Sunday, January 24, 2010

PC vs Mac - which computer should you buy?

If you've read my latest book, She Inc., you know too well my rant on the Mac vs. PC debate and my long-term support of the latter.

My "cool" friends jeer at the fact that I still use a PC, constantly sending me those Mac commercials with the out-of-touch, geeky, PC spokesperson. I've never had a reason to switch and quite frankly, the thought of learning an entirely new operating system, the Mac language and more, evokes great buying trepidation.

However, I'm also a fan of the power of 3's - third time's a charm, three strikes, you're out - and pondering the latter, my PC's on it third strike. My six year-old baby, my laptop, has lived far beyond his expected years with three replace hard drives, mucho memory and yet he still can't play a YouTube video without stalling out and having the fans kick into overdrive.

That's strike one. Strike two, he had a virus that rivalled the H1N1 for computers. With two weeks at the repair shop, reinstalling all of his software (which took days for my assistant to fully find - you'd be surprised how much software one accumulates over six years), and much cost, I must admit that the ridicule of my Mac friends has worn on me (Mac apparently doesn't have the virus issues that PCs do). Lastly, I've heard nightmare stories about operating Vista, and with such a change in operating system if one does buy a new PC, I think I might make the Mac leap yet.

Cost is a huge consideration as the Mac laptop I'm considering as a cool $1,000 plus over that of a PC comparison.

Here's a great blog that I found detailing the advantages and disadvantages, cost and otherwise of PCs vs. Mac - .

Happy shopping and leave me a post with your thoughts on the PC vs. Mac debate.

The costs of professional teeth whitening

It's all the rage. Every magazine tells us, men and women, that a brighter smile is the quickest way to shed years off your face. But what's the cost?

As an avid coffee drinker and occasional red wine drinker, I've used teeth bleaching for years. Unfortunately, I lost my teeth trays some time ago and thus had to start the search all over again for whitening options. Here's the skinny on glowing teeth without breaking the bank (especially if you don't have a dental plan - although, I'm not sure most would cover whitening):
  • Whitening strips. I opted for the professional whitening strips (as opposed to those at the drug store) which cost about $100 for a 30 day package. Personally, I found them messy, annoying to use with minimal results. I stopped half way through with a box full of these strips left. I suppose if you've never used traditional teeth bleach, you might find the effects noticeable, but too lengthy of a process for me.
  • In office whitening systems. I found a dental clinic offering ZOOM in-office system for $299, which has come down dramatically from it's $600+ price tag some years ago. I also found some clinics quoting $1,200 plus for in office whitening so be diligent in shopping around. If you opt for this option or similar in-office systems, be prepared to have your teeth cleaned first (I called around and this cost can vary from $200 - a whopping $600). Also be prepared for a great deal of pain (although short-term) if you have sensitive teeth. The dental office I used also sent me home with enough touch up gel for many more applications plus, customized teeth trays.
  • Take home options. If the pain and cost of in-office sessions have you questioning a brighter smile, shop around for custom fitted trays and take home gels. I highly recommend this option over the store bought trays as you likely don't want the harmful bleach leaking out into your system and you'll have whiter teeth quicker.
  • Bleach doesn't work on stains. Lastly, I learned that whitening systems are not aimed at treating stains. So, your least costly and pain free solution might be to drop in for a quick polish touch-up at your dentist's office.