Tech News on G4

Old Mac – Time to Say Goodbye?

April 17, 2008

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada

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When it comes to technology, I‘m a fairly early adopter. However, I don’t exactly camp out with a sleeping bag at the front of the line every time the latest and greatest hits the street. Although admittedly, as a self-professed Gadget Guy, the temptation certainly exists. Ok, I like to play! But in reality, it’s the self-talk, the evil “B” word – “Budget” that keeps me from that temptation while delivering me a swift reality check.

Ryan | Old MacBut sometimes a real need overpowers our conservative side.  Think about it, everyday scanning your machine deleting megabytes of data off the hard drive to save space. Struggle with your machine’s snails pace, as countless windows are open on your screen, whimpering that you can’t run the latest operating system. Isn’t it time to say goodbye? (I thought of that day before yesterday as I watched Paul Potts, a cellphone salesman from the UK sing this beloved Bocelli opera classic. Potts, beyond everyone’s expectation including Simon Cowell blew the judges away in his audition for Britain’s Got Talent- (Click for the links to YouTube)

I digress.

For me it seems that after all is said and done I typically spend between $2,000-$2,500 each time I purchase a new unit. In 2006, I bought the first 15” MacBook Pro, about 3 months after it came out. In 2004, a 12” PowerBook G4, again a few months after it came out. And 3 years prior to that, it was a Mac iBook, same story.

#1 - Justification

First, consider the bang for your buck. Notice the pattern of my purchases. Each time I buy a new Mac, I spend about the same amount of money, but I also get newer, better, faster and funkier technology. Plus, with the strength of the Loonie vs. the Greenback, today, the deals are even sweeter than before.  What I paid for the 867Mhz G4 with a 40GB hard drive and 512K memory, I can get a 15” Widescreen MacBook Pro 2.4GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo, 200Gb hard drive, Double-layer SuperDrive, at least 2GB Ram, a built-in iSight camera and a multi-touch trackpad.  And if my timing is right, there might be a free printer in there somewhere – of course, with mail-in rebate (if you remember to mail it in) J. I can’t even exactly remember what my iBook had in it. It was white, a G3 and didn’t have a DVD burner. Hmm! I could buy 2 entry-level MacBooks and still have money left to spend at the iTunes Store.

Ok, so the deal is superb, but I’m still not convinced.

#2 - Functionality

Next, consider functionality. It use to be that if all you do is surf the net, hit the send/receive button in your mail app and do a l little on-line chat, then it really didn’t matter all that much what you use.  Not true anymore.

People have changed the way they use their computers, says Ryan Lejbak, CEO a Saskatoon interactive design agency.

“As people become ‘chatty’”, Lejbak adds, “It sucks up a lot of resources on your computer”

Lejbak refers to the use of chat in the form of not only text, but audio and video as well. He runs a MacBook Pro 2.33Ghz, 2MB RAM and 160GB hard drive and can be on 3 chats at the same time. 

“ I use iChat with my Mac friends. I have to use Skype with my PC peeps for video and MSN for text chat. And no computer is ever fast enough”

Lejbak then points to the iSight camera, built-in to every new Mac. Lejbak says it used to be an option, a luxury. Now to keep in contact, it’s a necessity.

With overly outdated equipment, you can’t take advantage of the latest advances. To run Mac OS 10.5 Leopard, you need a minimum 867MHZ G4 512MB Ram with 9 gigs of free space. When your computer can only support 640MB ram and comes with a 40GB hard drive (37 usable), the majority of your horsepower is taken up by just the operating system.  This is only your tip of the iceberg and we haven’t even touched on applications.

Still not convinced?

#3 – Frustration

If functionality is not enough, how about adding frustration into the mix? What about lack of productivity? Time wasted on watching your cursor become the spinning colour ball. How about recovering from system crashes and freeing up drive space? What is your time worth?

You can’t tell me that lack of functionality and frustration hasn’t taken a little toll on you? Been there done that.

I haven’t even mentioned the risks associated with not having the latest security updates and system protection.

Need I say more?

So to quote Bocelli, “Now it’s time to say goodbye”

So you’ve reached your tipping point, where, you have to take that next step. You want to take that next step.  You will take that next step – but alas, you face yet one more hurdle – which Mac do you buy?



Greg Gazin can be reached at gadgetguy “at” telus “dot” net.

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