Wednesday, 09 February 2005, 7:57:26 EST

Monday evening I sat down and did my tax returns instead of homework. I did it all through because, since I am poor, it did not cost anything to electronically file my federal return nor my state return. Basically, Intuit, the company that produces the TurboTax and Quicken software products, donates their web based TurboTax services to people like me who just need to get the stuff done and can't really afford to pay someone to do it for them. It turns out that I will be getting a rather nice return this year, mostly because I bought a new vehicle in 2004.

What is wrong with getting a good tax return? I start thinking of ways to spend it. The smart thing for me to do would be to use the return to take a year off of my car loan. However, as I have stated before, I am really interested in getting an Apple Powerbook. Recently, Apple updated the Powerbook line by increasing the memory, upping the hard drive, adding some extra features, and lowering the price. Three days before they updated them I priced the cheaper version of the 15" at about $2,300 with a student discount and the Apple Care service plan. The day they updated the Powerbook line I priced the more expensive 15", with one further upgrade, at about $2,100 with a student discount and no Apple Care service plan. With the tax return that will be deposited in my bank account in a couple of weeks I could pay for more than half of the price of the Powerbook.

In an effort to make a more informed decision, I decided to read the Apple Care service plan and compare it with Dell's Complete Care service plan (the links are to the PDFs for each plan). Read Dell's plan; in particular, read section 2 subsection A and the prices for laptops on page seven. Now, read Apple's plan. The important part of their plan is section 2, subsection E, part ii. Apple's plan costs $239. They must be kidding if they think I am going to pay them that amount of money for that lame contract.

Any way, I still haven't decided what I want to do. There is a third option that I could do which would make next year's tax season an even bigger headache — investing half of it in the stock market and depositing the other half in a savings account. I am not sure I have the time to do that correctly though. Plus, if I was confused with my taxes this year I would definitely be lost next time if I decide to do that. Why don't we have a simpler tax system?


If your Linux mindset of ultimate control has set in anywhere near like how mine has, an Apple computer is going to drive you batshit crazy.

Screwing around on the Mac in VS has shown me that eveything is "as easy as it could possibly be" complete with hugemongous pretty icons. It is just very different from a DIY operating system. Let me know how it turns out for you if you get one.

Posted by Mr Frosti on Thursday, 10 February 2005, 12:26:46 EST.

There is a significant difference in using a system and "screwing around" with it. I have used Mac OS X before and yes, it drove me crazy. But, I have always considered learning operating systems a hobby of mine. I would like to learn how to use OS X the way it is meant to be used.

Jason can attest that I always go straight to the options screen when I first play a video game. So, customization is definitely a big thing with me. However, I want a system that is rooted in the Unix philosophy yet is easy to use, looks good, and is well supported. OS X is that system and the only way I am ever going to learn it and have a chance to like it is to own a machine that I can use it full time on.

My decision is leaning toward putting the tax refund in my savings account and adding as much money as I can to it until OS X Tiger comes out. It is rumored that the Tiger release is at the end of March so that gives me some extra time to make my decision.

Posted by James Sumners on Thursday, 10 February 2005, 13:01:39 EST.

Good blog

Posted by Anelia on Thursday, 01 September 2005, 23:41:42 EDT.