In the mid 90s I enrolled in college. It was a whirlwind event as I hadn't planned to attend but a combination of sudden job loss and the fact that the girl I was dating at the time lived next door to the program head of Computer Engineering Technologies at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), got me to jump in at the last minute...starting class a week late after getting approved from a waiting list.
I soon realized (or at least convinced myself) that I needed a new computer and that a notebook would likely be the best way to go despite the cost. I convinced myself that as I'd be learning to be a programmer, the platform shouldn't matter. I'd be learning to program in Unix (Linux wasn't yet the Juggernaut it is today unfortunately) after all so I started looking into a PowerBook. Code was code and programming languages transcend computer platforms...don't they?
Image from the Wikimedia Commons
Unfortunately that sexy Black PowerBook G3 which cost me about $2700 at the time (and which took most of my school years to pay off too) proved to be almost useless because NAIT used only PCs and insisted that I do the same. I made do for a while but had to submit and go back to the PC world as it was defined by my educator. I later sold the computer to my grandmother (who took to computers like a duck to water!) and moved on.
Jump to last year when I was starting my photography business. I bought what I thought was a top of the line Sony Vaio. 17" screen, quad core i7 processor...I was ready to take on the world! Only later I learned that the screen on my carefully researched investment couldn't reproduce reds properly even with regular calibration and defiantly refused to fit it's bulk into every bag I tried to put it in. After 10 months of working with an external monitor to get around the colour problems, I started researching my next notebook.
After much careful research I decided that the new Asus Zenbook Prime (yet to be released) was the way to go. It was small, thin, powerful, and had a proper IPS screen even if it was only 13". I was sure that this was the ideal computer for me as I am always on the move and don't operate out of a traditional studio.
This all came crashing down around me when Apple announced the new MacBook Pro Retina this week. A computer which would be tough, fast, thin, light, and all around amazing featuring a display with 2880x1800 resolution!. Less than an hour after the press release, I realized that the Zenbook Prime had been trumped despite the fact that 'Ultrabook' computers are supposed to be competing with the MacBook Air...not the Pro. The fact is that the new MacBook Pro is as thin as the Asus, has equal battery life specs, and is only slightly larger and heavier otherwise. It costs more but the top of the line Asus I was planning to buy would have cost quite a bit more than the $1000 'Ultrabook' benchmark anyhow.
The new MBP Retina had obsoleted many leading edge machines with a computer which was the answer to all of my professional photography needs...and was positioned to beat the PC competition to market as Apple started taking orders for them that day! I swallowed hard, drank the Kool-Aid, and ordered one before they back ordered. This is an expensive and snappy decision but I'm confident that I've made the right one.
This will be the first in a series of blog posts documenting the journey back to the Mac. Hopefully I didn't screw up again.
An unboxing post will be coming as soon as it gets here. It should ship in about a week.