, 2008|11:16 am]
Tomas Gallucci
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[music |O Brother, Where Art Thou? - Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby]


When Black Widow died, I replaced her with a HP Pavilion 6200 or something another along those lines. I loved typing on that machine's keyboard and the price to features/functionality couldn't be beat. My only gripe with that machine was the video--DVDs were more compressed when viewing than they were on the disc because the card could keep up or keep cool. Some of the "function keys" on the built in touch strip across the top were annoying, but overall, it was a great laptop for its time. Hell, it even got me up to speed at my job in record time.

As you may recall, I found a buyer for the laptop to cover the cost of miniMax0r. My only regret about getting the HP laptop in the first place is that I didn't get a MacBook. In reality, getting the Mac Book wouldn't have worked out so well because I had too many files on an NTFS system that I needed to get into OS X. Bridge Street hadn't been built yet, so that would have meant an hour and fifteen minute drive to get a Genius to transfer my files, assuming Apple was offering the service at the time. (I don't recall because I don't watch TV and there wasn't an Apple presence in town.)

I must say that my experience with miniMax0r has been a very pleasant one, so much so that I am planning an anniversary post. I have no intention of getting rid of miniMax0r anytime soon for a myriad of reasons, including having something small and lightweight on my desk that is up 24/7 so I can access my files from abroad. Additionally, I'm using miniMax0r as a web server, though that's mainly for distribution purposes.

Nevertheless,I have a problem.

My current plans (which I was going to break out into a post of its own which I may do) are to get some more debt paid off (I've paid off one card already this year and should have two more paid off by January 1 if kept in check), purchase the Nikon D60 along with some accessories and a few photography books by the end of the first quarter, hopefully with tax return money. Tangentially, I'm also looking at getting the Bose In-Ear headphones along with an iPod Classic late '08/early '09.

I'm currently saving the money for a notebook and refuse to purchase it without having the cash in the bank. Please take into account that I'm planning on going to a local community college staring in '10 (most likely Fall semester) paying out of pocket to take some photog classes, writing classes, sound engineering classes etc. Basically, I'm going to nerd out on stuff that interests me, but this time around I'll be focusing on job skills that are very applicable to making my dreams come true. At the very least, these skills once sharpened would be invaluable to me were I to become a journalist (my current. doable, profitable career path) but would also be directly applicable to filmmaking.

I'm planning on purchasing the notebook around my birthday next year. That will give me two months to break it in before Sidewalk the thought being that next year I will have a real camera, know how to use it and have a portable machine to upload content to the web with. Regardless, the real point of the notebook is two-fold: to give me something to use when I'm out of the apartment (and by extension get me out o the apartment and away from work) and something to use during my college career, however long or short the next go-around may be. To that end, I feel like I need a notebook that will not obsolete for a minimum of two years, but ideally three or four. (Let's keep the rate of technology change out of the conversation for the sake of argument; I'm talking about something rugged and something that will have enough power to run for that length of time as software becomes more complex and resource intensive.) Ergo my problem.

Unless I go to school or start making money writing, justifying a notebook is difficult since the only time I don't have access to a computer (running OS X?) is when I'm in the car. It's a five minute drive to and from work.

Reasonably, in a few months I would have enough money for the entry-level Mac Book. The pros are that I'd have a notebook that ran OS X, had firewire, was affordable and has as much power as miniMax0r (I'd upgrade the memory to 2GB.) But it would be the old design, not have the back-lit keyboard, the new track pad or gestures. It would be obsoleted when it came off the shelf.

Next up is the new 15" Mac Book. Pros here is that it would have more power under the hood than miniMax0r, backlit keyboard, new track pad. The price is target, clocking in at $1998 pre-tax with the extended warranty. Cons are lack of firewire, 3MB L2 cache, 5400RPM drive and to a small degree, price. This is the notebook I should go for but I'd constantly be down in the dumps because of what the machine didn't have, despite it being more then what I currently have sitting in my desk.

Recently, I've been courting a 15" Mac Book Pro. Pros are as listed above for the 15" Mac Book with the addition of 6MB L2 cache, firewire, 7200RPM drive and bragging rights of owning a Mac Book Pro. Con is the price, which is $2500+ pre-tax, so we're looking at around $2800 at check out. I can come up with this money, but may slip my purchase date goal.

I'm getting antsy not writing and know I would be more in the mood for writing if I had a notebook, but I can't justify the cost. I travel maybe four times a year (counting Thanksgiving and Christmas), so it's not like I need the portability. As I previously pointed out, computer access isn't a problem as I always have a Mac at my fingertips. I wouldn't need the power of the Mac Book Pro for school because likely the most intense thing I'd do with it is some Photoshopping. But I'm picky and this time around (God forbid!) I'll have the money to be picky with. I specificially interested in what ehowton will have to say on this matter. The good thing is that time is on my side, so I'll have plenty of time to stew on this.

Other than the price, my hang up on holding out for the Mac Book Pro is the lack of Firewire in the 15" Mac Books. The only firewire device I own is my Time Machine hard drive (which won't be hooked up to the notebook). I'm really looking at the future on this one e.g. capturing video from a camera. I don't give a damn about all the USB 2.0 bollox; the fact of the matter is that firewire is faster and more reliable for transferring that much data that quickly. I've seen the results of USB video capture and I don't want to have to go through that. Granted, in reality we're probably talking three years out (two from the purchase of the notebook), but it's still a factor. On the one hand, it doesn't make sense to pay $500 for one effing firewire port, but look at the additional amenities: 6MB cache. On a laptop!

I have considered getting the white Mac Book as soon as the cache is available and then trading it in for something more heavy duty when the time comes, but I don't know how the economics would work on that. In the meantime, if you have a notebook that you are wanting to get rid of, I'd begrudgingly take it if only to have the ability to go to remote locations and write.

Given the above scenario, which notebook would you get?

[User Picture]From: ehowton
2008-10-26 01:38 pm (UTC)
I would be more in the mood for writing if I had a notebook...

People who love to write aren't in the least constrained by such amenities. They love to write no matter what. On an envelope, a napkin. A computer. Not you.

You'll write only if you have a Mac Book Pro.


I'm beginning to believe you're no writer at all.
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[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2008-10-26 01:41 pm (UTC)
Why can't this just be me wanting a bit of ego stroking to get in the mood?

And seriously, when I sit down in front of my computer at home, my productivity goes to zero. There's always something else that to do that doesn't require the effort of writing.
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[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2008-10-26 01:50 pm (UTC)
I think you missed the point of the post.

I'll be using the notebook for school and some photo-editing on the side. More importantly, I'll be able to pay cash, so the question is do I get something more affordable that suffices for now or do I wait, save and buy what I want, knowing that it will give me three years of solid performance?
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[User Picture]From: ehowton
2008-10-26 02:03 pm (UTC)
I would be more in the mood for writing if I had a notebook...

"Mood's a thing for cattle and loveplay."
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[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2008-10-26 02:05 pm (UTC)
Let me tell you about loveplay. It just wasn't there the last time around. Riddle me that.
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[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2008-10-26 04:00 pm (UTC)
I've been thinking about this all morning and I now know what my gripe is about working at my desk: lack of position.

There's only so much reclining that can be done. I'm stuck between a 45 and 90 degree angle while at the desk. But with a laptop, I can put my feet up on the desk and still work. I can lay down. Work from bed. Travel to remote locations.

Of course, once you get past the hurdle of having a laptop to begin with, the question becomes "Which One?" which leads to hanging point number two.

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From: snapper521
2008-10-26 06:48 pm (UTC)
FYI: It's an HP Pavilion 6700 entertainment edition.

*cough* Probably none at this point in time. :-) But now is not the time or place to get into that. You may not have a lot of money but... I have even less. And now that my hours have been cut... I'm considering getting a 2nd job.

Multiple jobs are not out of the question technically speaking. I just do not like how little time I have now and know how little time I will have later. :-)
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[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2008-10-26 07:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I couldn't remember the numbers.

As I pointed out in my post, this will likely be bought around my birtday next year. You do remember when that is, right?

You either need to find a second part-time job or find a decent full-time job. You're in the fuck-me-up-the-ass industry. Perhaps you'll get your hours back when the next schedule comes out. I'd look for another job, but you'd have to leave the industry to find something worthile. Based on our converstaions, it sounds like that isn't a viable option at this time.

Life sux.

Work Harder! Millions on welfare are depending on you.
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From: snapper521
2008-10-26 09:39 pm (UTC)
I am going job hunting tomorrow Furbie. I had this revelation/last straw to break the camel's back over the weekend... I can hardly go looking for another job over the weekend...

Brian does not think I should get another pizza parlor job and I agree with him, but he and I also both agree that I need to get a job period, that I should not be picky so if it's a matter of having a job in pizza or not having a job at all... I will take the pizza place job. I will hate it... but I will take it and do my best as always.

You know exactly what I'm talking about here. And you've done good to stay where you are for as long as you have but... as you said I am currently in the "take it up the ass" industry. :-)

Time to become a medic or a nurse and start bringing in the bucks for my time. $25 and $30 an hour as a nurse sounds mighty fine lemme tell ya. ;-)
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[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2008-10-26 09:46 pm (UTC)
Time to become a medic or a nurse and start bringing in the bucks for my time. $25 and $30 an hour as a nurse sounds mighty fine lemme tell ya. ;-)
So does being in a room full of naked cheerleaders. Have I put in the work for that privelage? Not as yet? Are you qualified to get a job as a nurse? I wager not as yet.

But yes, we agree that all you going to do is trade your current shit job for another shit job until you leave the industry that anyone can work in. The irony is that once you have left the food-service industry, you can fall back on it for spending money, catching up on bills, etc. Just one of the perks of being an American.
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