Things have come to a pretty pass when Apple’s entry-level laptop (which doesn’t
even officially support Final Cut Pro and runs it in a slowed-down simulation
beats a dual-processor G5 desktop machine running Final Cut Pro natively.
Me, I don’t have a dual-processor G5. Nothing close. I have a single-processor
G4, which has been through the wars somewhat and is beginning to show its age.
Over the weekend, it started making nasty clicking noises and crashing, which
was a bit disconcerting. I thought about replacing it with a Mac Mini and an
external hard drive, but I don’t trust external hard drives for day-to-day work,
and in any case there’s always an annoying lag when you want something off one
and the computer has to tell the hard drive to start up again.
In the short term, I managed to fix most of the problem much more cheaply,
by buying a $9.99 can of air at my local hardware store, opening up my G4 (one
of the great things about the G4, how easily it opens up), and giving it a good
spray. No more crashes or clicking. But it still slows down especially when
I have my RSS reader open, which is a bit of a usage hog. And my scratch disk,
where I keep my pictures and music, is rapidly approaching capacity.
So in the medium term I fully expect and intend to get myself a new desktop
computer. But it certainly seems silly to get a G5, which is pretty much obsolete
already, the eye-popping
price tags notwithstanding. And if OS 10.5 Leopard comes out at WWDC in
August, then I should definitely wait until then. The question is: will Steve
Jobs finally round out the Apple product line and replace the G5 with an Intel
machine in August? And if not, how long are we going to have to wait for these
things to come out?