06 September, 2007

Mac me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent lapttops down here.

Well folks, the time has come for me to begin thinking about returning to the halls of academiia in pursuit of my eventual masters in adaptive technology. For those of you asking, "exactly what is that", adaptive technology involves both the development of new applications and, the implementation and adaptation of existing computers and software technology to assist those with disabilities. Perfect job for me, right? I agree but in order to facilitate my academic aspirations, I'm going to need a notebook computer. Naturally because of my disability, any portable computer I use must meet specific requirements in order to run the specialized speech software needed. I also wanted a rugged notebook: something that would stand up to any little mishaps my coordination problems might visit upon it. It's wonderful having CP, boys and girls :-)! For those of you that don't know what it's like, I basically rent space in my body. Just because I occupy my body does not mean I have constant control ovver it or its muscles. The brain injury, due to lack of oxygen at birth, sometimes causes my body to move in ways I don't intend. That brings me back to the choice of notebook. I've looked at "toughbooks", which are notebooks that can be used in areas which would be dangerous to normal laptops, such as construction sites. These notebooks are extremely well-made and are designed to withstand almost anything: water, dropping, being run over, etc.. The price is astronomical, however, making it an unfeasible option for my purposes. So what did I decide to do? Well, I'm buying a Mac! Can I get a " hallelujah " from the Mac crowd? This should prove once and for all to everyone that Apple is a company I watch, love, and, respect. Does this mean I'm abandoning Windows? Not at all. I have a Windows Vista media Center PC at home with an Xbox 360 that takes the recorded TV shows from my media Center and streams them via my home network to my living room. I therefore cannot give up Windows, nor would I want to. For college however, my needs are somewhat different. I need a durable laptop that can run Windows applications. I need a laptop with the appropriate amount of RAM preinstalled. Upgrading hardwarre on a portable PC is nearly impossible, owing to the size of the components in question.

So why a Mac? The Macbook Pro is made of aluminum and glass, not plastic. This makes it somewhat more durable than the ordinary laptop. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying that the MacBook could withstand everything in the world, just that it's a little more durable than some of its counterparts. They are Intel-based PCs, as are all Macs these days. This means that they are capable of running Windows when necessary through either a program included with the Mac called "Boot Camp",, or, a program called "Parallels (sold separately). With "Boot Camp", you are given a choice at start up of whether you want the computer to boot into Windows or, OS X. "Parallels" is somewhat different in that it allows you to run both operating systems simultaneously. This gives you access to both your Windows applications and, those on OS X. So obviously, I will be using "Parallels". I would point out that although the Mac can run Windows, you could not legally run the Mac OS on a PC. This infuriates me at times, but that's another blog entry. The choice of running both Windows applications and native Mac applications opens up a world of possibilities. I don't see any reason why we should have to choose between types of computers. I've always been intrigued by OS X and I like the basic concepts behind the operating system. At the same time, as I previously stated above, I cannot make an "either/or" decision. Therefore, the MacBook Pro offers me the best of both worlds. The MacBook Pro also comes standard with 2 GB of RAM preinstalled. I intend to try to get four gigabytes of RAM, if I can afford it. If you're still wondering why I would go to a Mac, the iPhone proved something not only to me, but to the rest of the world. The iPhone reminded people that at any moment, Any company could come up with something that changes the way we look at everything. The MacBook Pro has certainly done it for me. I will be getting more information on my experience with this notebook in October, when I'm actually able to purchase it.

1 comment:

Likestrek said...

Can I just say that you told me you were going to use that title and I still groaned...