I am a retired educator who has taught and also worked at a center in NYS designing and delivering instructional computing services to 52 school districts. I retired in 2003. The hardest part was finding how I would reinvent myself. I had been quite a workaholic and suddenly found myself with lots of time. I tried various volunteer work and finally found joy in Meals-on- Wheels and Literacy Connections, where I tutor adults in reading, writing, and sometimes math. I am married with two daughters and two grandchildren. I enjoy working and learning the Macintosh operating systems. We now have two laptop computers - a mid-2009 MacBook Pro, and a brand new mid-2013 MacBook Air. Both now have 8GB of memory, and 240GB and 256GB Solid State Drives. (I recently upgraded the MacBook Pro to 8GB of RAM and to a 240GB Solid State Drive.
I can tell you that Solid State Drives are the way to go. They are faster, quieter, more energy efficient, and most importantly have no moving parts. I had had a Toshiba 500GB drive in the MacBook Pro, but found I was only using about 53GB of storage so the 240GB SSD was the way to go. The MacBook Air is lighter, faster, and very thin. It comes with two USB 3.0 ports and an thunderbolt port, so I purchased a thunderbolt to ethernet adaptor so I could plug it in to our router when i had very large files to download. It also has the ability to share the Optical drive on the MacBook Pro, however the system restricts it to data disks only - no music CDs, no installation disks. (But really, we hardly used the optical drive on the MacBook Pro, except when I had to run a hardware test from the Applications Install Disk.) Everything seems to be downloadable now.
When I purchased Mountain Lion for the MacBook Pro, I received 90 days of free tech support. When we purchased the MacBook Air, we also purchased AppleCare, which is a real bargain. And did you know that when AppleCare runs out, Apple only charges now $19 per incident up to 30 days. It formerly was $49. That $19 is a bargain because if you have a real problem, they route you to a senior advisor.
I will enjoy bleepingcomputer.com forums.