help me spend my hard-earned money
So you know I'm in the market to get a new computer. My current computer is actually a hand-me-down from Joe, a desktop Compaq Presario that he got during our second year of med school. Which was, you know, a long time ago. This computer keeps freezing and crashing and doing the Bad Things. It's time for a change. Out with the old, in with the nucleus.
However, I am all torn up inside with what laptop I should get. I don't even know what operating system I should go with. Ever since switching from PC to Mac a year and a half ago, Joe has become one of those crazed Mac fanatics, and is pushing me like some kind of heroin dealer to make the switch. So I've been researching either getting the 14" iBook or the 15" PowerBook. They're expensive, but I get an educational discount since I'm on Housestaff at [University Hospital], which defrays the cost a tad.
The problem is that I'm just a little bit scared of Macs. Even though they were the standard at Wellesley for much of the time I was there, I never quite learned how to feel comfortable around them and spent a lot of time cursing out the Macs in the computer lab that made weird little blipping noises and wouldn't do as I commanded. Joe is convinced (CONVINCED) that once I commit to the world of Mac-ness that I will LOVE THEM and be a total Mac-freaky convert, but it's kind of hard rationalizing spending anywhere between $1,500 and $2,000 on a computer that I don't feel quite comfortable using. People love their Macs, though. I guess there must be a good reason.
On the PC side, it does seem (superficially, at least) that you get a lot more stuff for less money, even though PCs seem to be more buggy and crashy and all that, as my current computer situation will attest. I'm looking at this monster at present (part of the HP ZD8000 series) which would certainly be a robust desktop replacement (I have very little day-to-day need for a truly portable computer, I'm just in the market for a laptop because I like the idea of having that option of toting my computer around for presentations and such) and comes tricked out with a lot of fun things. I have to admit that mainly, I'm fascinated with this TV tuner function that allows me to do TiVo-type things, even though I really don't watch all that much TV so who knows if that'll be money well spent. But the computer, it has a very large, pretty screen! And it has a lot of features! And TiVo! Also, it's cheaper than the 15" PowerBook.
I mean, we all know that Macs are more expensive than PCs, so maybe I should just come to terms with that and embrace why it is that people switch to Mac in the first place despite it all. But are they only for ultra computer-y designer types? What about us computer dunces who don't even know what Linux is? Linux? What's a Linux? Isn't he the kid in "Peanuts" with the blanket? If I get a Mac, is it not going to be compatible with anything? And what's with this one mouse button thing? Oh, Macintosh, I fear you.
What should I do?
Currently reading: Many many laptop product reviews on CNET.