My technology upgrade is complete!

You guys are officially awesome.  Thanks to all of you that provided camera suggestions a few weeks back. I went with the majority suggestion, which was the Canon S95. I bought it on Amazon for $399, and got a 16GB memory card ($28) and camera case with it ($8). Given that shipping is free and there’s no sales tax through Amazon, I’d say I got quite a good deal.

Then I asked for feedback about a new laptop. I’ve been a PC guy all my life, though finally decided I’d go with a Mac. Originally I was going to go with the MacBook Pro, though there’s a new version coming out in a few weeks, and my current laptop wasn’t going to last that much longer. Instead, I went with the top of the line 13″ MacBook Air, based on the suggestions you guys provided.

It was more than I wanted to spend, but all the reviews were amazing. Given that I probably work 14 hours a day on my laptop, I decided I shouldn’t be too cheap about a new laptop. So in the end, the MacBook Air cost me just under $1,700, and I also bought an external drive ($79) and ethernet adapter ($29). I ordered it through, which offers free shipping, plus three bonus miles per dollar spent through the American AAdvantage shopping mall.

So while I’m not usually much of a tech guy, I had a huge smile on my face when I got home on Friday and saw my new, compact technology. I’m the guy that never wants anything for Christmas (because I really have everything I want), so in that sense, this was the most “material” stuff I’ve ever gotten.

I went from having a brick of a laptop and a huge camera to this:

I’ll provide a more in-depth review after I’ve had more of a chance to play with my new laptop and camera, though thus far I’ve been insanely impressed. I’m not a tech guy so won’t rattle off facts of which I don’t know the significance, though I will say this: the computer is insanely light, insanely small, insanely fast, and has insanely good battery life (I got nearly seven hours of web browsing out of it over the weekend). Best of all, it recharges completely in only a couple of hours. I think I’m in love.

The Canon S95 has been amazing as well. I have to put no effort into taking clear pictures, even in low light conditions (like airplanes).

What more could I ask for? Can’t wait to put my new technology to work on my big trip in a couple of weeks (and yes, I’ll be revealing the details of that very, very shortly).

So thanks again for all the suggestions. The good news (or bad news, if you really don’t like my blog) is that I’ll be dedicating most of my time onboard planes now to writing blog posts.

Thanks again for all the suggestions, I couldn’t be happier about my new technology.


  1. The MacBook Air is a great computer and will hopefully serve you well! My MacBook has been a champion in the 3.5 years I’ve had it, whereas my previous Windows computers almost always just gave up when the going got tough.

  2. Enjoy the new toys. The Air is so nice and light. I’m not a camera person so a few yrs ago I went with one of the smallest Canon SD1200 (or maybe an earlier model).

    I’ve had a Macbook Pro since June 2007 and except for one item under warranty everything works well.

    Just be careful protecting the Air since I’m sure there are a lot of envious and not so honest people out there looking to grab one.

  3. That memory card is slower than the camera can take pictures and write them to the card. If you do a bunch in a row (tracking a landing plane, for example) the buffer will fill and prevent more shots while it empties.

    You might want to consider swapping that out for a faster card. You can read about SD card speeds on the site of any major vendor (I use Lexar, but they’re just one of several top manufacturers).

  4. Don’t bother using flash with your S95 on airplanes–it takes wonderful pictures without it–actually, more natural than with flash. More private and discrete, too.

  5. Well done, two excellent bits of kit.

    I would certainly endorse what Steve said and look at investing in a better and faster memory card. I’m a fan of the SanDisk Extreme and Ultra ranges.

  6. I second @DiscoPapa!

    Make sure that later on down the line before your manufacturer warranty expires, to purchase AppleCare!

  7. I’m so envious of your new MacBook! Maybe you want to try shooting some video with your new camera. It could add a whole new dimension to your reports!

  8. FriendlySkies-I never use flash onboard but plenty of others apparently do–check out some of the food photos on various flyer and travel sites. I agree, not a good idea, though.

  9. I also purchased the Macbook Air 13″ for grad school – its a great computer, the battery life rocks, and my seatmates in F on UA 1 and 2 ORD-HNL while i was watching movies on it!

    It is so light (I have a Thinkpad for work that is a brick) and portable, I love it!

    You chose wisely …

  10. Great!

    I am also looking at S95.

    But, at $395…it’s only $20 less than G12 on Amazon……difficult choice for me to make in a couple of days.

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