A lot of people have been asking how much I’m making from my web sites. A vague answer is: enough to order a new pimped-out MacBook Pro.

My goal all along has been to earn enough to order a new computer. Not exactly reaching for the stars, I know, but a fella’s gotta start somewhere. My initial goal was to be able to do this by October 2007. But when Apple announced upgrades to their laptops on October 24th of this year, I realized that I could afford to buy one now. I placed an order that afternoon. (But not without some deliberation: should I go with the 7200rpm/100gb drive, the 5400rpm/160gb drive, or the 4200rpm/200gb drive? The choices we geeks face…)

I was eager to get my new machine. Because I was taking the second week of November off to write, I figured that would be a great time to break in my new computer. When I placed my order, I frowned at the estimated delivery date: November 7th, the Thursday of my week off. “Ah well,” I thought, “there’s plenty of time to get writing done early in the week, and then time to play with the new computer at the end of the week.”

During my vacation, I checked the order status several times every day, hoping that the computer would shipped early. It never did. In fact, it hadn’t shipped by November 7th, the day it was supposed to reach me, and then suddenly the ship date changed to November 12th! This made me sad, but it gave me an opportunity to alter my order. In the two weeks since placing it, I’d realized that I actually wanted a large hard drive, not a fast one, so I called Apple and made a small adjustment. No problem, right? Wrong.

By changing this one aspect of my order, the ship date was pushed out further still! The new ship date was November 22nd, the day before Thanksgiving.

Again I waited, hoping the machine might ship early. It didn’t. But it did ship from Shanghai on Wednesday morning. “Hot damn,” I thought. “It might reach me by Friday.” I watched the tracking reports as the computer flew to Anchorage, Alaska, then boarded a plane for Indianapolis. “It’s really going to do it,” I thought. “It’s really going to reach me by Friday.” When I went to sleep on Thanksgiving night, the computer was still in Indianapolis, but I had great confidence it would reach me the next day.

On Friday, I sat cold and alone in the Custom Box Service offices. (This is the deadest day of the year for us. Nobody calls. Nobody comes in to work. It’s just a ghost town.) The FedEx web site still promised delivery by noon. The FedEx telephone system said the same thing. But according to the tracking report, the computer was still in Indianapolis. “Maybe the tracking report is wrong,” I thought, but deep inside I knew the tracking reports are never wrong.

I waited in the office until one before I called FedEx again and paged through to an operator. “I’m sorry, sir,” she told me. “Your package has been delayed in Indianapolis.” I sighed and drove home.

For a time over the weekend, I actually forgot about the endless wait. (Forgot, that is, until Paul J. cruelly reminded me.)

I had a dentist appointment early this morning. FedEx usually comes to the shop late morning or early-afternoon. I expected to come back and still have to wait for the computer to arrive. But just as I was walking out the door, the FedEx truck pulled into the drive. Such torture! I signed for the package, opened it, looked at the shiny metal case, but then had to leave to get a filling. O cruel fate!

Eventually, of course, I was able to use my new computer. In fact, I’m typing this entry on it now. It’s quick and responsive. The screen is ginormous (1680×1050 &dmash; just imagine what this is going to be like when coupled with my 24″ cinema display). I love the new features in OS X.4 (I had never bothered to upgrade my other Macs).

I wish I had more time to play with the new computer right now, but I don’t. I have a lot of writing to do. But make no doubt: play with this beast, I shall!

I’m just happy that it’s finally here.

I ordered my MacBook Pro on the afternoon of October 24th. It finally reached me on the morning of November 27th. That’s a l-o-n-g wait.

4 Replies to “The Long and Winding Road”

  1. J.D. says:

    Here’s an initial review of the machine from an e-mail I sent Paul J. this morning:

    It’s not perfect. The keyboard squeaks when I type. It’s BIGGER than I had expected, and thus unwieldy. I’m used to hauling my little 12″ machines around wherever I want to go. This computer isn’t really built for that (it barely fits in my FILSON bag). The screen is more mobile than I’d like, meaning it wants to move up and down when I tilt the computer. Also, the keyboard layout is screwing with my kinesthetic memory. Because I’ve been using the 12″ machines so long, I know exactly where my fingers should go. I don’t on this.

    But forget the complaining: I like the computer. It’s beautiful. It’s not exactly as quick as I had expected, but it never bogs down. It plugs along without complaint. I love the new OS features (like the widgets). It’s a great machine. I’m just wondering now if I shouldn’t have saved $300 by ordering a 15″ model instead. (I could have ordered the exact same thing but with a smaller screen.)

  2. You don’t say whether you got a 15″ or a 17″ model. The 17″ is truly large, larger than I really want. I like the 15″ models, which I find adequately portable.

    Oh wait, I infer from the last sentence of your comment that you got the 17″ one.

    On the bright side (for me), the delay in shipping your Mac to you hopefully means that the demand for the things is off the scale. On the other hand, that means I’ll be in for a wait when I order one myself.

  3. Lauren says:

    If you got the 17″, you may have gotten more than you need. I only got the 15″ Powerbook (G4) because I do graphics and video. If you do few of each, a 12″ would have worked just fine. But I LOVE my Mac, and when I got it last year, I had ‘made the switch’.

    My suggestion: just go to a store and buy it. I got mine at CompUSA, but just go get it from an Apple store. I’ll guess that Portland has one. Buying in the store is still worth it if they have what you want: it’s immediate.


  4. serenity says:

    JD, first, I would like to congratulate you on your new toy. Don’t worry about the wide screen…you’ll miss it one day when you get use to it then you’ll end up with the smaller one.

    second, thank’s to your link to life 2.0. I really enjoy reading it. sometimes I feel so stupid of why I’m actually against the current (of everybody else) -but the website tells me otherwise. So thak you

    third, can I translate your “get rich slowly” to bahasa indonesia? did you charge for your writing? if you did, please disregard the third request *grin*

    thank’s JD your website is always an eye opener

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