Computer lust

'Tis the season where freelancers of all stripes face their comeuppance: Taxes. Most of us pay quarterly installments, and happily, Dec. 15 isn't one of those dates. But Jan. 15 is and April 15 has the distinction of offering double the fun: A quarterly installment for the current year, plus any additional taxes owed from the previous.

If you've never done your own withholding, it's difficult to convey that special, poignant pleasure we experience writing beefy checks to the state and feds four times a year.

We also get to pay an extra "self-employment tax." Isn't that special?

There are some benefits, however. Right now, for example, I'm computer shopping. Because this is the primary tool for my business, I can deduct the cost of it from my income. This reduces my tax burden, incrementally, but, hey, I'll take it.

A couple of friends have recently purchased Macs and this has me in a twirl. Given that I'm in the happy, co-dependent position of living with a PC software developer, I have in-house tech support. Migrating to an Apple would put me out in the cold when the inevitable glitches emerge. The very well-trained people at the Apple store have assured me that their clean, well-lighted place is filled with people aching to meet my needs. But this requires a six-mile drive, time, gas and the combing of hair. A. Lot. To. Ask. of the self-employed.

But then I touched the new glass touch pad. And typed a bit. The new Mac weighs three pounds less than my current machine. Three pounds in an airport at the end of a trip is the rough equivalent of wrangling a 25-pound turkey in a busy parking lot the day before Christmas. And the people in the store are so nice and friendly and solicitous, all "come into the light."

If I get a Mac, what will I have to complain about?

Comments (10) -

December 11. 2008 12:31


Go to the light! I went to Mac about two years ago.  My husband is the only PC in the house -- that's cause his work bought it for him.  the shop is all Mac.  I wouldn't live any other way.  With an IMac, a Mac Mini and a mac book, I've never had to call tech support -- ever.  Do it, Do it.  Let the force flow through you and turn away from the dark side of Windows.

Diana |

December 11. 2008 13:11


Do not EVER underestimate the value of in-house tech support.  My inner conservative tells me this every time I'm considering a new computer,(even though my in-house techie lives 1,000 miles away, but he's my son which means he's totally on-call 24/7) while my outer hippie is shouting, "quit being such a scaredy cat and go for the shiny, pretty thing."
So far, the conservative has won this battle.  I say go for the PC and buy a good, wheeled carry-on bag for travel.

threadingwater |

December 11. 2008 13:22


Forget what I just wrote.  I followed the link to the MAC notebook video.


threadingwater |

December 11. 2008 13:27


I think it's funny that you talk about being self-employed and your disclaimer says your views are not the views of your employer.  Still giggling. Split personalities?  Smile

theresa |

December 12. 2008 02:28


Well, I like my Macbook, and I got the extended warranty, which has taken care of a couple of issues I had.

But I'd be OK with a PC, too. In-house tech support is invaluable.

Kitt |

December 13. 2008 07:13


In-house tech support is valuable, although tlk to my family for another opinion.  Smile

Macs are where I started my computer journey.  And while I have been in the PC world for quite some time, I would recommend a Mac for someone looking for a new computer.  Easy to use.  Great look and feel.  Good support.

One question might be: if you use Office (Word, Excel, etc...) is the Mac version comparable to what you are using now?

John |

December 13. 2008 08:59

Deborah Robson

Okay. You know my opinion. I am typing while lying in bed. On my new Macbook (not even the fancy aluminum one). Also self-employed. Also payer of those taxes, and taxes, and taxes. Also needing to make the most of my time. Able to provide most of my own PC tech support, and with access to very good people when I need extra guidance. Owner and operator of four desktop PCs and one laptop PC.

I have not yet completely "got" the Mac way of thinking and operating, because PC channels are so well chiseled in my brain.

Which computer do I work on by choice? The new Mac. And not just because it's new. I have a hard time switching tools. I'm here because this is the computer that is letting me just get my work done.

And I, too, deal with airports and computers on a regular basis. I was also looking at the new netbooks for that reason alone. I am happy right now that I have the best of all worlds.

There have been a few times I've felt really stupid during th shift. YES, AppleCare is worth it (so say friends who know), and between AppleCare and the Apple store folks (who you won't need to see very often) *are* friendly and exceptionally competent. The group of Mac users is astonishingly generous as well.

You would love a Mac *just* for the programs Scrivener and Journler.


Deborah Robson |

December 13. 2008 09:02

Deborah Robson

Apologies for scrambled sentence. I *am* in bed, and woke up not too long ago. AppleCare + Apple tech support = insurance against down time. I've watched it work for others (while I was waiting for one or another PC to come back from warranty repair . . . and I have bought highly rated PCs every time).

Deborah Robson |

December 13. 2008 10:41


I went Mac two years ago and have not regretted making the switch. I've only had one issue and it was fixed quickly with minimal frustration on my part. Even calling their 1-800-tech-support was a pleasant experience! My (now) bottom-of-the-line Mac continues to run rings around the top-end w/ all the bells and whistles PC that my husband purchased.

My machine boots in seconds. It processes pictures lickety-split. Mac's iworks programs are much simpler than microsoft's office (tho there was a wee learning curve when I first made the switch). The programs that come w/ iworks are compatible with the office generated documents. Office programs cannot read the iworks documents but that is NO troubles as you can simply export to PC friendly file extensions or generate a .pdf. The only issue I have had w/ iworks is that their numbers program will not generate a trend-line. So if you graph and need that feature, you'll need microsoft's office for mac. I run both and prefer iworks for every application that does not require creating a trend-line.

I am totally happy w/ the switch. I was, at first, worried about loosing my in-house tech support. Haven't needed it. In fact, the in-house tech support is jealous and coveting the Mac.

Nannette |

December 14. 2008 17:05


Do it, do it.... I didn't want to, but finally did four years ago and have never looked back. Mac support is great, but I only needed it when I tripped and dropped the computer on the ice (and even that was an easy fix). Nothing has ever warranted any support, and I'm not the best at Computer Stuff. (And migrating between PCs and Macs is surprisingly easy -- I use PCs at work and my Mac at home, and it doesn't bother me.)

Can't recommend them highly enough.

Rachael |

Comments are closed