The New MacBook

by Kristen Abell

I know, I know, I’m supposed to be ooh-ing and ah-ing over the Applie iWatch, but I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of wearable tech. I have a Pebble, and after being buzzed every time I got a text or a Facebook message or a Twitter mention, I turned off all the notifications so I could just have a watch again. I now only use the Misfit app on it to count my steps. That’s the limit of my desire in wearable tech.

What I’m really drooling over is the new MacBook – and not because it’s gold (maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never been a fan of the whole gold thing. Give me silver over gold any day). But dang, that is one sleek-looking new computer. Thinner than the MacBook Air, it weighs in at a mere half a pound more than the original iPad. It features a 12-inch screen and new keyboard technology to fit into that smaller space. It also, of course, features Retina display with a resolution of 2304×1440. For those not versed in tech, that means “purty.”

In addition, it features a new type of trackpad – the Force Touch. Instead of a hinge trackpad, as is traditionally featured on laptops, the Force Touch uses sensors to “detect how much pressure you’re applying and give you new ways to interact with your Mac. You can now use a Force click to enable new capabilities, like quickly looking up the definition of a word or previewing a file just by clicking and continuing to press on the trackpad” (from the Apple website).

Because of the unique new design of the processor, no fan is required for the new MacBook. This means that your computer will also be silent. What does that even sound like? I can’t remember.


The battery life on wifi is 9 hours. Compared to the battery life of my current MacBook Air (a 5-year-old model, to be sure), this is just phenomenal. Although my partner is doing his best to convince me that that is not a justification for buying a new laptop, I’m having a hard time seeing it (or maybe it’s all the other features that have me swayed).

The only drawback I see to the new laptop is the single port – you will now have to carry a cord with you wherever you go just to plug in a USB device.

Yeah, I’m totally fanwomaning (no, not fangirling – do I really need to explain why I hate that term?) over this laptop, but show me one that is this sleek and powerful.

In the meantime, if anyone wants to front me the $1299 starting price, just let me know.

The New MacBook

My love affair with my new Macbook Pro.

by Jennifer Keegin

This semester I had an epic decision to make. A new office laptop was needed for new duties I’m taking on at the University. Traveling from meeting to meeting, I could take an iPad, but I was using more than Evernote, I was having to access websites and show my screen to attendees to help them visualize projects. I wanted something light and portable yet powerful.

When I headed to Best Buy to look at options, I noticed the array of touch screen versions on the market. The thing was, I had purchased just months before a Sony Vaio for the AV closet in the University Union and had purchased it for the small size, “foldable” style and touch screen. For the purposes I bought it for – it worked. However, for an every day laptop – touch screen wasn’t necessary. I mean, there’s the iPad if I really need to touch something. I have also had a touch screen computer screen (all in one unit) and it was totally unnecessary.

I’m a 13″ laptop type of gal and while I was appreciating the large screens, I like a smaller frame. As I was browsing, I hit upon the Macs and just sighed. I haven’t used a Mac since I was in college and I’ve been a little hesitant to work with one. Using an iPhone or an iPad (or an iPod for that matter) are all different than using a Macbook. Different iOS, different way of saving things – but I’ve always wanted to jump back in.

The sales guy showed me how the newest iOS for Macbook allows you to utilize the Pages and Numbers programs and yet save them in other formats, which I didn’t realize you could do. I’ve always heard about conversion issues and things like, “Well I have a Mac so it just doesn’t work the same.” I was wary of getting into something that wouldn’t be compatible with PCs since that’s what all of my colleagues in the Dean of Student use. It’s just my new colleagues in the Marketing & Communications that brandish the Macs.

I also got a student discount with my University email address. So that settled it and I purchased the best laptop I’ve ever owned. (Ok, the University owns it but you know what I mean).

I have never brought home a laptop, opened it up, turned it on and just used it. There’s always programs to be loaded, security programs to be run, different browsers to download, files to be transferred. I feel spoiled with this Macbook. For me it was definitely an iPad killer. I really adore it. I take it everywhere and love being able to open it and pretty much have it just come on and it’s ready to go.

I’m sure many of the younger readers today probably had a Macbook in college, most of the Binghamton students do – but – I’m old and in college I had a word processor, than used computer lab computers, and didn’t own my own laptop until graduate school and that one only did word processing. Owning a laptop has always been a big deal to me and finding the best one for me has been a sort of obsession. I’ve purchased lots of laptops for my office and etc. and this one, hands down is my favorite.

My love affair with my new Macbook Pro.

Blogger Choice: A family that Macs together, stays together.

by Colleen Riggle


We are officially a full Apple family. MacBook Pro(s), iPads, iPhones, Apple TV and recently a 27 inch iMac was added to the family of glowing screens. We are the family that needs to have a special router to accommodate all the technology running in our home.  And I’m pretty sure my husband would buy our youngest (17 months) some type of Apple device if she wouldn’t attempt to chew on it.

Although she’s too young for a Macbook Pro, she loves to use my iPhone.  However, I must admit I’m thrifty when it comes to apps. I really don’t like to pay for them, so I usually find something that is free in place of one that is .99 – yes I know that’s way less than a Starbucks but it’s besides the point.  Fisher Price has definitely won my vote.  They have over 20 children’s educational apps.  Everything from learning the alphabet, numbers, to singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat to even a small piano!  All for free! I’ve gone through and bought almost all of them.  They are in a special folder for just for Catherine.

And on the other end of the spectrum, my 18 yo son just bought a MacBook Pro.  He’s a big gamer and had been using a 5 year old Dell – it’s quite the difference now.  We had a little down time the other night and were all found sitting at our pub table with the glow of the screen on our faces.

Some families bond over sports, some food, and others television.  We definitely love food, and a good show during prime time, but we will definitely always have the bond of technology.

A family that Macs together, stays together.

Blogger Choice: A family that Macs together, stays together.

The Woman Niche (Or How Tech Companies Market to Women)

I have to admit, I’m out of my depth on this one. Writing about the ways in which tech companies do or don’t market to women and if they should do it in the first place is honestly not something that I think about very often.

*imagines the weight of my SAWTT comadres‘ eyes on me in criticism*

In terms of the tech that I use regularly, I’m an Apple kind of woman. I own several Apple products and when I reflect on what made me want to buy them, I don’t remember any gendered marketing that influenced my decision. I bought a Mac desktop computer because I was sick to death of my PC and its rampant viruses.

There was no Hello Kitty “girly” branding that made me feel like Apple was speaking directly to me or any traditionally womanly values that I might possess (and I say this as a woman who loves Hello Kitty).

In fact, I don’t think Apple does much overt marketing to women; if there is, it’s subliminal. Perhaps in the look and feel of the product? (I am phrasing a lot of these statements as questions because I’m pondering this just as much as you are.)

Continue reading “The Woman Niche (Or How Tech Companies Market to Women)”

The Woman Niche (Or How Tech Companies Market to Women)

Blog Prompt Monday: What technology tools do you use to stay organized (list apps, calendars, etc.)?

by Meghann Martinez

As the holidays sneak up on me I find myself turning to technology to keep me focused and on task. From potlucks to website updates, I’m covered. The easiest way to introduce these tools is by walking through my day.

12AM: Appointment and deadline reminders are sent to Outlook, iCal on the iPad and the Android phone for the next day. My personal Google calendar is synced to my iPad and phone as well so those reminders come through.

7AM: Nightstand application awakes the living and dead (so loud!)

8AM: Check iTeamwork for work to-do list. iTeamwork is a free web-based project management tool that can be used with a team of people to assign tasks. I use it just for me to keep everything in line. I love that it is really simple to use, I can track the progress and make a daily to-do list. I wish there were an app for this!

8AM-5PM: Meeting reminders come through an hour before and 15 minutes before the start time. This is really helpful because oftentimes meetings are stacked on each other and run late so this lets me know that I need to move-on into the next meeting.

Often times when attending meetings there are action items assigned to myself for completion. I take notes on my iPad using a stylus and the Penultimate app and place the specific action items in my iPad Reminders app, which syncs to my Outlook to-do list on my PC.

Hootsuite is my daily lifesaver. My job is social media so being able to pull reports, schedule tweets and Facebook updates, and interact with the students away from my desk on the iPad or phone is flexible and time sensitive.

Dropbox helps me keep my work up-to date and everywhere I need it. I can work on assignments at home, work or at another computer using this cloud technology. No more USB drives to lose.

Post- 5PM & weekends: At home and school life becomes more simplified using mostly Google applications to keep moving forward. Additionally, I keep my bills and expenses in line by using and it’s corresponding app, my bank’s app, Fidelity app (401K) and the Debt Free app. Debt Free has been a great tool to use as a new professional to combine all of my credit cards, car payment and students loans into one app, set a debt “budget” for monthly payments and see my progress (most rewarding!) towards being free from “the man”.

Whew, that is a lot! If you haven’t noticed almost all roads lead to the iPad. It never sleeps and has an outstanding battery life! The best bonus is that it fits in my purse.

While I live life by the bell there are days I block out my calendar for “me” time and that’s the best reminder.

Time management cartoon

Blog Prompt Monday: What technology tools do you use to stay organized (list apps, calendars, etc.)?

Linkage Love: Lion & Google+

By Brenda Bethman

Happy Wednesday everyone! This week’s Linkage Love features the two biggest tech stories of July: Apple’s new OS, Lion and Google+ Happy reading!


Unless you live under a rock or really, really, really don’t care about Apple, you likely know that the newest version of Mac OS X, named Lion, showed up in the App Store this morning (along with some new MacBook Airs. Yes, I will confess to lusting for one despite having owned mine for less than a year. Can you say backlit keyboard?). If you’re a Mac owner planning to upgrade, here are some links for you:


I am fairly certain that most of you reading this are already on Google+ given the size of my #sachat circle. If you’re not, you probably will be soon. Below are some links of interest if you’re trying to figure out what all the Google+ hype is about:

What about you all? Are you on Google+? If yes, do you like it, hate it, feel “meh” about it? Anyone upgrading immediately to Lion? Or waiting to see how things go first? Let us know in the comments!


Linkage Love: Lion & Google+

WWDC Love From An Apple Fangirl

By Brenda Bethman

As I’ve noted before, I am a recent convert to Apple, but apparently it’s been a fullblown conversion and


Monday afternoon found me eating my lunch in front of a computer, desperately refreshing a couple of live blog feeds to keep up with the WWDC keynote. On Tuesday we posted a special blog prompt asking what, if anything, y’all found exciting in Apple’s announcements on Monday — and now it’s my turn to let you know what I’m excited about. So here goes:


  • Reminders: as someone who’s gone through multiple task managers searching for “The One” (my current favorite is Wunderlist), I am super excited about the new Reminders system and hopeful that this will be the one I’ve been looking for.
  • Notifications: finally! No more interruptions by ugly blue boxes. iPhone users will have a new Notification Center and it looks a lot better.
  • Camera: sure, Apple improves the camera after I finally break down and spend money on Camera+. Oh, well… will be nice to have a better built-in camera.


  • Mail: again, I finally break down and spend money on Sparrow (because I hate the Apple mail app that’s built into Snow Leopard), and then they announce the upgrade to Mail coming in Lion.
  • Multi-Touch Gestures: I recently installed Reeder for Mac and am loving the way multi-touch gestures work with this app. If Gigaom is correct that this is the future of Mac apps, then I say bring it on.

This very brief summary barely scrapes the surface of the new features coming to Mac and Apple iDevices. For a more comprehensive roundup, see Cult of Mac’s review post. What are you looking forward to with the iOS5 and Lion? Let us know in the comments or through a post of your own. And remember if you do post, please drop the link here in the comments and/or use the #sawomenblog hashtag if you post on Twitter!

Cross-posted at Defiant Musings

WWDC Love From An Apple Fangirl

Linkage Love

by Jess Faulk

This should probably be the easiest blog post to produce.  The internet and it’s abundance of information can easily lead you from one interesting website to another.  However, I can honestly say that I have been in an internet (and information) void over the last several weeks, not enjoying my usual time on Twitter and the connectedness you feel from something as simple as being able to read the news online.  So this week it was a pleasure to have as an assignment of finding interesting websites to share!

First up, is the website I am most excited by.  I stumbled upon a mention of NYC internet Week last year after the conference was over and was so excited about attending, I pre-marked by calendar a year in advance.  It’s free for students, $15 for others, and a whole love of fun geeking out.  Can’t wait to attend next week!

Two popular stories this week caught my interest.  The first because I am a huge Apple fan, and lover of the “get a mac” commercials.  The second caused me to reflect on how much I might contribute to electronic waste by my own continual upgrading of electronic gadgets.  I very much hope that we will move toward more environmentally friendly tech materials in the near future.

Apple’s ‘Get a Mac,’ the Complete Campaign

Your Old Laptops Are Killing People in China–2

I can’t put together a group of links without including a few infographics.  If you area visual-learner like me, this might be your chosen method of information digestion.  Soak in the latest data on mobile tech use and twitter!

Smartphone apps will boost enterprise productivity by 2015

Twitter: The who, why, and now

Linkage Love

From Diehard PC-er to Apple Fangirl?

By Brenda Bethman

As I mentioned in my introduction post, the first computer I owned was a Tandy PC running Windows 3.1. I bought that computer in 1993 and remained loyal to PCs and Windows for the next 17 years, resisting the siren call of Apple products. Then, in April, I bought an iPad. It was the first Apple device I’d ever owned (which scandalized the salesman at the Apple store: “But what about your phone?” he asked. I showed him my HTC Windows phone and thought he would pass out from the shock :)). I could not, however, resist picking up a shiny new iPad, so I bought one and brought it home. By early July, I had also picked up an iPod, an iPhone and traded in my Dell laptop for a MacBook Pro (in the photo. Yes, I gave a significant percentage of my income to Apple this year). I also switched to an iMac at work since I was up for a computer upgrade this year.

The ironic thing about this is that for years I had refused to switch to anything Apple/Mac. Partly because of the cost, but mostly for two other reasons: first, the sometimes unbearable smugness of Apple evangelists. Yes, they’re pretty products that get the job done, but using them does not make you a better person and PC-using folks evil. I’ve started reading a fair number of Apple and Mac blogs to pick up news and tips. Sometimes reading them is just painful. Sorry, but I find Apple fanboys/girls extremely annoying. My other reason for sticking with Windows-based PCs is that for a long time I thought that Macs were “too easy.” It seemed to me that if you didn’t know how to fight Windows into submission when installing a printer driver (or whatever), that you really couldn’t call yourself computer-savvy. And then I brought home the iPad and found myself reaching for it more and more often when I wanted to do a quick task because I didn’t want to wait for Windows to start up (my work computer took so long to boot I could go down the hall, get coffee, come back, and it was still going).

So I switched to a Mac and I have to say that it’s amazing how it just works. New printer? Just plug it in. Go hunting around websites to download new drivers, cursing when it still doesn’t work? No need–it just works automatically. In general I’ve been very pleased with the switch and wish I’d done it sooner. There are a few drawbacks: one (since solved) was the lack of a decent version of MS Office for the Mac. Using Entourage was painful and an experience I am pleased to leave behind (if you’re a Mac user and you’re still using Office 2008, dump it now and upgrade to 2011. You’ll be glad you did). I haven’t yet managed to find a grading program for the Mac platform that I like and while I could run my Windows version of Teacher’s Toolbox on my Windows installation, doing so is painfully slow. Our university’s IT department has fewer Mac techs, so the wait for support is longer. And I still can’t stand unbearably smug Apple fanboys/girls and hope I never turn into one.

From Diehard PC-er to Apple Fangirl?