Financially Responsible.

So I just got back from running errands: delivering Earl his lunch (he calls it a lunch kettle, I call it a lunch pail) of a sandwich, chips and other goodies and whatnot and then dashing off to the AT&T store to pick up a charger for his latest cell phone from work. (He didn’t know why he had all these extra chargers in his desk, so he chucked them. Turns out he chucked one too many). While I was out and about I stopped at Best Buy and couldn’t help but take a walk through the computer department. I enjoy drinking in the scent of geek.

I haven’t been paying much attention to PCs for quite a while. I’ve been quite content with my PowerBook and the other Macs strewn throughout the house. However, the PowerBook is starting to show it’s age and Earl’s Mac Mini setup is pushed to the limits nightly so I’m thinking we might need to do some computer upgrades soon. I’ve had my eye on an iMac for Earl and that clocks in around $1400 after all is said and done.

Looking through Best Buy I spotted an impressive Dell desktop computer. While not as sleek looking as a Mac, I have to admit that Dell is showing signs of “getting it”. With this particular computer we get triple the RAM, double the hard drive space, double the hard drive speed and double the video card RAM for $599. Throw in a 19-inch widescreen flat panel monitor and we are talking $894. The only drawback? It runs Windows Vista.

Now, while I’m primarily a Mac guy these days and I often preach about the beauty of all things Apple, I do have a soft spot for Windows as well. Most Mac fanboys are anti-Microsoft but I really don’t subscribe to that (unless I’m swearing at Windows for it’s latest WTF moment). Back when I was a baby geek I “grew up” with Windows having first run the software back with Windows/286 in 1988. I have Vista running on the lone PC in the house and it does what I need it to do very well. I support Windows on many of the computers throughout my family. It might be clunky at times but it’s functional and it’s comfortable.

I would absolutely love me some Mac but I find it hard to justify the price (especially as a struggling college student) when I can get three times the computer for half the price.

Earl and I will probably end up sticking it out with our current computing setup. However, if the winds blow the right way and money falls from the tree in the back yard, I can say that it would be much easier to justify buying this Dell computer over an iMac when I made my pitch to the big guy.


  1. Don’t forget that as a student, you qualify for an educational discount from Apple (and probably from Dell, though as I remember from my college-staffer days, their ed. discounts usually were limited to specific machines often priced higher than their bargain basement machines). Depending on the model, the Apple discount can be up to a few hundred dollars, so it’s worth checking out. You can find an education store link on Apple’s online store – but the discount also applies of you purchase in one of Apple’s retail stores (so long as you have a student ID with you).

  2. Just last night I took the first steps to installing Ubuntu on the kludged pc in the basement. When I get it all happy with my home network, I expect it will be the model for moving everything else I have from Windows. I am avoiding Vista like the plague.

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