Oh, Apple, you're making life difficult for me. Decisions... decisions. This is summertime. Living should be easy.
But I've spent the past few days wondering (1) whether I should upgrade my MacBook Pro from the Snow Leopard to Lion OS, and (2) if a MacBook Air would be a nice early birthday present from me to myself.
First quandary first: it's scary to install a major operating system upgrade. Before I switched back to the Mac world I was traumatized by Microsoft's Windows "improvements."
(The quotation marks are necessary because installing a supposedly new and improved operating system sometimes would leave my PC computer inoperable.)
So like a previously battered spouse who now doesn't feel completely sure if the new marriage partner can be trusted, I'm worried about forking over $29 and letting Lion replace Snow Leopard.
My inclination is to wait a few weeks, maybe even a month, in the hope that evident glitches in Lion's installation process will be ironed out by then.
Problems abound with either installing or using Lion. But since Lion downloads already number over a million, it isn't surprising that even a small percentage of problematic installations would lead to many unhappy Lion purchasers.
Still, I was disturbed to learn from a TUAW post about a nasty Mail problem. And it wasn't encouraging to see many Apple support complaints about dropped wi-fi connections. Since Snow Leopard is working fine for me, it'd be a major bummer to find that installing Lion left me with balky or non-existent email and wi-fi.
Turning to the second quandary (which has some relation to the first): I'd like to have a backup laptop in case my somewhat aged MacBook Pro gets sick or dies unexpectedly.
I've considered getting another MacBook Pro, but the changes in this model since I got mine several years ago have been evolutionary riather than revolutionary. So I can't get excited about a more-of-the-same computer purchase.
The newly revised MacBook Air is a different deal, though. Several pounds lighter. A solid state drive (like the iPad and iPhone). And about twice as fast as the previous Air -- which likely is a lot faster than my current MacBook Pro.
Plus Thunderbolt for superfast input and output (leaving aside the not-so-minor detail that currently there are no Thunderbolt external drives to input from or output to, something you'd think Apple would have considered before making Thunderbolt a big marketing feature. You've got to have it! But so far, you can't use it.)
Plus, plus -- and this is important to me -- a backlit keyboard has returned to the Air. I love this feature on my MacBook Pro. I rarely type in complete darkness, but even in a dim room a lighted keyboard is handy (and looks cool).
So I'm attracted to the MacBook Air.
I also like how Lion would come preinstalled on one. No worries about upgrading the operating system. If I had a Lion'ized MacBook Air, I'd feel a lot more comfortable taking the plunge and installing Lion on my MacBook Pro, since if there was a major screw-up, I'd still have a working computer.
Thus my inclination is to stifle my immediate craving for both Lion and the MacBook Air. Not forever, but for a month or two. I'll watch and see how reviewers react to these new Apple products. Likely some glitches will be fixed. Early adopting is fun, yet you can also pay a price by being one of the first to buy.
Patience, grasshopper. That's difficult to do when Apple comes out with a lustworthy new offering. I'll try to follow that Kung Fu advice, though.