Hi, all, Thanks to a job upgrade, I am now in a position to take a Great Leap Forward technologically. I have a few questions about my choices here, so I would like your input, if possible. Current set-up: Ancient (late 2003) iMac (lamp-shaped design) with slowest external hard drive one earth, attached to a 1st generation Apple Extreme and router. Wireless devices: MacBook (approx. 3.5 years old), iPad, and iPhone. Both MacBook and iMac have access to two printers, attached to the Airport and to an Airport Express on the upper floor of the house. My issue: I want to streamline my computing. The iMac is primarily used for DVD copying (slow but then I can walk away and let it go), and as the base for my giant collection of photos. The iPhone is synced with the iMac. Meanwhile, I do about 99% of my work on the MacBook, and the iPad (used as my mobile device at work and my e-reader) is synced mostly with that. (Although I do think I have it syncing photos from the iMac, if I remember correctly.) My plan: 1.) Improve the base station--I am thinking of buying a new Airport. Do the newer models have better range/reception? Due to being online since the pre-wireless era, my router is in my basement. 2.) Get a Time Machine for back-up, instead of the horrendous and slow hard drive attached to the iMac, plus the occasion CD/DVDs I rip of stuff from the MacBook. And, oh, horror, flash drives o' backup, too. (Is it possible to attach the ancient hard drive to either Airport or TM, to make it an online drive, for access? And what size TM should I get? And linked to that, will TM let you back-up multiple devices on it?) 3.) Get a MacBook Pro, since I really, really, really want a dream machine. I know, I'm a professor, a writer, and a crazy relative who is always taking photos of the babies in the family, so it's a bit excessive for my needs--but I feel about it like a car fan feels about a Lamborghini. Now I'm just trying to figure out 15 vs. 17 inch, and what other specs to get. MBP will become the hub for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod (if I keep my ancient mini), as well as my camera. 4.) Get a handle on the MBP. I'm thinking of getting a handle-type device (like this: Case-Mate) because I carry my laptop up and down stairs frequently. I suspect this is the reason my MacBook--and iBook before that--developed pressure spots on the screen, from my grip. (Which I still think is idiotic, given that I'm not a bodybuilder and should not have the grip to maim a laptop, but still. I want to do what I can to keep the new toy perfect.) 5.) Get AppleCare on everything. (Oh, and FYI, the only other device on the network is my mother's iBook that comes visiting with her on occasion.) Can you guys give me some feedback on my plan? I am very interested in hearing what you'd recommend. Thank you very much for your thoughts.