So, I went out n' done it. I bought a MacBook Pro. If you haven't followed my previous blathering on the topic, my Dell XPS m170 laptop has been experiencing several hardware issues. I used that laptop for both work and home, so after three years of hard use I drove it into the dirt and kicked out its teeth. Then I spit on it and called it names. But it was very dear to me, a solid machine, and by that I mean it weighs 13 pounds. Seriously though, it was one of the earliest gaming laptops worth its salt and I got a lot of good use out of it. It was what they called a "desktop replacement." Now the field looks even better for gaming laptops, but I don't think I want to make do with a single laptop that tries to meet all my needs.
So I decided to 1. get a MBP for work, writing, traveling, and general goofing around with different technologies, and 2. build an enthusiast class PC for gaming ... and general goofing around with new technologies. Now, since I use this Dell laptop for work and I paid for it out of my own pocket, I sorta figured my employer would jump at the chance to "make things right" and buy me the MBP, leaving me to spend an obscene amount on my PC. However, it didn't work out that way. The man who is for most intents and purposes my boss has really gone to bat trying to get me this machine, and we're both ticked off at the obstacles the company has thrown up in our path. The company wanted to buy me a replacement Win2K machine (with corresponding lackluster featureset), or give me a hand me down MBP that doesn't meet my demanding specs. The bossman is still trying to get approval for this purchase, but I decided not to wait, and bought my MBP today. If the approval comes through, fine, or if they decide to just subsidize this purchase, even better. The latter scenario means I can decide to change employers at any time and keep the laptop. Suckaz.
I wanted a 2.5GHz model, but of course they didn't have that in stock at the Apple store with the 17" 1920x1200 matte screen, so in the spirit of the hell with it I got the 2.6GHz model. I still have to get my hands on an XP install so I can set up Boot Camp and Parallels. I've been customizing the settings all day, and I'm giddy to have new tech to work on.
The big question now is what does this outlay of expenses do to my PC build? Waiting on a resolution for this laptop caused me to delay my PC build, but as you can see I've gotten tired of waiting. I've got a busy week ahead of me, ending with a trip out of state over the weekend, and a return possibly midweek. I'll take that time getting my MBP up to par with applications, the XP boot, parallels, and work stuff (VPN, subversion). When I return, I want to hit the ground running on my new build. I mean, damn, I entered the case mod competition -- don't y'all think maybe I should first build a machine to mod?! Sounds like a plan. Since there's still a chance I could see some reimbursement from this laptop, what I'm going to do is re-spec my build for additional upgrades. I'm thinking 790i, high end CPU, water cool the CPU, and get a single 9800GX2 on air. If more money comes in, I can add a second 9800GX2 and possibly water cool them both. If that's the plan, that means I'm still going to need a significant case to handle the additional radiator (i.e., Mountain Mods), or build something to hang off a TJ07. This approach gives me the flexibility of building SOON and scaling up my build as (if) funds roll back in.
I can't wait to set up Parallels and Boot Camp on this thing! It was funny talking to the fanz at the Apple Store. I mean, wow, die hard. They're patting me on the back as if I'm a "switcher," but then it gradually dawns at them that I am indeed something different as I point out the downside of Steve Jobs' annoying proprietary policies, the Mac's long history of sluggish response times, and the subpar software library. At that point they just quietly took my credit card and sent me packing, as I didn't fit in.
Tech is good! Fanboys less so. They're good for one thing, though; they prove that a technology has benefits worth exploring. Nerd out.