Friday’s Mental Massage

I like to end the week on a high note. For this week, it appears that’s going to require more than a good attitude. I’m three days behind on work. I’m a week behind on getting motivated to do work. It’s cold outside. Or, in short, as someone (Jimmy Buffet?) once said, “My head hurts, my feet stink, and I don’t love Jesus.”

This old laptop is on the verge of giving up the ghost. It’s been a trusted companion. It’s been to Europe more times than I can count, visiting Monte Carlo, London, Austria, and Denmark. It’s made three trips to the Caribbean, a few trips to odd places in Mississippi and Missouri. It’s been up the Pacific Coast Highway. And now this old bitch is about to die. I feel it coming. Even as I peck away at her keys, I can smell death on the hard drive. I don’t want to give this thing up, but as my ability to be online at any given time is pretty much my lifeblood, I need to get a new high performance machine.

Back when I got this thing, it was pretty damned awesome. That was in October of 2004. Now, I don’t even know how to buy a laptop. So, I need your help. I suspect this purchase will be made before Monday, so don’t be shy with your comments.

First off, let me put a stop to all talk of a Mac. Yeah, I know how cool they are. I know John Hodgman is doing a great job of making PC users look like a ball of dufus. And yeah, I’d sorta like a Mac. Thing is, my line of work requires I have a PC. “It makes a difference?” some of you are asking. Yeah, it does. Gotta have a PC. Nothing I can do about it right now.

So, with that in mind, my needs are pretty simple. I need an internal Wi-Fi- card. I need a fast processor. I’d like a 17″ screen. I write, I surf, I play games that don’t require a lot of computer memory. It’s not that hard on a computer. It’s not like I sit around playing Second Life, watching porn on sites like and pirating music all day long (although, that sounds like a good career move).

Hmph. Yeah, that’s about it. I’m a simple guy.

But, hell. There’s all this talk about how bad Vista sucks. It’s actually kept me from buying a new computer up until this point. Now, I think I can’t wait anymore. So, any advice from the peanut gallery?

What else?

Oh yeah, I’m still a procrastinator. I’ve had a February 16th deadline for a project for the past two weeks. Guess what’s not done yet? And what am I doing? Blogging.

Other than that, the dog is playing the “I don’t want dog food game.” The kid is playing the “I’m ready to play outside, when is spring?” game. The wife is not playing any games, thankfully.

Yeah, I got nothin’ here.

Back in 2003, I mighta had something, though.

Being a good assistant’s assistant eventually became pretty simple for Roy. When the boss needed something, he asked the assistant to get it done. The assistant turned to Roy, made a few nearly-obscene gestures with his fingers, and Roy took off to get the job done. Since Roy hired on as the AA he had learned to make coffee, balance the company’s books, and screw the boss’ wife. Getting the promotion was going to have its disadvantages. Roy just couldn’t stand the idea of someone else making his coffee.

Want more? That was an ill-conceived Mental Massge titled: The Great Corn Nut Conspiracy.

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Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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8 Responses

  1. Dear sir,

    “Gotta have a PC.” Disagree. You may think that, however, ’tis untrue.

    It may be more expensive ($80 software add-on), but you can run WinXP and OSX on the same hardware, now that Apple makes hardware with Intel CPU’s.

    Just for shits and grins, go test drive a MacBook Pro, 17″.

    Disclaimer: I do not own Mac hardware, but would strongly consider my next laptop purchase to be a Mac.

  2. You should take The Mark with you or at least ask him what he thinks. He just bought one for work and has bought several laptops over the years. Not that he is a computer programmer or something but he can hold his own. (last line: you know what I mean)

  3. “I like to end the week on a high note.”

    Sounds like you were channeling Pauly…

  4. I’m a big fan of Macs; that’s well-documented. However, I fully understand the need for Windows, and while I’m familiar with Parallels, I don’t completely trust it. (My job requires that I use Microsoft Project, which doesn’t work on a Mac. However, our software DOES work on a Mac, and that one connects to the other via TCP/IP. So I carry both.)

    If you’re nervous about a new Vista-equipped machine, get a refurb Dell with XP. Get one powerful enough to handle Vista when you’re ready to upgrade.

  5. I have an intel based macbook Pro. It runs OSx and XP in Parallels.

    It fucking rocks!!!

    It ain’t cheap though..

  6. For all the traveling, I’d say get a Toughbook. Not cheap either, but they’ll take a beating.

    Specifically, look into the CF-Y2 or the CF-74.

    I love my new (used) CF-50, but if I had to travel a lot, I’d have gotten a lighter model.

  7. Former PC-gal turned Mac… I own a MacBook Pro laptop, and it runs Windows XP like a champ with the free Apple Bootcamp (dual-boot setup). I hear Parallels works well too, allowing you to run Windows from within OS X. The MBP weighs about 5 pounds so it travels well, and the screen is absolutely gorgeous. And it doesn’t crash. Ever.

  8. It’s frustrating this whole technology thing…I bought my Mac PowerBook two years ago and I am due for a new machine already. My next move will be a MacBook Pro because I was told the graphics card is improved….as a photog I need that….I switched from PC to Mac 5 years ago and have never looked back. Also I am not sure if the new PCs will have Vista on them instead of XP …I just read an article about how you don’t need it…Vista still has a lot of problems like there apparently is no hardware audio andn there are several application incompatibilities. You can read the article
    here. Good luck and happy shopping.

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