Willamette University recently picked me to write a piece for its Campus Conversations series. This means that as soon as I turn in 5,000 words they’ll give me enough cash to replace my Mesozoic-era laptop. That’s terrific news because “Lappy” has the computer equivalent of colon cancer. I haven’t seen the blue screen of death yet but something called a “C++ runtime error” keeps wiping out my fact sheets. Worse, there some freaky problem with the electrical system because every now and then the screen goes haywire or the entire machine acts like the battery fell out. So Lappy has to go. This raises the inevitable question: Mac or PC?

No doubt, Macs are way cooler. They’re sleek and glossy and well-designed (even Q would admire the magnetic power connection). But they’re also overpriced. The same hardware you get in a white MacBook you can find in a Dell for $400 cheaper. Also, some of Mac’s quirks really bug me. Triple-clicking? No right-click? Also, why is there no Solitaire? Plus some of my nerdy tech friends say Macs are hard to upgrade and some other stuff I don’t really understand. So the jury is still out. My essay is due in mid-August so you have until then to convince me.