My New MacBook Air (Or So I Thought)


Well, it started out as mine.

Three weeks ago, I (Alex) marched into Future Shop and purchased a spanky new MacBook Air. I’d been saving in YNAB for a year, treating my wheezy old dog of a MacBook Pro like gold (fan under her bottom, lots of rest time, full shutdown every night) so she’d last me until I made the switch. Hundred dollars here, fifty dollars there, until the magical day finally arrived (June 1) and the numbers in my MacBook Air category rolled over – ding!ding!ding! – to signal I’d reached my goal. Time to go shopping.

And shop I did. I knew exactly what I wanted: the smallest, least expensive version of an Air. I don’t download anything other than things to read. I don’t watch movies. I just need somewhere to store my Word docs and PDFs and all the things that go along with the writing life. Lucky for the budget, these things take up an insignificant amount of computing space, so I can get away with buying the cheapest model. Which, when it comes to Mac, is never cheap. Then again, it’s also not cheaply made: I’ve gotten two solid years of 12h+ daily use use from my Pro – and it was a 2009 model, purchased used in 2012. I anticipate my Air will give me the same longevity.

Here’s where I stumbled on an unanticipated hiccup with my plan. My littles are Minecrafters. They had been sharing an iPad for months, passing it back and forth between turns, and looking forward to the day when Mumma could buy her new computer…because then they’d get the old one to play Minecraft on, and they wouldn’t have to play the Pocket Edition anymore. Imagine my chagrin when I realized my poor old Pro couldn’t handle the graphics, memory and processing requirements to make Minecraft actually work. Instead of running around building zoos, mining redstone and outsmarting Endermen, my boys were jerking along in a slow, staggering smudge of green and brown, at risk of punched to death by faster-moving zombies.

I couldn’t watch it happen.

So now, thanks to YNAB, the kids are playing Minecraft on a fancy new computer that’s small enough and light enough to be carried between your fourth and fifth toes, barefoot on Jupiter. And I’m still dogging it on my old Pro.