A glass of milk and a step into the unknown

Last Friday due to a series of unfortunate events my about two-year-old Samsung ultrabook got into a pretty serious accident. Thanks to my clumsiness and the unwise positioning of the laptop, the machine was exposed to a fair amount of liquid – about 0.15 litres of milk to be exact.

Despite the immediate first-aid drying with a considerable number of paper towels and rice bag treatment for three days, the laptop didn’t quite make it. The keyboard became completely unresponsive and previously somewhat rebellious mouse apparently hit puberty.

However, with the help of a borrowed external keyboard I was able to successfully boot the laptop and to copy the files – including unknown number of unfinished blog post drafts – to a safer location. Therefore no precious data was lost and the only casualty was the computer itself. The poor thing will be ritually recycled in near future.

I, the owner, abuser and now confirmed killer of the laptop was now facing a problem. Being an IT student, a programming addict and an avid explorer of the Internet I was used to having a properly – or at least somewhat – functioning computer in my reach at all times. Since I had not come around building the PC I had been talking about for past year, the now milk-dipped laptop had been my only computer.

I had no choice but to embark on a journey of finding a new companion. This was no easy task especially to as indecisive person as me. Luckily, in this case, the situation worked in my favour. The sense of urgency forced me to optimise my usually nearly eternal decision making process.

After a short spurt of research, I was able to draft out a list of absolutely necessary and some preferable specs and features of my next laptop.

Must-haves

  • Size about 13”
  • Minimum 256 GB SSD
  • Minimum 8 GB of RAM
  • Great battery life (notebookcheck.com’s wifi test result or something similar must be around at least 8 hours)
  • Priced below 1700 €
  • Available in a few days
  • Processor Intel Core i5 or i7

Preferable

  • HDMI port
  • SD card reader
  • Three USB ports

With this list I begun the hunt limiting it to the selection of 4 online stores. (The stores used were jimms.fi, gigantti.fi, expert.fi and for reference newegg.com. The last one was later abandoned since it offered to many options that weren’t readily available.)

After two days of looking at countless number of laptops, skimming and reading tens of reviews and making a harsh decision after another, I narrowed the options down to four laptops that I then examined in high detailed, touched in public and judged by their cover. (Nobody ever said anything about laptops, just books.) Then, on Tuesday evening, I finally made my decision.

However, the salesmen in one local electronics store didn’t bother with serving me. Probably because I looked incredibly young and hence were likely to be poor and not worth their time. Therefore I left without buying the laptop with 1700 € price tag from that store. Instead I headed to another store that didn’t overlook me. I was able to negotiate on the price of the same machine saving over 100 euros. I left the store almost 1600 euros poorer but happy with my decision and shopping experience.

That’s how I became a new owner of a beautiful but admittedly highly expensive piece of technology called MacBook Pro (13” with retina display, 256 GB Flash memory and 8 GB of RAM, Intel Core i5 processor).

There’s no denying that this purchase was definitely a step into unknown. I had used a mac only a couple of times before committing myself to this machine. Learning to operate smoothly in this new environment will take some time. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve tried to use Windows shortcuts.

All the same, I’ll rather see this as an interesting learning experience than as a painful adaptation process. Being different from what I’m used to doesn’t make something bad. So, despite feeling a little lost from time to time, at least for now, I’m perfectly happy with my decision. However I’ve vowed that I won’t take too close look at laptop offers for a while.

For you that have already started praying for me: I’m not going to completely sell my soul to Apple. My desktop – once I get around building it – will be Windows/Ubuntu machine.

I own iPhone though.

Well, I was going to hell anyway.

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