After 15 minutes demonstrating the ipad, the charming young assistant in Glasgow's Apple Store convinced me I didn't need a laptop or a netbook. This seductive object allows me to write and blog from anywhere I please, while reading War and Peace and the Financial Times App at the same time. It fits in my handbag. The ipad itself told us the fishing village of Portsoy in Banffshire, where I will be writing my Scotsman column as of next Friday, has Orange Broadband coverage. Sold. But I reached for my credit card too soon. There is a waiting list for the 3G version. My Mac boy couldn't understand why I walked. He offered a place on the PREMIUM waiting list.
I am not the Mac slacker type. I need to sort my mobile connectivity IMMEDIATELY. The saddest thing about losing my job was losing the laptop. Tomorrow I do the ballet run to end all ballet runs - to Cupar - where my daughter sits the RAD Intermediate foundation exam. And you thought it was just wee coopers who lived in that corner of Fife. Life is full of surprises... Monday is meetings and column writing. Then I am away from home for three weeks. So the luxury of premium Apple waiting lists is not an option. It undoubtedly does wonders for the ipad's must-have status. Remember the Furbie craze of 2000? Shortages are engineered to create more demand.
So I went and bought the Orange dongle that Apple had usefully told me was essential for Portsoy. As for the machine, should it be laptop or netbook? The weight of my last laptop caused me fall under a train, so I plumped for the netbook. Having both legs is preferable to a built in DVD drive and a 4GB memory. There are already two powerful desktop computers at home.
Moving swiftly into Which consumer guide territory, John Lewis is the best place to buy because it gives you a 2 year guarantee. But it's so chocka there is a waiting system - like in kids' shoe shops and Argos. And the sales assistant was so dismissive of netbooks I felt embarrassed wanting to buy one.
Off to PC World and the speedy purchase of a Samsung netbook. A word of warning. The young salesman tried to flog a £3.99 package to cover repair and maintenance. But it can take up to 28 days to repair. To get a quicker service and a replacement, you need to pay £6.99 a month. It's only a netbook so I declined the offer. He puts through my transaction then points out that I have one month's complimentary £3.99 service. How generous. Except that it requires setting up a direct debit which must be cancelled when the month is up. Too old to fall for that one.
Still I am very happy with the dinkieness of the purchase. Even more happy with the cute little carry case...WHICH HAS HANDLES. Forget RAMS, gigs, and KHz thingies. Swinging it jauntily is so much more important. Most men I know would disagree. But I did buy my Mini Cooper because it was "pure silver" with leather seats...