Tuesday, June 01, 2010

New Laptop

Yesterday, I bought a new MacBook Pro. The old one was less than three years old but it was again malfunctioning, has an almost useless battery, and cracks in the metal on both sides of the screen. Just a new battery costs more than $A200 and I decided not to put any more money into it. The new computer cost $A2,199 which is less than the $US2,159 that the last one cost in 2007. Both are the base model 15" model. This one has a 5 core chip instead of a 2 core chip, 4GB of RAM instead of 2GB, and a 320GB hard-drive instead of a 160GB one. The clock-speed is 2.4GHz vs. 2GHz. It's interesting that for a long time computers competed on faster and faster clockspeeds but in the last 3 years there have not been very large gains at all on this dimension. I'll be deducting the remaining value of my old computer from my taxes and a big chunk of this one. If I'm in the 30% marginal tax bracket that reduces the cost by a nice amount.

Also yesterday we visited the Norwegian embassy to deal with Snork Maiden's visa for Europe. Even though Norway is not in the European Union they deal with European visas for people visiting Scandinavia here. They are really unclear about the rules applying to people who are spouses of European citizens. Maybe we don't need to pay for the visa. According to the French government she wouldn't need a visa at all. I'm also working on organizing our accommodation in Sweden. Finding something there at a decent price that meets our requirements for the duration of our stay seems pretty challenging.

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