Saturday, February 20, 2010

Will My Next Computer Be a Mac?

I don't really need a new computer yet--or do I?

I used to think that computing power is wasted on me. I have always used the computer primarily as a giant typewriter--but a typewriter with glorious time-saving power when it comes to revising and printing out new copies.

In later years, I've come to appreciate the ability to store numerous photos in one place, a place where they might not turn yellow with age (but they might disappear in a big electronic goof--a definite downside).

And of course, there's Internet use, which now probably accounts for much of my computer time, once we subtract work related e-mailing. I was early-ish to the Internet. I remember a time when there was no World Wide Web--no pictures, no video, not much commerce. I remember discussion boards and online games that required readers/players to use their imaginations to envision the virtual world. I was late to blogging, late to having my own website.

I don't think the fact that I was so late to blogging and having my own website hurt the book sales of my chapbook, but I'll never be sure. If I had been writing a blog when my chapbook was published, would I have had more sales?

I've certainly bought my share of poetry books because I loved the blogging voice of the poet. So, it's hard to say.

I've begun thinking about publicity for my next book, even before I've had a next book accepted for publication (the best time to do this thinking, I think). I've been reading about poem videos (on Sandra Beasley's blog here, here, here, and here) and book trailers (on Diane Lockward's blog here and here). I've been thinking about the fact that so much of this video work seems to be done on a Mac.

I've tried to do some basic recording on my Windows based computer and it was a complete disaster. Sigh. I tend to blame my own incompetency, but perhaps it's not me, but my equipment. And if the Mac comes preloaded with all this nifty stuff, that might justify the higher price. That, and the fact that Macs are easier to use, that my first love was a Mac, that Macs are less vulnerable to viruses and other Internet nasties, and I've never heard anyone voice regrets with a Mac purchase.

Maybe I should just blame Kelli Russell Agodon. I've been thinking about this possibility more intensely since she wrote this post on her blog.

Of course, it may be months or years before I actually make the switch. I tend to think about possibilities and research possibilities, but to have a hard time plunking down the money, especially when it comes to computer decisions, which seem fraught with peril.

But one thing that might tempt me to make the plunge earlier rather than later is that I feel this ever more pressing need to learn how to do some video creating--and I'm pretty sure that I can't do it on my old computer.

So, here's a creativity resolution. I'll give it a try on this rickety old computer . Let me see if it's really as useless as I think. And then I'll revisit this idea of buying a Mac sooner rather than later.


Diane Lockward said...

Do it! Get a Mac. You will never regret it and never look back. Just the ease of making videos justifies the higher price. Do you have a local Apple Store? If so, you can make an appointment to have someone show you all the features and answer your questions. You can even make your appointment online.

Michael A. Wells said...


I think it's mostly about where you finad your comfort level.

My youngest daughter made the change to Mac and for the most part is happy with the system but I believe has had some issues with the laptop itself.

I'm particularly happy with my Toshiba but I'd if I had to choose between say betweem a HP laptop and a Mac I'd take the Mac even though I'm not that sold on them. Laptops for HP are not their stong suite whereas Toshiba has been in that market for ages.

I like the windows platform and most of the things that Kelli talked about in her excellent post on the Mac I am able to do as well.

The sad thing about all these is within a few short years, as we master them and achieve a comfort level with what we have, poof, they become obsolete.

Kristin Berkey-Abbott said...

Thank you both for your thoughts. I do agree that about the time I find my true comfort level, all the technology changes.

Of course, I still have friends who aren't leaving tape (both audio and video) behind. So, it's possible to just refuse to adapt. At least for awhile.

But I don't want to be left behind. It's good to know how other people are resolving this dilemma.