IT Professional and Network Administrator,
I also take pictures.
Answer to "Defaults on a an aspire"So, it looks like this model of laptop has an emergency partition for instances such as this. Basically, you'll boot up in recovery mode using this partition instead of your primary partition (where your OS lives) This link is from a previous discussion I found here on Ifixit. Give the first answer a read, he gives good instructions, and well as video links that show the process step by step. How to upload or format my acer Aspire One ZG5 And for future reference, older machines will usually have all questions answered for this kind of stuff just with a quick search. Sometimes that'll be quicker than posting to a forum. Hope this helps!
Answer to "Older Mac vs new something else"Macbook's are great machines. I've had my Mid-2010 MBP since my freshman year of college back in...well 2010 and it's still going strong. If you treat them right and are willing to invest a little TLC into some relatively cheap and painless upgrades (RAM, SSD) they pay great dividends. Plus, if you aren't super techy, OS X does a lot of things really well under the hood that makes life easier for the user. You should never have to defrag and, while I always recommend some sort of antivirus protection (at the very least a passive scanning app), the risk of getting a virus is much lower than on a device running Windows. That being said, anytime you pay for an Apple product, a solid third of the price is just for the name. A part of that name price does include the engineering and R&D that goes into creating the product, as well as customer service (if still under warranty.) Unless you are really into Mac for one reason or another (as I am), you should look into what you can get for the same amount from a PC....