Updated 3/16/2014, Full disclosure: I picked up a 13″ MacBook Air this week

I’m not sure I want it anymore.

No, I do still want one, but the annoying voice in the back of my head has all but shut up. I know what you’re thinking, somewhere an angel has just lost it’s wings because I’m being selfish. As a professional geek, I’m supposed to buy this stuff and talk about it to everyone I come into contact with in order to help the charity case that is Apple.

But. Now that I have the money set aside, I’m looking at just how much money it really is. Let’s look at my dream-machine:
My Mac Book Pro

How could I NOT want this beautiful machine!?! Like I said, $2800 is a lot of money. It’s not too much money for what it is. These machines are unbelievably fast and well made. And I just love that the underlying OS is a Linux derivative. Here’s the real problem, I just got word about my new work machine:
Dell Lattitude E6510. Do I really need a wicked fast personal laptop when I already sleep with a wicked fast work laptop?

I needed a new work machine that could support more memory as I need to run multiple commercial RDMBS via VMWare images. That means I needed a 64 bit machine that supported at least 8GM of RAM – just like the MacBook Pro. Does it run the Apple OS? Is it as sexy as the Apple? Will my tech-frenemies be as jealous as I want them to be? No, but I’m realizing those are critical needs. I can’t justify several thousand dollars on a ‘toy’ that only satisfies wants and not needs. And besides, getting exposure to Win7 will satisfy a bit of my tech exploration jonesing that I thought I needed a MacBook for.

Here’s what I do with my home PC now:

  • Surf the web
  • Pay the bills
  • Host my home theater content – movies, music, photos
  • Appreciate my quandary?

    Apple does. In fact, they’ve invented a machine that addresses my real needs AND wants at a much lower price point. Now I can get what I need and save a bunch of dough for the little one’s college fund. And, my friends will still be jealous.

    Update: The MacBook Air

    Four years later…and my Mac Mini isn’t cutting the mustard anymore. It can’t handle 2014 I/O loads with 2009 hardware – lots of pausing, freezing, stuttering. It’s pretty old as far as computers go.

    SSD and plenty of RAM means this VM flies
    SSD and plenty of RAM means this VM flies

    So I bought a MacBook Air. The wife wanted a laptop. My ego still wanted the MBP. So I compromised, but not my much. The Air is super fast. I upgrade the memory and HD to the max available. It runs my Oracle Database 12c VirtualBox image with no problems. It sucked in the 5GB+ image in less than 2 minutes, pretty impressive.

    It’s still going to be used for paying the bills, web surfing, and iTunes 🙂


    I'm a Distinguished Product Manager at Oracle. My mission is to help you and your company be more efficient with our database tools.


    1. Hmm…I bought a 2010 MBP 15″ and upgraded to 8GB memory. I run VirtualBox and have W2008 Server running MS Sql Server 2008 and Oracle 11g. When I need to, I startup my W7 VM and have access to W7 fun…:)

      • JeffS

        One day I may decide to get my MBP, but between my work laptop and my home Mac Mini and iPad, I have everything I need for the moment.

    2. Also having the same thoughts, BUT:

      Then my employer decided (with some persuasion) to buy me a brand new MBP 17″ Core i7, 8GB ram. The whole 9 yard :).

      I’d say: Dilemma solved 😀

    3. In case it’s not too late, go for the iMac instead. The Mini is perfect for pretty much everything except games and full HD home theater movies. That’s where the lack of dedicated graphics card starts showing.

      • JeffS

        Too late 🙁 But, for home theater HD movies, I also have an Apple TV, so I’m good there. And when it comes to games, I have none. I have an XBOX360 for that, but rarely play it. The thing i like most about the mini is it’s size and zero-noise output. You’d hardly know it was here!

      • I noticed after I hit the ‘submit’ button your post was already over a year old. Naughty you, plugging old content on Empire Avenue. 😉
        But I agree, that’s the main reason I bought it as well. I got tired of shared hosting in 2005 so I bought the Mini to run as a web server. Quiet, low power usage (15 watt average for my old model) and a joy to maintain.
        The Apple TV doesn’t handle downloaded non-iTunes content as far as I know, so I’m still using Front Row on the iMac for that.

      • JeffS

        I was experimenting with EmpireAvenue as a place to advertise my blog, and just b/c it’s ‘Old’ doesn’t mean it is without merit, right? Yes, I am naughty.

        I’m OK with being limited to the movie library in iTunes so far. It will also play my home movies which is really nice. I still have the DirecTV and DVD player for when I want to go outside of Apple.

    4. Pingback: Tweets that mention I Have the Money to Buy My MacBook Pro, but… | 140,000 Characters or Less -- Topsy.com

    5. I was in the same position as you, and had actually placed an order for a very expensive 15″ i7 MBP. I cancelled it 30 minutes later and went with the base model 13″ MBP and I’m really, really liking it.

      I use it for Ruby/Rails development primarily however. I use my work machine for all of my SQL Server work.

      • JeffS

        @BrentO also recommended the 13″ mainly for portability. But I refused to compromise on processor spec as I wanted to get the best of the best. I buy new machines every 5-7 years, so no reason not to splurge when I do.

        It drives me nuts to try out these products in the Apple Store though as I can’t get in for all the kids playing on the iPads.

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