Thursday, July 10, 2008


So, in addition to learning how to do this blog thing, I'm also trying to learn about Macs(Apple/MacIntosh computers). Being as I work for the state in an LEO position, and my wife does similar work for the state, neither one of us is a big wage earner. With a house payment, two car payments, gas prices going insane, and two little ones running around the house trying to drive us insane, funds are always scarce, which makes getting into Macs a little dicey.

In reading Tam's blog, I see that she often uses an older iBook clamshell, and I thinks to myself, "Self, that could be just the widget you need to get into Macs, and start learning the basics." So I go on a lookey-loo, the most obvious place being that of eBay. I do a little searching, and find that it's not rare for some of these little gems to go for between $60 and $80. I do a little more research, and discover that what I want, is one with an Airport card, a functioning battery, and an AC adapter(odd how many get sold with no power cords, I'd have no way to plug the bloody thing in).

So, now I start doing active searches, and watching for Mac laptops with Airport cards, power cords, and under $100. You'd be amazed at the sheer number that start out so inexpensively. I also, start to slip bids in here and there. I'm somewhat hampered in this, as that being in LE means that some Exec/Admin/Big Guy in Charge thinks it would be a horrible idea to have the peons looking things up on the internet that aren't strictly job related. So, no bidding from work, only from home, where I have this horrible dial-up connection.(you think your connection is slow, try 19.2 Kbps 4 teh suq)

I've put in bids on numerous laptops recently, only to be outbid while at work. Now, I have no problem losing out on one that gets in a bidding war and goes for several hundred dollars, that's not one I was ever really in the running for. It's the ones that you just miss out on, either because I can't bid(at work) or can't check fast enough over the dial-up. I missed out on a nice one this past weekend, where I was outbid by $3.....that's three measly bucks, because the winning bid came in with 30 seconds left to go in the auction, and it takes a full minute to refresh an eBay page over my connection.

Now that's frustrating. However, with age I've learned perseverance(i.e. gotten more stubborn) and I keep pecking away at it. I'll get one eventually, and then I'll be able to use it not only to learn Macs, but to do some censor-free surfing during the day, as there are free Wi-Fi hotspots all over the place.

Wish me luck!



Tam said...

I've always found I'm happiest if I just plug in the absolute maximum amount I'd be willing to pay, and then check back later to see if I won.

Playing the "auction game" always either gives me heartburn or I wind up paying too much for stuff.

Heck, I literally won my Power Mac G4 by accident. I punched in a number that was the most I could possibly afford (but which I thought was too low for the item) and got a pleasant shock when I received the "You've Won!" email.

Casey said...

Yeah, that's what I'm generally doing. I'm really happy with the new 'Bid Assist' function on eBay that allows me to set up for several auctions at once, and only win one.

The only reason I mentioned that one auction was a) I was actually home and happened to look at it and see that I was winning it with just a couple of minutes left to go, and b) because even though I put my max amount in there from the get go, I just felt I could surely scrape together a couple of more bucks, from pocket change if nothing else :)

Like I said, I don't mind losing big, but I hate just barely losing, I dunno if it's a guy thing, a cop thing, or just a me thing, but it's definitely the way I'm wired :)