Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke


So the decision is just about made: Buy a new Mac. This will lead to MacBankruptcy, I expect. Oh, well.

The MacBook is barely limping along. By an amazing luck of the draw, I hooked up with an exceptionally accomplished and determined Apple support advisor. We’ve been going back and forth for a week or ten days. We’ll think we’ve got it fixed and then…well…not so much. Right now everything is fixed, as far as we know, except for the random crashes that occur for no visible reason. (Such as the one that just occurred when I tried to upload an image to this post…)

After much discussion with The Son, I’ve about decided that a new MacBook, despite its several disadvantages, has fewer drawbacks than a new PC.

Price: Stratospheric. However, the present machine has been around since 2008. The thing is 8½ years old. Probably the only reason it’s acting like it’s on its last legs is the software update, not the hardware. One would probably go through two PC’s — maybe three — for the cost of one MacBook.

Hassle Factor: Vast. Office 2016, the last Microsoft update that is not in the Cloud (which I wish to avoid at all costs), does not play well with the current Mac operating system, cutely named Sierra. This means I will have to subscribe to Office 365, which represents a permanent royal screwing. Over time, you end up paying way, way, WAY more for the privilege of using Word and Excel than you would if you paid a couple hundred bucks for a new Office suite right now. On the other hand, sooner or later I’d probably have to subscribe to the damn thing anyway. And nothing could be more hassle than daily migrating between one operating system and another.

Been there, done that. Don’t wanna do it again.

Customer Support: The formerly excellent service at the Apple store has been downgraded to to “sucks.” However, the phone support is outstanding. If that continues to be true, it’ll be worth the extra cost. Customer service for a PC? Nonexistent.

Downtime: Nil, if I make the buy now. God only knows how long I’ll be spavining my back in front of the desktop if I wait until the Macbook crashes in flames.

Potential Sidestream Benefits: Pages will run on the newest version of Sierra. Pages operates as a layout program. Yes. Good. Not only that, but Pages will convert direct to ePub. Extremely good. Presumably Office 365 will never have to be re-downloaded and re-screwed-around with. One hesitates to say “it will just work,” because evidently nothing “just works.” But it could be slightly less hassle-filled.

So there it is. Makes sense. In a digital, 21st-century sorta way.

Images: DepositPhotos
Computer hair-tearing, © bepsimage
Banner image of the day, © Julos

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Author: funny

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  1. Argh, computers!

    I just got my new-to-me machine back after several days in the shop. It started making a weird noise and behaving weirdly, which they initially attributed to cooling problems. Nope, it turned out to be a corrupted Windows problem. So they had to reinstall Windows, wiping out everything on the computer in the process. And it was still not right. Turned out to be a hard drive problem.

    Luckily, I didn’t lose any data except for a few bookmarks, but the headache of reinstalling all my programs, fiddling with settings, and getting used to new quirks continues. And the security software keeps throwing up warnings my screen reader won’t read. Could be something, could be nothing…but if it’s something, it may be back in the shop again.

    Not really feeling the love for Microsoft Office right now. I’ve got 2016, and I’m not in any hurry to “upgrade” to 365. Like, ever. Subscription programs are a rip-off, IMO, or at least a money sink. I like Open Office and Jarte, but I don’t know if either offers the functionality of MSWord.

    • Yup. My son said the same thing. He points out that the aggravations presented by Windows have not gone away; if anything, they’ve metastasized.

      The problem is that I need Word to do my business. And my version of Word does not run on any Mac OS higher than 10.11.6.

      The other problem with replacing the MacBook with a Windows laptop is just the sheer aggravation factor. Shifting back and forth between operating systems is difficult and frustrating because of what we might call the fingers learning factor. You know how to type…you type with finger strokes that become ingrained. But control-S is different from alt-FS…and that’s true with almost every keyboard command. Anything you do with a keyboard command is going to spawn errors like kudzu.

      But the Word thing is turning into a big problem. Because I need to use Word’s editing features, I can’t do my work in Pages…nor do I especially feel any craving to learn yet another new program…whether it’s Word or whatever Google is using or any of the other word-processing knockoffs.

  2. Whether you buy an Office 2016 license or subscribe to Office 365, the software that would be downloaded and installed on the machine would be Office 2016. With a 365 subscription you would also have access to a web-based version of the software. Obviously the web-based software would require an internet connection to access (no idea what happens if the connection goes out while working in a document or the web browser crashes), while the installed software would work both online and offline. FWIW, I am running the latest versions of both OS X Sierra and Office 2016 on my machine without any stability problems.

    • Yeah. You touch on EXACTLY THE PROBLEM with Office 365: I. do. not. want. to. work. on. my. clients’. proprietary. research. in. the. fuckin’. cloud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I don’t wanna do that because their work IS proprietary and sometimes I have to sign a guarantee that I will keep it private and not store it where somebody else could get at it. And I don’t wanna do that because sometimes my computer connection DOES go down but I’m able to keep on working because the stuff resides on my computer, not in never-neverland. Even if a given document is stored on your computer, obviously if the connection goes down, the program you’re using stalls, and at that point you’re out of business.

      Oh hell. Maybe I’m out of business already. Maybe I should just fold the editing business and go back to trying to teach numbskull freshmen how to write a simple sentence, starting with what is meant by the word “sentence.”


  3. I’m with ya on Apple…We bought DD2 an Apple when she went away to college for TOO MUCH money….But it got her thru school….had a hard drive fail and Apple fixed it under warranty…$260….and she continues to use it….even watches NetFlix on it. So I guess it was a pretty good deal. Will also agree the Apple Store is a joke…the techs there are clueless and spend most of their time on their phones texting…..sad…
    Any chance of you landing a “gently used” Apple a year or two old on CL or thru your Apple Guy? Been my experience “Apple people” are always looking for the next “cool thing” from Apple…..might be a thought…

  4. Apple service survives, only it’s hidden in the telephone lines. To get support, she should go to the “Apple support” page and select the choice to talk to someone on the phone. You then have to jump through several hoops, including entering your machine’s serial number (copy & paste from “About this Mac” under the open-apple icon). Fairly soon, someone will call you back.

    Quality varies. Some of them are VERY competent, smart, and helpful. Some seem more like beginners, or else they can’t understand what you’re talking about — one of them, for example, simply could NOT grasp that I can’t edit math papers in Pages. What: convert from LaTex to PDF to Word to Pages, and then from Pages to Word and hope the client can get it back into LaTex? Seeeeriously??????????

    Jeez. Anyway, the guy I lucked into the last time I called gave me his phone number (probably a mistake on his part). He is REALLY great. He’s on the east coast, so I doubt if he knows anyone around here who wants to sell a Mac. 🙂

    Occasionally you do come upon a refurbished Mac. At this point, though, the problem is not the quality of the hardware, which is excellent, but the upgrades to the operating system. Every Apple OS upgrade seems to disable yet another program that you depend on for your business. I mean…you make it incompatible with the word processor that is THE industry standard? Seriously?