It’s funny how the tech market has changed things in my home. Two years ago, my Beloved swore he could never give up having a desktop computer at home. His desktop broke, and now he’s using my abandoned nine-year-old Macbook to pretty much play podcasts and shop on eBay.
Now, here I am facing a decision on my own computer as a mothership for e-books. I always swore I was a Mac girl, but now—well, it’s the same question I had when I bought my latest tablet. I do like the Apple stuff. But do I like it enough to pay more than double?
My year-old Macbook Air had a little accident, and it’s prompted a difficult soul-search. I have been told that even a damaged Macbook Air could fetch $500-700 on Kijiji. That is about what it would cost to fix the darned thing. I could get a decent non-Mac for only a little more, and I could get a bottom-rung non-Mac, still meet my computing needs, and actually come out ahead a little. Given that, does it make any sense to even try and fix the Air?
When I bought it, I was still using iPhoto. Now, the Dropbox app sucks all the photos off my phone and straight into a Dropbox folder. Once a month, I put that month’s uploads into a labelled folder and then forget about it until it’s annual photo album time—which, again, I was using iPhoto for, but I suppose there are other ways.
When I bought it, I was still using iTunes. Now, we have Sirius XM radio in the car. It fills the limited need a non-music person like me has for such things. I do have all my workout videos imported into iTunes, but they are in a directory that lives in my Dropbox folder, so I suppose there is no reason why some other media player can’t do the job.
So, what are my computer needs these days?
1) E-book reading
I use Adobe Digital Editions to download library books. I use Calibre to store purchased books, sanitize them and convert them for the Kindle.
2) E-book composing
I am using Evernote for writing, since I can use it on both computer and tablet, and then importing the plain text straight into Sigil for cleaning up and saving to ePub. Both of these apps have Windows and Mac versions.
3) Web use
YouTube, Gmail, Etsy and so on. I am assuming that any computer in the store can handle these basic needs.
4) Other Small Tasks
I’d like to be able to easily make bound photo albums. Ideally, I could have a locally hosted file I could add to every month, but I am negotiable on this. And I would like to play movie files and do other basic computer tasks.
So, that’s it. I don’t sync with iTunes anymore. I don’t burn DVDs or do other very intensive tasks. If I do light gaming, it’s not on the computer. So, do I really need another Macbook? It’s nicer, sure. To me, it is, anyway. But if it’s really worth $500, even damaged, then maybe I am better off cutting my losses, getting a cheaper one and breaking even. I certainly am not going to spend that value on repairing it when I could buy a whole new computer!