What computer to get?

Microsoft and Apple have completed their unveils of their new laptops and I am a little torn on what I would get if I needed a computer right now.  I don’t need a computer right now, I’m perfectly happy with my MacBook Pro ever since I put in the SSD but I’ve been considering what to get next in the event I need to replace one of my computers at home.  
I like the idea of the Surface Pro a lot since it has a pen (I want to start trying to write stuff again and the pen is pretty cool when you use it with OneNote), its portable, and it has some of the older ports that I need like USB.  The Microsoft stuff is very expensive though and it doesn’t come with the keyboard, you actually have to buy it as an accessory.  That just boosts the price of the device.  I’ve messed with it in the store a few times and I have to say that I like how it looks and feels and Windows 10 is definitely a great OS.  A problem I have noticed is that some of the apps that I use on my iPhone and iPad are not in the Microsoft Windows store (things like DayOne and Notability) which I use pretty frequently and its nice to be able to see the content I created in those apps on my MacBook when I get home.  The real gravitation for me though is the ability to touch the screen and use the pen.  I think I’ll see what Surface Pro 5 looks like and how that compares.  The downside is that it is Windows and I’m kind of sick of configuring stuff but Windows is headed in the right direction in just making it work.

On the other end of the spectrum is the new MacBook Pro’s that came out.  Nothing really revolutionary here, its a MacBook that’s just way faster than my current one but it uses USB-C (Tunderbolt 3) for everything so adapters will be needed everywhere for me to hook up my stuff.  I use a lot of USB devices like external drives and for syncing my ipads and iphones so having to carry an extra adapter around is kind of annoying (I know first world problems!).  I can see how Apple is trying to go all in with doing things in the cloud by reducing the amount and types of ports, promoting iCloud as something like DropBox or Google Drive, and making it really really thin.  I also kind of worry about upgradability and keeping the computer past the 5 year mark.  My MacBook Pro is already 5 years old and I’m expecting to not be able to get past MacOS Sierra as the OS.  My HP Desktop is 9 years old and its gone through Widows XP all the way through Windows 10 Anniversary edition and I can keep on going most likely until the hard drive dies or something.

This still doesn’t get me any closer to what I should get.  Although the use case that I am trying to solve is bringing the computer with me even on the road for work.  The job is starting to get more restrictive on what I can access when I’m off the clock (they’re starting to restrict cloud storage sites) and as the consumer market moves to online storage that’s going to be a problem for me since I do have a lot of things in the cloud right now to free up space at home or to be able to access it on the go without having to download it or keep multiple copies locally.  I could also just try and use my iPad for those use cases but sometimes its just better to use a computer for some of the tasks that I’m trying to accomplish.  There’s something to be said for multi tasking (iOS tries but I can’t really get into it like I can with a desktop OS) and I do switch widows a lot and do many things at once when I am on a desktop OS.  Like right now I’m writing up this blog post and its mainly the only thing I’m concentrating on, normally I’d have Netflix or something in the background or surfing some news site at the same time with the ability to see both at the same time.

I’m trying to do the split screen thing right now and it just doesn’t feel as natural as using a desktop OS which is why I don’t think I’ll be ditching the computer in the short term.  I do need something more portable and lighter.  I considered getting the MacBook but its less powerful than an iPad Pro, I mean come on why would I want to use that if an iPad can kick its ass?  I don’t have a lot of processing needs but when I do I want something faster than a tablet.

I think I’ll wait until one of my computers breaks, then I’ll consider what I should get.  In the mean time, I’ll just stare and drool at the new tech but save my dollars for something that I really want (not NEED but WANT).  

Got an iPhone 7 

I got a new phone for work, an iPhone 7.  One of the perks of my job is that I can get a new iPhone every year for the low price of $199.  The problem is that its carrier locked to AT&T, but the cost is offset by selling one of my older iPhones so its essentially free by the time everything is said and done.

I haven’t tried most of the new features or even set it up, I’m still researching ways to make this my personal phone and continue with one of my older phones as my work phone.  I own an iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s so its not like I’m hurting for equipment.  I mostly want it for the improved camera tech and the image stabilization.  I’ll probably finalize set up next weekend after I do some more experimentation and I also have to do some backups with my other 2 phones.

I can’t wait to start using this thing daily, its going to be awesome.  I also can’t wait for iPhone 8, that one is definitely going to be my new personal phone and I’ll upgrade my wife’s phone too since she’s sporting an iPhone 6 and she’ll want the upgrade.

 

6 Years and 7000 Miles of Motorcycle Riding

It’s been 6 years since I started riding a motorcycle and I’ve just gotten to the 7000 mile mark.  For all intents and purposes I’m still a pretty new rider even though I’ve been riding for a while now.  Not a lot has really changed in the last 6 years in terms of riding except for a few pieces of equipment.

I’m still riding around on my green 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 650R which I bought new from Gables Motorsports.  Luckily (knocking on lots of wood in my house) its still in the same condition as when I bought it.  There’s a lot of bug splatter and dirt but thats to be expected.  It probably needs a new front tire finally, its looking a little bald but I had to change out the rear tire during the first year when I got a nail in it.

I have changed out my helmet and gloves since my first days riding and I’ve added some Kevlar jeans to my riding gear for some extra protection which also has some impact pads for the knees.  I also updated my helmet speakers to Bluetooth which was an awesome gift from my wife one Christmas.  Every once in a while I take out my GoPro and do some filming but its rare and I don’t like wearing the chest harness all that much.  The only thing I would change if I could afford it would be to upgrade to the Kawasaki Ninja ZX6 636.  But in actuality, I don’t really need that sort of bike since I ride so little, its more of a desire.

I think for Christmas I’m going to get a new front tire when I get my yearly service.  I don’t ride far enough to warrant service based on mileage, if I did that I would have only gone through 2 oil changes by now.  I think I’ll hit 14000 miles in another 7 years, maybe by that time they’ll have some affordable electric motorcycles!  That would be totally sweet!