Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Nothing I Really Want

Living in a major city means people are constantly targeting you with advertising. When you walk down the street, people offer you flyers which you can either take out of pity and then throw away at your earliest convenience or they offer you tissues with ads stuck in them which you take because they're actually useful. That being said, people who offer tissue packets as a way of advertising will sometimes not offer them to foreigners. I'm not sure if they do this because they think we can't read the advertising or if they think we're like wild bears that might bite off the entire hand if offered a treat.

One of the other types of advertising is ads for various services crammed in your mailbox. Most of them are a collection of papers hawking (legit) massage places, gyms, cleaning services, offers to haul away unwanted items for a fee and menus from local restaurants. More often than not, I put the whole sheaf into the paper recycling bin, but occasionally, I check the menus out.

The problem with the menus are that the food that is offered is pretty much the same old thing with the occasional modest variation or seasonal add. The bento, sushi, and Chinese shops rarely vary their offers and everything is over-priced and not of particularly great quality. The pizza places are also pretty much the same old stuff with one or another disgusting new combination pizza being offered on the front of the new menu. Even if I don't feel like cooking or am so tired of my own cooking style that I don't want to eat it, the monotony of what is on the menus with so few variations bores me back into the kitchen to just do something myself.

Screenshot from the Mac Buyer's Guide

The experience of looking at the menu and not finding anything I really want is one that came to mind today when Apple released new notebooks. I've been waiting for a long overdue update on a low end (headless - that is, no built-in display) desktop model for a bit now. In fact, Apple hasn't released a new Mini for around 14 months. Instead of offering something new that I'd happily hand over the cash for right now, they offered moderately altered notebook models with slightly better specs, a new trackpad, and a new design. Now, MacBooks look like my husband's $800 Acer Aspire (silver case, black keys, glass screen). Woo-frigging-hoo. Notebook Macs were updated 8 months ago so I can't understand why they prioritized this over something which hasn't been refreshed in such a long time. If the comments on Lifehacker and Engadget are any indication, I'm not the only one who is less than thrilled by the new announcements.

Apple is very much like the local restaurants. I want to buy, but they keep offering the same thing which I'm not really interested in. I'll just get by with what I already have until Apple decides it wants my money badly enough to expand its menu.


1tess said...

Rats! I just bought my MacBook Pro.
Oh well, I was happy with it yesterday and it's the same machine…
It's so hard for me to spend money, but one day I just "got up the nerve" to spend the money and go for it.
I've never had a laptop before, and so far I like it!

Orchid64 said...

I'm not sure about this so you might want to call an Apple store and ask, but I thought Apple will let you return your MacBook for a 10% restocking fee if you bought it recently (last two weeks or month?). That'd allow you to buy a newer model if you wanted to, though it'd cost you something.

My husband bought his MacBook about 5-6 months ago so it's not quite as new as yours, but it also "feels" like he bought "just before" a new one. Of course, with a new model coming out after 8 months, it's hard not to feel you have an old one.

1tess said...

I thought about this for a few days, and today was 2 weeks since I bought my macbookpro... THE DEADLINE!
My thoughts were:
Is it worth the 10% restocking fee: $240 or so? for what is mostly a cosmetic upgrade? I really should spend this money for software upgrades. Or some new clothes… (which I need!) Or keep the money for emergencies?
Finally, I decided to go for it and GUESS WHAT!!!
I went to the local Apple Store and talked to one of the tee-shirted employees—a very nice young man with an Australian accent, very charming. I had made up my mind to go for the new updated mbp. Then I asked if he could transfer the files from my 2 week old laptop. While we did that, he said that he would update my purchase gratis. WOW!!!
Thank you for the tip. I would never have thought of going back to complain about the abrupt upgrade without your advise.
This new laptop is beautiful and I am so pleased with the service at the Apple Store! Thank you, Thank you!!

Orchid64 said...

That is super duper, Tess! I'm really pleased that my comment helped you out.

Even when I mentioned the restocking fee, I was aware that Apple sometimes did it for free (I'd read about it happening that way), but I didn't want to say anything for fear of getting hopes up. I've read that it's a very idiosyncratic thing and depends greatly on who you deal with at the store. I'm very pleased that you got lucky!

Congratulations and enjoy your new, new (as opposed to just plain old "new" ;-) ) MacBook!

Joseph said...

You may have read this article already. If not, sorry to be the bearer of unwelcome rumours.

Orchid64 said...

I was e-mailed by another kind person about this earlier today. I'm not really bothered by it. In fact, I'm hoping Apple will replace the Mini with something with a little more impact. Bigger, better video processor, and even more expensive, but with no monitor - that's what I want.

Thanks for thinking of me. :-)