Things to Get an Incoming Harvard Freshman

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Sheep shear belt from J. Press of Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA

As I was headed to my 25th college reunion at Harvard, I got a text from one of my partners. One of her friend’s sons was graduating from high school and headed to Harvard this fall and she wanted gift suggestions. As I was waiting for my hopper to O’Hare, I opined in no particular order:

1. Personalized stationary with initials embossed on paper and envelopes

2. Fountain pen -nifty basic Mont Blanc or fancy Cross with name engraved

3. Box of name cards

4. Custom laptop bag from Timbuk2 with an iPad Air inside encased in a Zagg backlit keyboard case

5. Album of fun selfies, depending on how cozy she was with the boy

6. Tie wardrobe from jpressonline.com -looking under neckwear. About five would do

7. Tasting flight of single barrel Kentucky whiskeys

8. Watch wardrobe featuring cheap but fun watches by Stuhrling, Stauer, Casio, Timex

9. Sony RX100m3 camera

10. Custom blazer buttons with his initials embroidered on them

11. Warm, lined hunting vests from Orvis

12. Gentleman’s knife with a 3 inch blade and corkscrew, other stuff optional

13. Rice cooker -old fashioned kind that lets you cook ramen, stews, osso bucco

14. Shaving subscription

15. Squash racquet and bag of balls, eyewear -even if he doesn’t play now, he will

16. Collapsible bike

17. BMW i28 convertible in silver

18. Bose bluetooth speakers -the big ones, Bang and Olufsen if particularly favored

19. Waterbed

20. 3 pack of 10,000 mAH battery packs, solar charger

21. 4 years of Dropbox subscriptions

22. Lava lamp

23. Annual summer retreats in the Hamptons, Calabria, Florianopolis, and Catalina.

24. Foul weather wardrobe -waxed cotton jacket in green by Barbour, anorak by LL Bean, ski jacket system by North Face

25. Beef jerky

Apple M-Series

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Apple needs to create a premium product line. BMW has their M series. McDonalds gives you the option to supersize their fries. You can now pay an extra 20 bucks to get seated in the exit aisle on your next flight. So why can’t we have serious upgrade options.

I know that when you buy a Mac, you can upgrade the processors and RAM, tweak the screen, and add software, but what I really want is the stuff out of Apple’s skunk works, some imbalance, a heaping load of cognitive dissonance. You see, the problem I’m having with Apple right now is that it is headed towards becoming General Computers.

Why can’t we have a Macbook Pro Premium with the DVD drive slipped out and the space filled with more battery, maxed out i7 processor, and 16 gigs of RAM with a retina display screen? In matte black. Why can’t we have a limited edition micro-Macbook Air suitable for pocketing with a 7 inch letterbox screen and small but full keyboard (like Psion’s), 24 hour battery life, and an SD card slot. Why can’t we have a limited edition iPod Touch with a 5 inch retina display and impossible thinness? How about an iPod nano phone with a separate, flawless bluetooth headset, that also functions as a wi-fi hotspot for all your iGadgets.

There is a market for these items, in much the same way that there is a market for Ferrari’s and personal submarines. When the overweight lady with crazy hair and too many shopping bag carry ons is poking around on an iPad -it’s not so fun.