Waiting for a new computer

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

mode) handily

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?

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2 Responses to Waiting for a new computer

  1. Matt says:

    You’re probably going to get Leopard and new Intel Xserve boxes at WWDC, and new Mac Pro machines might start shipping in September/October. This is simply based on the availability of the relevant Intel chips, so there could be a pleasant surprise.

    There’s really no reason not to trust an external hard drive, and a simple cron job like:

    5 * * * * echo ‘wakey wakey!’ > /Volumes/Foo/nudge

    Will keep it spinning nicely.

  2. Stefan says:

    We won’t see Leopard released until January. There will be a demo at WWDC.

    Felix, why not get a MacBook and use it as both home and road machine? It’s much faster than what you have now, and it gladly works with the lid closed and a wireless keyboard and mouse. Use an external hard drive for backups and music.

    I’d get a MacBook over the Mini at the moment, simply because it you soup it up to match the MacBook specs you pay as much, though the Mini still lacks a built-in screen.

    Re the prices on the PowerMac G5s: The fact they are still high was a boon when I sold my Quad to buy the 17 inch MacBook Pro:-)

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