The iMac was our desktop computer and it was 6 years old. It had become, more or less, Carol's computer, and mine was a MacBook White that we had bought about two years ago. So, now with a dead iMac, should we get another desktop?
We bought, instead, a second MacBook, bought a nice 19" monitor to go with it, used the keyboard and mouse from the dead iMac, and recreated a very satisfactory desktop configuration. Now we can take our respective MacBooks with us, when we are away from home. Carol simply disconnects the MacBook from the peripherals, and off she goes.
But on the way to the laptop-with-peripherals decision we actually discussed going even further and getting an iPad. I talked to Macon about it, to Walter, and to the salesman at the Apple store. The majority view was that we should go with a MacBook. After all, the Apple salesman said, the iPad was simply an iPod on steroids, not a real computer.
But today Glen Reynolds linked to a PM story on using the iPad as one's laptop, which, as we now know in our household, can be one's main computer. The thesis is that with "the cloud" available for application software and storage, an iPad could be all you need.
I still think we made the right decision in getting the MacBook at this point, but I have otherwise been getting acquainted with the cloud through a new piece of web-based software called Basecamp. Maybe the next time a computer dies on us, the replacement will be whatever iteration of iPad might then be current.