Intel Aside

As it turns out, I’m weak. The lure of a faster Mac and a laptop that runs Windows was too much for me to resist. I ended up getting a MacBook Pro.

What finally sent me over the edge was realizing that I wasn’t just making some rationalization — it really is a legitimate business expense. That I can write off on my taxes and everything. Every time I go Down South I’ve got to make excuses about not being able to run stuff on my laptop because it’s Mac-only, and if I’m going to be at the theme park for weeks at a time at the end of the summer, it’s going to be essential to have a Windows machine.

For now, though, it runs World of Warcraft really well. (Note to auditors reading this blog: I’m only going to write off half of it as a business expense). Everything else seems slightly faster, but that may just be my imagination.

As for actually running Windows on the thing: I can’t report on that yet. Turns out that they’re serious when they say you need to buy a full, dedicated Windows XP SP2 install. I imagined that I had tons of Windows discs lying around, but was unable to find one. (Something tells me that there’s going to be some future crucial bit of Mac tech that relies on having an AOL installation disc, and I’ll need it right after I’ve thrown out the last spare one I have…) The version that came with my old Dell got me all the way through the two-hour-long install process, only to fail at the end because of some missing USB driver file.

So I ended up having to buy a new copy of Windows XP, which I swore I’d never do. (At least the dual boot thing qualifies for the license of the OEM version, so you don’t have to buy a full blown retail version). Once it comes in the mail, I’ll be able to say whether I have any success with it.

One thing I did notice during my installation attempts last night: Windows sucks. Sure, I use it every day for work, but that’s in an OS-agnostic IDE. And I use it mainly for games, which don’t care about the OS anyway. Actually using Windows — in particular, setting up network connections and organizing files and such — is just unpleasant. I was wondering if that was part of the impetus behind BootCamp in the first place, to take all of us complacent OS X users and remind us just how good we have it.

I can’t even put my finger on what it is exactly that bugs me about using Windows now; it just has this vague off-brand feel to it. Like eating a bunch of Oreos and then biting into a Hydrox. Or seeing an episode of “Alias” with Hilary Swank instead of Jennifer Garner. Or watching a movie for Natalie Portman and then realizing you got one with Keira Knightley instead. [and btw, thanks to NBC for saving us from having to search the web for “borrowed” NBC highlights!]

Still: hot damn! I got a new computer!