Juiced Apple

Back from the Christmas break, and happy to have not spent too much money during the holidays, when what has to go and happen? Apple iCEO Steve Jobs has to release sweet, new, formerly “The Enemy” Intel Core Duo processor-based media-center iMacs, to replace the now-aging G4 and G5 IBM/Motorola processors that essentially built the Macintosh platform. And me with an extra paycheck in hand, too. Damned Apple. Damned 10-minute-walk-away Apple Store. Damned old, slow current Mac of mine. When long ago they passed out the Kool-Aid to the Mac faithful, I drank deep.

Truth be told, between bouts of guilt for having put up a real tree and not an aluminum one which would have fit better with the mod lines of a Marina City pad, I was jonesing for a new computer. My mid-2003 eMac is growing about as much moss as my suprisingly lively Black Hills Spruce was when I finally took it down this month. I mean, Word kicks its ass. My Macromedia web design suite just sits and there and taunts my poor little, aged 1Ghz G4 CPU.

Which wouldn’t matter much, except I’m finally feeling 35, meaning two things. First, I’m now going into my second teenagehood. I’m dying to listen to all the old 1980s pop cassettes sitting in the closet, relive my videotaped Live Aid broadcast, hell, even spin my mom’s old Big Band albums. And second, and more importantly, I so don’t want to drag this stuff with me yet again the next time I move apartments.

So I figure it’s time to fully enter the New Millennium by converting it all to digital, housing it on a nice, cheap, portable, and, er, backed up (cause unfortunately I’ve gone down that road before) hard drive, and watching and listening to it all at will through my computer. But if I tried to pull this off with my AARP-carded eMac, I’d probably get arrested for elder abuse.

Hence, over the holidays, just a modest, sprightly iBook I figured, or refurbed PowerBook. Nothing fancy. Just something I could hook up to a DAC converter, run Toast and iMovie at a reasonable speed, and surf with from the couch. I was all set. Had my financials and cost-benefit analyses all sharpened up in Excel. And an extra paycheck from finally going full-time at my land conservation day gig. Then Macworld 2006 happened. Steve gave his keynote speech on Tuesday and the Kool-Aid kicked in.

It all began back in the fourth quarter of 1997 when, after making fun of an old boyfriend who used a Mac, I actually used it myself, and got pulled in. Albeit happily. In the past nine years, imbibing the magic liquer has led to five Mac desktops, four Mac laptops, and two iPods, including the Cube, CRT and G4 iMacs, batwing G3-series PowerBooks, clamshell and dual-USB iBooks, and even, God bless me, a Performa 6360 CD. There are used Macs of mine living in California, the U.K., and France, and I’ve pulled more than one friend into Steve Jobs’ happy orbit.

But then the lull came. I was Mac-abstinent for more than two years. My eMac kept me happy, and away from the Apple Store (as did about a year of abject poverty). I even stopped keeping track of the new Apple products out there.

Until December. When the little voice inside my head began to whisper repeatedly, “Time to buy a new Mac.” If the NSA is looking for sleeper cells, look no further than your nearest Apple Store. I think somehow, once you buy a Mac and despite your best efforts to the contrary, Apple implants this subliminal message in your head, and forever after every two years or so–and often much sooner than that–this insidious voice wakes up and begins its irresistible drone, “Time to buy a new Mac. Time to buy a new Mac.”

But, dammit Steve, did you have to begin the switchover to Intel processors during my sleeper cycle?

I mean, I wanted to save some of that extra paycheck for a video iPod.

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