It’s a tool after all

I finally ditched my Apple ecosystem for independent tools that function well together. It was the iPad in 2018, iPhone last year, and the MacBook Pro this year. And believe me, parting with the MacBook Pro has been the most painful experience of them all.

No, I haven’t sold it off or anything (yet). The laptop’s got aging issues and I can tolerate anything but a slow computer. So, I shoved it aside, pulled out my office-issued Lenovo IdeaPad 530e, and have been working with this for the past several weeks. The Macbook Pro has been lying on my desk, untouched, and accumulating dust. (And I need to do something about that.)

I’ll be honest, transitioning to Windows hasn’t been a pleasant experience either. Things still crash every now and then (particularly applications like Chrome and Microsoft Teams), which drives me nuts. But I at least have an option to upgrade the RAM without bankrupting myself! So, I have placed an order for a 32GB RAM to replace the existing 8GB stick, which is twice as fast as my MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM!

I must say that tolerating Windows has been a humbling experience. While the OS doesn’t look as fancy and minimalistic like the MacOS, it’s pretty darn functional. Gets the work done. Period. The only app I’m missing is the Ulysses app for writing. I’m using the good old iAWriter as my primary writing tool.

Speaking of which, at the elemental level, these are all tools with different names and functionalities. What I’ve realised over the past several weeks is that you can’t get too attached to the tools. Doing that is only going to harm you either emotionally or financially. Utility is what I should be paying a price for; and if a $1,500 laptop does the job of a $3,000 laptop equally well, there’s no reason for you and I to buy the pricer one just because it looks so cool!

Yeah, I know, I can’t be making decisions based purely on costs. Believe me, I’m not. But I don’t want to pay a premium just to send social signals that state I’m cool, rich, and creative. Now, that’s idiotic! So, I’ve decided to invest in tools that are practical, functional, and doesn’t cost a bomb. If that’s a MacBook Pro, so be it. If not, that’s fine too.

What I don’t want is a piece of hardware with a price tag that’s both ridiculous and disgusting. Why? Because fixing these things is usually pricier. And that’s a hassle I don’t want to get into in the name of a phone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, 4k television, or a washing machine.

I think the moment you pay a premium to buy a tool, it loses its identity, and becomes some thing else. Just like you pay a premium to buy an Audi Q3 after you’ve driven a Jeep all your life. You traded your money and utility for status symbol. Is it worth it? Almost always, it isn’t.

By Sunil Nair

Nurturing leaders of tomorrow.

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