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Aug 11, 2011

The Big Purchase

Readers, I generally avoid writing about money-related topics.   It can be considered tacky and -- particularly in a crappy economy -- insensitive, plus it's boring.

Of course, I share my fabric purchases with you, but you know most of what I sew with is either fished out of the dumpster, bought at a rock-bottom fabric dive, or stripped off my bed -- or someone's.  Even Cathy's jewelry is from the flea market -- and we're talking slightly moldy Sarah Coventry, not vintage Miriam Haskell.

Then there are my pattern purchases, which, let's face it, tend to be made compulsively in the middle of the night when my mind is blurry.  Speaking of which, here's a little something I picked up for $2.50 yesterday:

I simply couldn't resist this vintage early Sixties men's costume pattern, which had only just been listed on eBay as a "Buy it Now"  (mine is a men's 36, not the size 10 pictured here).

Not only can I make a ringleader's outfit -- how cute is that, particularly in robin's egg blue? -- but I can also whip up a men's tailcoat (think, Top Hat)!  Isn't it sad how many of the best men's clothing patterns are costumes? (There's a great Music Man pattern out there, Simplicity 9686, that makes an awesome men's Teens/Twenties-style suit, but I'm not spending $39 for it.)  Seventy-Six Trombones!

Then there's this purchase I haven't told you about yet.  I found this swimsuit pattern last week on Etsy and it arrived in yesterday's mail:

If you can get beyond the appalling pattern art, this is a fabulous vintage-style swimsuit pattern that just screams Esther Williams.  I actually bought it because I want to learn how to do that horizontal gathering on the front bodice, which I think would look fantastic on a mermaid gown.  But the suit itself is pretty awesome and who cares if summer's nearly over?  There's always next year and hopefully Cathy will keep her figure.

The purchase I'm struggling with these days is computer-related.  I blog from a four-and-a-half-year-old MacBook that has served me well, though I had to replace the hard drive two years ago when it died suddenly, and Apple replaced the battery for free last year when it started bulging out of the side of my computer.  I've also had to replace the "e" key, which popped off during an intense cleaning of my keyboard.  Otherwise, it's fine, and who cares if a piece of Scotch tape is keeping the right outer edge from cracking off?

As you know, I also do a lot of photography, and I realized when I was looking at Cathy's latest photo shoot on a 21.5 inch iMac at TekServe, a NYC Apple reseller, that I am missing a lot of detail on a 13-inch laptop screen.

The biggest problem with my laptop, however, isn't so much the size, as the ergonomics.  For the past six months or so I have been experiencing intermittent neck stiffness related to the way I sit and type at my laptop.  In order to type at a laptop, the screen must be lower than it should be for the health of your neck.  Ideally the screen should be directly in front of you, but then you wouldn't be able to use the keyboard comfortably.

I've started using an external keyboard -- a quick $20 fix -- and propping my screen up on a box so that it's at eye level.  That has helped a lot, though the set-up is a little unsightly.

I've been using a laptop for so long that I'm not sure I'd be happy writing from a stationary computer.  I'll still have my laptop, of course, and I can still use it.  But my writing and photography will all be done on the iMac.  Of course, like most new computers today, the latest iMac will be four times faster and have a terabyte of storage -- nearly three times larger than what I have today.

I rarely move the laptop.  I used to rest it on my lap in bed sometimes, only to experience an odd tingling in my groin area that couldn't be good for my long-term health.

Finally, I would probably have to part with one of my three sewing tables in the living room -- the other downside (the first one being the price).  But do I really need three sewing tables anyway?  I still haven't replaced the plug on my Pfaff 39, upon whose closed table sits my Brother 1034D serger.  I've completed my last two sewing projects on my Singer Featherweight.

I know I can't really come out and ask you whether I should upgrade to an iMac or not -- you'll probably say, If you can afford it, get it (see how well I know you?).  This is basically an extended journal entry.

Seriously, though, given the age of my laptop, don't you think it's a better idea to replace it before it conks out altogether?  This way, if our Internet service goes out -- and it does from time to time -- I can still take the laptop with me to the local bagel shop/Wi-Fi hotspot.

I am on my computer for hours every day; it's the tool I rely on most.

I guess I only wish these were half as costly as they currently are (and I only buy refurbished Macs but we're still talking $1,000 plus), but what are you going to do?  Spread out over years, it doesn't seem quite as much.

Thoughts, guidance.... donations of old hardware?

How big is your computer screen -- and how deep do Cathy's nasolabial folds appear on it?

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. Does it have to be a mac? You can get a nice Windows machine for much less.

    Speaking from an entirely selfish view, I love having a new post from you, so proper ergonomics that will keep you healthy and a new computer that will keep you online seems a very worthy use of money! It's so easy to spend other people's money...

  2. i have a recently bought 15" MacBookPro which replaced my 13.5" Del laptop, which replaced a 14" HP laptop. I have a 21" stand alone screen which is attached to a fan assisted stand with hub ports so when i need two screens or one large one i can attach my laptop. This set up (on my desk) worked wonderfully throughout the process of my recently finished honours thesis. Months later, you'd need an earthmover to find the stand and screen under the mountain of 'stuff' on my desk.

    anyhoo...Can't you use one of your sewing tables as a computer desk when not in use for sewing??? I'd hate to see you get rid of any sewing table you loved.

  3. Buy it.
    And view B in the bathing suit just looks so like Cathy. I was thinking you were going to tell us you'll be doing the suit in that sparkly stuff from a ways back.

  4. Thanks, Treadle. Because of my huge iPhoto files, I can't go back to Windows -- not that I'd want to...

    Suzi, the sewing tables are generally too high for the keyboard (by a few inches). In a pinch, though, yes, I could use one of them.

  5. My husband just went from sitting at a desk all day, to standing to use his computer! Amazingly, his back problems were better within days. I can't give you any sage computer advice, other than buy a new one, if that's what you feel you need. But, you can certainly work out a shelf system, and try standing while working. I think your neck will thank you for it!
    LOVE the bathing suit pattern.....

  6. My laptop conked out a few months ago, and the days it took to a)be told by the repair shop that it was not fixable, and b)to order a new one and wait for it to arrive, were torture. So I would recommend an upgrade before that happens! I use a laptop with a 15.6" screen, which is the perfect size for me, because I use it in several different places in the house, and like to occasionally go to a coffee shop for a change of scenery as well. Not to mention that I would be lost without it when traveling!
    All of that said, if you will have the laptop available for occasional portability needs, you tend to do your computer work in one place consistently, and you are experiencing discomfort with the laptop usage, an iMac upgrade seems to make sense for you. Life is too short to be uncomfortable!
    As for donation of old hardware, the computer repair shop in my neighborhood takes old hardware and refurbishes it for donation to economically challenged schools. They also take the necessary steps to make your personal information on it unrecoverable. Perhaps one near you does the same?
    Good luck with your decision!

  7. I'd say : go for the iMac, and keep the still-alive laptop on hand to carry along.
    Laptop are not made for working hours and hours (although they are often used that way). Working on computer is strenuous enough, eyes, spine, wrists and all, and laptop are still worse.
    I'm a devoted laptop user, and you'd have to pry mine away from my cold, dead hands, but I find that I can only write long documents or do in-depth research on the stationary computer. Otherwise I end all cramped, tired and blurry-eyed within half an hour. Laptop is OK for Internet, mail, small tasks and video watching.

  8. Well, it's much cheaper in the long run and far less painful to replace your computer than your joints. But I understand your reluctance - I tend to be a "fixer" rather than a "replacer" too.

  9. I inherited my mother's Depression mentality.

  10. I just went through this same thing in November. I had one of those purple bubble iMacs about ten years ago and it lived for a very long time. I have wanted a Mac ever since but kept choosing Windows OS due to the price factor. We ended up going with the 21" iMac. And it is FAR superior to any Windows OS we currently own.

    The screen is a great size (even though I think there is a 24"). It's clear. So clear, in fact, that it took my eyes some getting used to but now when I get on a PC I can't stand the low-def. When I look at things on Etsy or Ebay some of the images are small and the details are hard to make out. I can see them much better on my iMac. The wide screen is great for looking at certain webpages or watching tutorial videos. And since the screen is a solid plastic material, and not the soft flexi-stuff on most desktop flat screens or laptops, I can tape tracing paper to it and trace downloaded patterns, embellishments and pieces. I can also resize as needed and trace them. Want that flower a we bit larger? Change it to 120% and trace.

    As for printing, I find it unnecessary to own a printer. If I need something that badly I upload and send it to Kinko's or go to the local libraray. But if there is something I want in a file my iMac has a built in feature on the print screen to save as a PDF. I'm sure you can do this on any Mac but it's new to me because none of my Windows OS ever were able to do that. Even the purple bubble didn't have that option.

    As for desktop vs. laptop. I thought I would really miss having the laptop. But I love the iMac so much that the laptop is just sitting in a drawer. It freed me up to be able to actually WALK AWAY from the computer rather than having it portable and coming with me everywhere like a toddler. But it is a personal preference.

    The first week or two I started at it and wondered what were thinking but then Mac and I fell madly in love and we haven't looked back. I'd recommend it 100%. I feel the money was worth the investment.

  11. I have the Macbook as well. I have the same problem with neck pain. I already have arthritis in my neck and last year I had a ruptured disk, so I do have to limit my time using the laptop. I may eventually go to a desktop but I would really miss the portability of the Macbook. Macs are expensive but they are worth the cost, I wouldn't go back to a PC.

  12. Hi Peter,

    May I recommend spending more of your money? Because if you haven't already got one, you should get an external drive to back-up all those iPhoto files, etc. Computers do crash, eventually, and it's a lot less painful if those files exist somewhere else. External drives are so cheap now, so it's not much of a hardship.

    An external monitor (sometimes really cheap/free!) and external keyboard, along with good workplace habits, can solve your ergonomics problems. But yes, an old cracked laptop may be up for replacement. I had one that literally sparked and smoked from its monitor edge crack before I would let it go...


  13. Do it!
    Any sort of graphics processing is so much easier on a bigger screen. You won't regret it! Mine is 22" I think and it is so much better. You do so much, you need it, it's an investment in your health.
    Oh an I just bought a new featherweight and it's (drumroll....)

  14. Go for the iMac but buy the extended Apple Care Warranty especially if you purchase refurbished. You'll love the speed and resolution! Your physical health is worth the expense...

  15. I do back up to a 500 GB Seagate external hard drive -- though not as often as I should!

  16. I had four major appliances konk out this spring/summer. Unglamorous but necessary purchases. Computers are a kind of appliance in that we use them everday, depend on them, and find ourselves at a loss when they blow a fuse. And like dishwashers, ovens, dryers, etc. decent computers aren't cheap.

    Release yourself from any residual guilt and get the new computer. It sounds like you have used the old one to the maximum, you've been frugal, you have babied it. You have done everything you can. The folks commenting have really good advice on options. Look forward to hearing what you decide upon!

  17. I say if you are certain you won't miss the portability of a laptop then go with the imac. There is also the macbook pro with the 17 in screen. It also has the ability to plug into a monitor so you could have the best of both worlds.

  18. If you have a flat screen TV, can't you use it for a monitor? Of course the other one who resides in your apartment, may not appreciate it too much. After four and a half years, you deserve a new computer. I'm a PC girl my self though.

  19. I have a Mac and love it. We go through computers like butter around here, due to the Hub's job, but the good news is that it means I get a new computer before the old one konks out.

    My current Mac laptop is actually due for a hard drive replacement. Not fun but like everyone says, better to do it than to regret it when the 'puter crashes for good.

  20. My son has a fairly new iMac..and loves it. Go for it...

  21. My husband, who is retired from the printing industry, is the art director for a museum mag. His suggestion is to get the NEW Mac Mini and a 21"-24" monitor (other than Apple, for cost's sake). The new Mini is much improved for speed and graphics. He uses an older Mini hooked to a Dell monitor to edit digital photos as well as scans of historical archives. With Photoshop the "actual pixels" view is very satisfactory.

    I have a 24" older iMac and love it. I do some photo work on it just because I can, but on casual basis. The ability to have two working windows side by side and both accommodating a full page view is luxurious. I run Wild Ginger products on it in Bootcamp and find a wide screen very helpful. (Peter, you know you want to get into digital pattern drafting!).

    Good tools matter, and so do bad backs. Avoid the latter if at all possible.

  22. WOW !! Who cares about the laptop - look at Cathy's dress !!!! GASP !!!! What a fabulous outfit ! xx

  23. I wanted to say exactly what Teophania said, so make that a +1 for the back-up system (I have a double system: a hard drive back-up every week or so and a daily iDisk back-up for the documents I am working on / deem most important, I hear Dropbox can do similar things).
    As to ergonomics: if you're afraid to spend the money, what about something like this?
    If your laptop is up for replacement anyway, just go ahead, you won't regret it. If you find it hard to justify you could consider it an early Christmas gift to yourself? Your health is important! :)
    I break the ergonomics rules myself a lot because I get annoyed by using a separate keyboard and mouse. It feels different... I make sure to put the laptop further away from me on the table so I can push myself up to the table to sit more straight. But I'm going to get another keyboard RIGHT now that my sister doesn't use to see if I like it more. Thanks for the nudge :)

  24. I've got a big imac computer and I LOVE it! My recommendation...go shopping with a student--we get a student discount because of david's programme (plus I can write part of mine off for consulting)...and they are always having deals at this time of the year! definitely WORTH IT! I can't really stand staring at laptops for too long..the screen is too small. It's nice to have one for the occasional trip but I love having a fixed computer!

  25. DO it! We bought a refurbished iMac early this year and love it. I had an ancient iBook (from 2004), and though I loved it for many years, I am now pro-desk-top computer. It creates a space that is dedicated to your work, so you can step away (physically and mentally) when you need a rest. With a laptop, work can follow you everywhere you go. A desktop computer is one way to put some boundaries on work, email, late-night ebay see where I am going here? Our NYC apartment is small, so we need only turn the iMac to watch a movie on our bed. The image quality is really great.

  26. I have a laptop, an ergonomic keyboard, and a nice BIG flatscreen (fortunately all provided for my home office by The Man). I love the flatscreen, but I have the flexibility to move around with the laptop. Best of both worlds.

  27. Hi Peter, I think my computer screen is 17". The computer is at least 6 years old, but it works well (it's a Dell)... but I must say, I've been longing for a laptop for the past 4 or 5 months at least. I spend hours a day online, and sometimes I am just sick and tired of this corner of my house. What a thrill it would be to be able to be mobile with my internet!

    Only make the purchase if it really feels RIGHT. If you still feel unsure, think some more about it...

    That's all from Dear Abby today :)

  28. These days, 4+ years is about the max for any computer, especially a laptop. There should be no guilt -- time to replace. I would replace with a laptop for portability, but use a docking station or other available options that allow you to plug in an external monitor and keyboard.

  29. I say yay for the computer upgrade! With all the fabulous Cathy photos, you will totally need a larger storage space and bigger screen. Also, stick with the Mac! My lappy is at the 4.5 year mark and going strong, but every windows computer has junked out around 2-3 years. It may cost more up front, but really has been the best bargain of any computer I have ever owned. At home I have an external monitor for the laptop to increase screen space, but at work we have 30" screen and linux boxes. Other than helping my mom migrate to a mac, haven't touched anything windows in over 3 years.

    Also, the patterns are super cute! I really want to see a Fred Astaire style coat sometime soon!

  30. Ah, the depression mentality! My mother's family did well during the depression, and I inherited my love of the luxury fabrics and such from them. My father's side struggled, so I inherited my frugality and practicality (and refusal to replace something that still works!) from them. It's a rather amusing dichotomy that leads to cautious consumerism for the most part, with the occasional over the top splurge.
    In the same situation, I would probably still be debating this purchase until my laptop crashed, or my mister stepped in and bought the thing to get me to stop obsessing. Does your mister have an opinion?

  31. I agree with everyone. People say once you have tried Mac, you never go back. I have never had a laptop, but I do want one. I just have a Dell. It is probably 5 years old. I don't have a blog, and really only use my computer for preparing lessons for my two children who are homeschooled, and making photobooks. Although I don't need a laptop I would love one.


    My kids' piano/vocal teacher seems to have a house filled with them, and she uses all of them.

    I think with the type of work you and the amazing pics you take then an upgrade, if you can afford it, will be well worth while.

  32. Having just replaced my six-year-old computer because it died, I'm probably the wrong one to ask. That said, I did it, with software, for around $800 because my brother and I built it ourselves. It's got a terrabyte hard drive, 8 gigs of RAM, and a quad core system. I even sprung for a light-up keyboard so I can see to type in the dark. Not a Mac, though. Not sure you could build a Mac from the ground up.

    My new computer is so much better than the old one it's not even funny. The only thing I miss is the graphics program. I'm going to have to save up for one of those because my budget didn't stretch that far.

  33. Oh, know what you mean. I'm very guilty of sitting on the sofa with the laptop for far too long. Not healthy! On the other hand the trackpad on the laptop doesn't affect my carpal tunnel, whereas a mouse very much does, so there's a trade off.

    I don't agree on the never going back thing though. I used to be very pro-mac but it isn't as black and white anymore. I used to use one every day in my job, but always had a PC in the house due to cost and the ability to upgrade. The benefits that Macs had aren't so clear cut as PCs have closed the gap now, run most of the same software too and the compatibility issue that used to exist is pretty much gone. Also Apple have an irritating habit of leaving basic things off their products that people actually use! And, they are far too expensive.

    Basically much as my eyes and heart make grabby hands for a Mac, my sensible head goes PC :) However if that's what suits your needs go for it before you're forced to. Also, Macs do look a lot nicer if they have to be somewhere they're seen.

  34. Peter I have the 15" MacBook Pro...also about 4 yrs old (& also a refurb). Mine is still going strong, & I still love it! The difference is that I have an ergo keyboard, which is what I always use when I'm at my desk. My desk has one of those slide-out keyboard trays, & I was seriously considering figuring out how to build one, until I finally found the perfect desk on craigslist (*whew* - did NOT want to try to build one! & the really good ones, that you can buy & install on your desk, are not cheap.....but they're a LOT cheaper than a new computer!)

    I'm happy with the 15" size. Larger could be nicer, but I used to travel a lot with my puter, & the 17" was just too big for me. But you could have the best of both worlds if you get a 17" laptop with an ergo keyboard & a decent desk set up.

    Good luck with your choice - newer, faster, bigger - when it comes to computers, I'm all for it!

  35. My father had the Depression era mentality, being born in 1931, so I get it. I'm a PC gal all the way, but I definitely think buying refurbished is a great way to go. My husband is a professional geek so all of our computers are cobbled together out of parts scrounged or bought at various times. It saves me a lot of money I can then spend on fabric...

    I'd also like to add that I am a big fan of the bathing suit pattern. Ottobre Woman had a similar style suit in their spring/summer issue and it was easy to make. I have pictures of it on my blog:

    The horizontal shirring is actually quite easy to do - just looks complicated. It does hide a certain amount of figure flaws. ;-)

  36. my family of computer programmers are big fans of Macs. I have a MacBook and love it, but have the same problem with my neck. I hope one day they will make laptop computers where the screen is detachable and can be placed in a more comfortable position/ angle. I know that day will come but until then I like being able to read blogs and watch over my daughter at the same time.

  37. Go for it. The iMacs are really good these says for even for pro stuff.

    I worked at the Apple Store for nearly 5 years, so Im pretty geeky about the CPUs. I currently use a Mac Pro (stupid name) as my work machine with an HD 22", and a 20" display. Im typing on a Powerbook (Power PC processor) right now.

    And as for people who still perpetuate that AMAZING LIE of PCs being 'cheaper' than Macs, all I can say is stop it. Seriously.

    When I worked at the store, we would have people come in with that all the time and we would take them to a station and build comparable machines. The difference? Generally $100 BEFORE software. So no, PCs are not cheaper than Macs. Both are about the same.

    Sorry, pent up vent.
    I do wish you luck in your desktop purchase. I'd be lost without mine. :)

  38. Shelleyj,
    Like for Like, I wouldn't be able to argue without comparing spec directly. I'm also in the UK, which may or may not make a difference.

    However the bottom line for me is that there is no Mac I could afford, laptop or desktop. But I'd have a fair choice of PCs that would meet my needs and more and would fall within budget. They might not look so good, there might be some compromises, but they'd do the job. This £400 Acer laptop has lasted me about 5 years and I could replace it with better for around the same. The lowest priced Macbook is £600 more expensive.

    Also, having an in-house geek ;) I could have a PC built that could then be upgraded as I could afford it. Not something I could do with a Mac.

    I suspect it's that flexibility and choice at an end of the scale Apple don't cater to, rather than like for like comparisons, that makes PCs more attainable for many people.

    Sorry to divert :D

  39. That's what I have and it's wonderful. Do it! Definitely don't wait for your laptop to conk out - it's nice to have both.

    (No PCs. Urgh!)

  40. Get the iMac! Meanwhile, bend over from your hips, let your neck and shoulders relax, then nod and shake (as in yes and no, slowly) with your head upside down. It will help relieve your neck tension.

    After you get the iMac paid off, replace your laptop with an iPad. MUCH easier to take to the coffee shop.

    Buy what gives you the most pleasure, and justify it by being frugal about other things. You bring pleasure to all of us just by sewing and writing about it, and you deserve to be healthy and comfortable while doing that!

  41. My husband and I have just been having this discussion, both for his work and for his stepdad. If you want to save a little money, you can get a Mac mini, use your external keyboard, and buy a monitor from somewhere else. Dell makes some really nice ones. My husband struggles with back problems, and has found that putting the keyboard on a lap desk has helped immensely. (he also alternates with standing), and you can get a monitor arm to get it off your desk and make it more ergonomic. Save your back AND your sewing table!

    Then you can even take the money you've saved and buy an iPad for those times when you want to be mobile.

  42. Here we work like this: plug the MacBook on a big screen and on an external keyboard and mouse. This way we use the same computer, which can be mobile whenever we want, and also have 2 screens!

  43. Renata, I have thought about that -- it's the least expensive solution. But it still leaves me with 4+ yo hardware (and a lot of dated software).

  44. I have two: a PC laptop nearly 5 yrs old and 1 1/2 yr old PC netbook (both Toshiba) with twice the memory and speed of the laptop. Smaller screen to be sure but I'm more often on the netbook these days because it's so much faster! Plus it's a lot easier carrying, not heavy and great for travel. I've set each up exactly like the other and I don't store anything (if I can help it) on either computer, preferring to use external storage instead and keeping everything streamlined and fast as possible.

    Prior to purchasing each computer I did hours of research on several brand/types/price ranges before narrowing down to these two, but it was worth it - I'm been quite happy with both.


  45. Hi Peter,
    In August 2010, I replaced my aging PC with a Mac Mini, Mac keyboard, Magic wireless mouse and a high definition Samsung 22" monitor. I love it. The Mac Mini has a dvd burner in it as well wonderful photo software.

    I also have a tiny 10 inch Toshiba netbook with Windows 7 on it, that I use for surfing the net when out of town or watching tv. For a while the netbook was in the sewing room but I never used it in there...too many wonderful sewing machines and fabric to play with.

    I'm thrilled that you are buying a new Mac it will make your life so much more comfortable.

    I also adore the swimsuit pattern which I think Cathy would look smashing in.

  46. Crikey Aphrodite, Im glad you have your own in house geek to build you your CPU. If I had one to build me my own oven, Im sure it would be cheaper, too.

    The 'I can build my own CPU' argument I've head exhaustingly over and over and its not something most people often can, or want to do. An overly fluent knowledge in any topic will most certainly lead you down a road of bargains and Im glad you have that. But in the realm or finished goods computers, the prices for both platforms are relatively even.

    And I've had my Power PC powerbook for going on six years and I am just now thinking of getting a new one. Not because it's braking down, but because the new Photoshop is a pain to run on it :)

  47. ENOUGH!

    I love you all but PLEASE do not argue about PC vs. MAC on this blog. :)

  48. Totally agree- it's horses for courses when it comes to hardwear and (usually) software. What really matters is what the techies charmingly describe as the 'wetware' in the user's head and getting the hard and soft stuff that works for you and your circumstances.

    What I wanted to say was that I think the KwikSew swimsuit would be fabulous- I've had beautiful results from every KS intended for stretch that I've ever tried. The cover illustrations are always boring, (the photos are even worse than the drawings)but the patterns have been terrific.

    Cathy would look great in a bright floral bathing suit with a sarong!

  49. I've no guidance with your purchase I'm sorry, but I just wanted to reassure Cathy my Mac is even older than yours - giving her very much the movie star 'soft focus' treatment ;)

  50. I have a MacBook 13" and I love it, but I am facing the same hard reality as you - it's just to small of a screen to look at for hoooours on end. And so an iMac it shall be for me (and hopefully for you)!

  51. I like the iMac for the humongous screen, but I have a laptop. When I want to get serious with editing I doc to a 20 inch hirez display and use a tablet.

    I know that my opinion is only worth so much, so I won't elaborate... instead I will get to the point on my comment I WANT A COPY OF THAT SWIMSUIT PATTERN!!!

  52. Start taking ads on your blog, and maybe the new computer will pay for itself? So long as nothing moves, pops up or makes noise, I don't mind ads on blogs.

  53. I currently mostly work on an 11" netbook - although really, I mostly use it for (blog-)reading and emails, as I don't have to work on the computer. If I have serious picture processing, I boot my desktop linux machine with its 17" monitor. One of my friends is a (hobby) photographer though, and I do envy him his 20" iMac... :)

  54. If you really want a Mac, but don't want to pay for it & don't mind doing a bit of messing around with computer parts, consider a Hackintosh - a computer re-programmed to run Apple's OS.

    You can find some good instructions here.

    The hardware isn't as pretty but the performance is there.

  55. I use a Mac at work and a PC at home. I just upgraded my home computer to allow to process photos faster (I'm a photographer and the files just get HUGE). I've worked on laptops and while I (and thieves) like the portability, I did find them ergonomically terrible. Headaches, backaches, shoulder problems. Plus, and this is just me, I like that the desktop ISN'T portable. I need to get away from virtual reality and enjoy the real stuff. Hope you have a lot of fun with your new machine! --Valerie from PNW, posting as anonymous because of google glitches

  56. I'm actually on a similar situation. Have had a mac book for about 4,5 years and also do photography. Having lightroom and photoshop open and handling huge photo files drives me mad so tempted to get an imac. Like you, I usually have laptop stationary but the though on not being able to be as movable if I by a imac is in my mind.

  57. Suzy, the iMac weighs approx. 20 lbs., which is less than most sewing machines, and has only one plug. Keyboard and mouse are wireless. So while you wouldn't leave the house with it, you could certainly move it to a different home location.

  58. Seriously, If you can afford it, buy it. Before the big desaster happens. I was working on an even smaller PowerBookG4 (11') before upgrading to the iMac. You will NEVER EVER regret that. Those things are amazing and you won't understand how you did it without it, even though now you ask yourself whether you really need it or not. Plus - the cost - compared to notebooks (portables) is really quite low compared to what you get! Oooh, I hope you will go for it!

  59. Sorry Peter :) I'm not doing the old PC v Mac argument, honest. I prefer macs, (graphic designer to trade originally who learned on Mac classics and SE30s!) I'd like to have one. Plus as I mentioned I can't judge price differences in the US, only here (and I'm basing it on off the shelf laptops, not a home built PC) I just do wish they'd compete more at a price point that only the mini comes close to. I'd love an iMac someday and yes definitely, go for it. I'm living on borrowed time with this laptop, which is daft. Better to change it before it gives up and you lose things... because you just know it will go the day before you were about to back it up :)

  60. Late to this convo, but I love my 15 inch screen. Works just fine for me...

  61. It's kind of you to worry about our feelings. I don't have a problem with anyone spending money, as long as you can afford it and it is to spend for joys and needs, rather than mindless spending.

    My cousin (who is a graphic artist) swears by her iMac. :)

  62. I have a windows hp tower which I use with a 26"" screen tv. The tv is my monitor and is also hooked up to my cable line. I have the best of both worlds!

  63. Well, my son owns a Mac he bought the biggest that he could get. (paid with his "hard earn money" He's a lifeguard) Gorgeous thing ever. He's living for university in a few weeks I'm really going to miss him. (or his computer to be more precise). It's worth the money I'm thinking on a Mac mini he had one before but sold it to buy this new one (year old) but I think I'm going to go for it, put it on VISA and just make the payments there is no compare to windows computer, no offense I'm writing on one right now its a little laptop portable but still a crave for a Mac.


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