Ted Rall Laptop Fundraiser!

Update 3/20/18 – More than $3500 raised out of $3700! Almost there!

Back in 2011, you were generous enough to come through when I needed a new laptop computer. It was an amazing machine, but six and a half years is a long time for any portable computer to last — especially when you travel as much as I do. I’ve scanned and colored thousands of cartoons, written hundreds of columns, worked on my blog and done endless research.

I did everything I could to keep this beast going. A year ago, for example, I replaced the battery after a guy at the Columbus OH Apple Genius Bar told me it would get me through another year. Now my Mac Book Pro is showing signs of age: mysteriously missing screws are one thing, but more and more I am getting the “sad Mac” on booting up, plus too many crashes. It could die any moment.

I’d like to buy the 15-inch MacBook Pro with 3.1 GHz processor and 1 TB SSD storage. It’s $3,399 plus $301 NYS sales tax = $3,700.

Why Mac? I’m a graphic artist so I’m trapped in their universe. I have a desktop iMac from 2012 that seems to be working fine. I keep trying PCs but they don’t handle Photoshop as well.

Why a laptop? There are still many applications for a laptop in a world of tablets. I need the storage and don’t always have access to the cloud where I travel. Lots of websites really don’t work well on tablets, especially when filling out forms. And I need a real keyboard to write.

Why not buy it myself? Mainly because of the LA Times. Besides depriving me of income when they unjustly fired me in 2015, not to mention causing countless potential clients not to consider me, they’ve been deploying sleazy legal maneuvers to make me spend money traveling back and forth to LA. They even convinced a judge to issue a $350,000 “anti-SLAPP” judgement against me for their legal fees. (We’re appealing, of course.) The Times, which became partly owned by the LAPD pension fund shortly before canning me, is trying to destroy me to send a message to other critics of the police and because they’re afraid that a jury will see the truth when all the facts finally get presented in public.

So if you value independent cartooning and commentary and understand the value of hard-hitting work to the Left, please consider pitching in so I can keep working. Thanks!!!

Please click the button below to donate:

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About Ted Rall

Ted Rall is the political cartoonist at ANewDomain.net, editor-in-chief of SkewedNews.net, a graphic novelist and author of many books of art and prose, and an occasional war correspondent. He is the author of the biography "Trump," to be published in July 2016.

11 thoughts on “Ted Rall Laptop Fundraiser!

  1. Consider getting the older and somewhat slower 2015 macbook pro (still sold refurbished from apple)
    https://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_pro/15 and upgrade the SSD and RAM with e.g. OWC’s help

    – you can still use your old peripherals / no need to purchase additional adapters
    – much better ports, included SD-card reader
    – better keyboard (the 2016 / 2017 kbd’s are really “special” (as in olympics 😉 ) – try before you buy
    – money left to purchase Apple Care(3 year warranty, including all apple peripherals)

    I just purchased this machine myself, and worked at Apple for a year. So if you have any questions, just ask.

  2. Okay, put in my two cents. Well, a little more than that – but still a pittance. Hopefully George Soros will hear the call, him or a hundred other unemployed seniors.

    So, yeah – you can’t do real writing on a tab, you need a genuine keyboard.

    Ted’s right on the cheapos, avoid them especially if you’re on a limited budget. But the idea of buying last-year’s high-end model is usually good advice. (I don’t keep up on Macs, don’t know if there *is* a “last-year’s high-end model”)

  3. Ted, why an Apple machine ? Do you really believe that they are in some way superior to other computers/operating systems ? They are, of course, specification for specification, more expensive, but that’s not quite the same thing as better, save for Apple’s top managers. I’d suggest you ask around among your technically competent friends before making a decision and, while doing so, consider using a user-friendly, intuitive operating system like Linux Mint (like Apple’s iOS, a Unix derivative) on your new computer. Andreas5’s suggestion to take it easy with regard to Intel processors is also worth considering ; while one of the two techniques for exploiting process design faults, that which goes under the name «Spectre» affects Intel, AMD, and ARM processors, «Meltdown» which seems to be more easily exploited, affects only Intel processors (cf this Tech Crunch article)….


    • I’m used to them.

      I think a lot of tech experts underestimate just how steep the learning curve is for users like me who have a heavy workload. It’s really really tough to adjust to a completely new interface, especially with Photoshop, which is kind of a pain generally anyway.

      • I fully understand, Ted. It’s an example of the well-known vendor lock-in phenomenon, which all vendors seek to achieve and at which Apple has proven itself a past master. At any rate, even if I hate to see Apple garnering their locked-in rent, I do hope you gain the required support from all your many friends in the US who love your work and get a new machine with which you can bring joy and enlightenment to us all….


  4. 7 years certainly is good mileage out of a laptop…

    Still, perhaps it would be advisable to wait out the intel processor snafu… especially seeing that you are looking into a high end model: the extra performance of the high-end range might get offset out due to the OS circumventing the bug, which would make it even less cost-effective.

    However, it is not clear when the redesigned intel chips are going to hit the market… AMD is looking better than ever right now, but perhaps not an easy route if your set on a mac. (Just saying, it is possible to run Mac OS on machines that do not physically sport the apple logo). Then again, much more testing goes into the standard systems which have a larger user base which saves a lot of hassle (though Apple has been spectacularly willing to outsource not just beta but really alpha testing to regular users 😉

    • @JSinger, that’s odd. Can you tell me exactly what happens when you try to use PayPal on your iPad via Safari? Screenshot, maybe?

      I can also take an old-fashioned check: POB 2760 NYC 10163.

    • My approach, which has been good for me so far, has been to buy a high-end model and keep it working as long as possible. A fully-loaded machine is likelier to last a long time in part because what seems like excessive memory soon becomes standard. It’s less disruptive to have to change and transfer stuff. And it’s economical: the cost per year of use seems lowest that way. As TV Smith says, it’s expensive being poor…the low-end models don’t last long and cost more over time.

      Specifically as to what you say here, though, waiting is clearly not in the cards as my old machine is crashing a lot. I know the signs…this dude is not long for this world.

      • Sometimes it can make sense to go one less than highest end, e.g. for last years’ top model. This may trade off a little longevity for quite a decent shave off the top price. At any rate, your approach of keeping hardware around for longer is certainly the better course environmentally speaking.

        Perhaps the OS workaround to deal with the Intel chip flaw “meltdown” is not quite as brutal performance-wise for the newer processor models, in which case you would be mostly fine. Also software like Illustrator shouldn’t constantly talk to the kernel except when autosaving and such. Still, to me it is not quite clear what to believe right now.

    • @JSinger, that’s odd. Can you tell me exactly what happens when you try to use PayPal on your iPad via Safari? Screenshot, maybe?

      I can also take an old-fashioned check: POB 2760 NYC 10163.

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