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Meredith C. Carroll Headshot

An Open Letter to Tim Cook and the Smart Folks at Apple

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Dear Tim Cook and the staff at Apple,

I hope I'm not taking you away from anything important, although I generally assume people like you are always doing something critical, smart and productive-y. You know, like developing life-changing software, coming up with nearly brilliant but ultimately nonsensical Siri retorts or playing Dungeons & Dragons (because I figure if anyone is still doing the latter, it's people like you. Well, you and that kid who sat next to me in Mr. Zappala's seventh grade science class who once tried to dissect the booger he scraped from under the lab table).

However, we need to talk. The MacBook on which this letter is being typed is on its last legs. It has been a fine four years -- if you don't count the past six months, in which time my computer has slowed down to a speed that's only comparable to that of my Grandpa Teddy in his powder blue Cadillac (although when he was that slow, he was saving lives).

This computer, on the other hand, is taking years off of mine -- but I think you and I both already know that an update is in order. The MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs you're offering now seem lovely, but I'm in it to win it. I'm ready for more.

Usually I'm someone who doesn't look any farther into the future than the next issue of Us Weekly. But for the past several months the most anticipated event on my calendar has been your geek convention, or the Worldwide Developer's Conference, which is set for later this month. It seems as if a new MacBook Pro is imminent, although much to my chagrin, some of the super-geek rumor sites indicate the new Air might still be another six months away. And that poses a problem. Because I really need the Air. Like, really need it. Stat.

Yes, I'm a writer, so technically I need it to, you know, write (I've been typing directly onto a computer since my parents got us an Apple IIe when I was in fifth grade, so the longhand thing is a quaint idea, but, well, it's quaint). However, let's face it: I'm not looking for you to reinvent the wheel -- or the alphabet and keyboard in this case. I just figure it's about time that one device does everything for me. I have no idea what that really means, but it seems as if at this point, the sky should be the limit. (Back to the Future Part II takes place in 2015, so can't we just watch and take notes about where we should be at this point?) I need my next computer to do everything. And by everything, I'm not talking about word processing and iCloud-ing. That's so third-quarter 2011.

Baby-sitting

It's summertime, which means my older daughter is spending more time at home and awake (damn Congress and the whole longer-daylight thing). And if she's up, it means I have to be on my toes. But that's where you come in. Can you make it so my computer watches her? Like, watch watches her -- as in, see what she's doing when we hear those shrieks and crashes in her room after 8 p.m.? You know, in a Big Brother kind of way? And can it wipe her when she poops or teach her how to do it herself (she won't listen to me)? How about put the toothpaste on her brush in the morning (and ensure she gets around to the upper teeth in the back)? Can it take her to the pool when I'm feeling too bloated to wriggle on a swimsuit? Can it add more variety to her steady diet of Goldfish crackers? Can it make her stop whining when I can't produce a rainbow on demand after every four-minute thunderstorm? These are qualities I'm looking for in a new Mac.

Cooking

Summer grilling is nice and all, but if I have one more piece of kielbasa I'm going to start mooing (or oinking; I don't actually know from whence a kielbasa originates). I love the idea of fresh, summery fare when the weather turns warm. You know, like, if I could actually afford an entire single meal from the farmers' market without mortgaging my retirement and that of my great-great-grandchildren. So, could my computer shop and cook for me? And I don't mean give me Mark Bittman's latest take on five different ways to prepare chopped salads (thanks for the hint on varying the salad add-ins; I'm so glad I paid $4.99 for an iPhone app offering that kind of groundbreaking advice). Can it allow me to afford to shop and eat locally? And can my future new computer prepare the meal to look like it does in the pictures on everyone's Facebook page? Because in some ways, that's all my taste buds really want -- to compete.

Je ne sais quois

No, really -- I don't know what. You tell me what I need, Apple people. Because if you don't and I buy this computer without it and then find out a week after buying it that another computer has it, I'm going to be pissed. OK? Thanks!

Love, Meredith

P.S. -- Please tell Siri we need some better answers regarding where to hide the dead body because it seems as if the cat is out of the body bag at this point and we need some new hiding places.