Benjamin’s Sony Viao, Meme (pronounced Mem’-ee), has been slowly dying. Well, I guess technically it isn’t his computer per se but the battery. At the end of last year the battery purchased with the computer 3 years ago was shot and after weighing the options we opted to purchase another battery with hopes that it would last until he graduated next May. Instead the $80 battery instead lasted a full 6 months before it too was powering the laptop for only 2 minutes — just enough time to rush from a power outlet upstairs to one downstairs but not enough to get anything productive done.
While flying back from DC early last month B used my laptop to get some work done on the airplane. We discovered that having something to work on significantly reduced his flight-induced anxiety. [Aside: B has had anxiety now for a few years and in general it’s under control. Flying can jump him up on the “not doing well” scale and it’s worse when I’m not flying with him.] Knowing that B would be flying to Houston by himself just three days after we got back from DC, we decided that we needed to get him a truly mobile laptop before then.
The plan has been to purchase a Mac when we eventually did replace the Viao — the question was: is it time to do that now or to buy another battery? The previous battery we ordered online. This time that wasn’t an option given our 2-day time window. So we went trucking off to the Cherry Creek Mall which as both an Apple and Sony store. We first dropped by the Apple store to confirm they had the 13″ MacBook Pro in stock. We then walked down to the Sony store to ask if they had a battery for the Viao in-stock. If so our plan was to fork out the ~$100 for a battery and defer the MacBook purchase until later. The not-so-very-helpful gentleman at the Sony store said that they didn’t stock it but we could order it online. Instead we went back to the Apple store and purchased the 13″ MacBook Pro which was christened Sebastian.
That evening I got a crash course in Mac OS X and after many hours of rsync’ing data we had all of B’s music, photos, and documents off Meme and onto Sebastian. By the end of the next day I had OpenOffice, The Gimp, Inkscape, and KompoZer installed and he was off and running. We’re both still learning things about it but I really like what I’ve seen so far. More importantly B appears to really like it.