Figuring out the right path to take in the world of technology is not as easy as following this marked channel to the river.
Right now is the perfect storm for technology users and addicts. Apple has announced a new operating system and hardware for the holiday season. Microsoft has also come running to the party with Windows 7. Intel has helped with its I5 and I7 processors.
Best Buy is even offering a PC Makeover for $1199.99. It includes desktop, laptop, and netbook with wireless network and setup for one price.
It is hard to believe that you could get three computers for that price, but I suspect you get what you pay for. I have had great luck with my HP hardware, but I know others who have not.
Of course Apple barely offers one of their new iMacs for the price of $1199.
Having lived and worked in the technology industry most of my life since 1982, the natural response is to want to get my hands on some of this new stuff.
My newest computer is a HP laptop that has Vista and is two years old. My newest Mac is a three and one half years old white MacBook running Snow Leopard. My desktop G5 Mac was a previous year’s model when I bought it in December 2004.
Surprisingly I have gotten along just fine. I did add Snow Leopard recently, but it only cost $29. I do have a 2004 vintage Dell Dimension that I just upgraded to the latest Ubuntu. It is likely my fastest system.
I suspect that I am getting to the point of upgrading to a new Mac. I have taken the hard drive size about as far as I want to go. I certainly need more memory in my Mac desktop unit if for no other reason than my iPhoto libraries seem to get bigger even when I start new ones. However, I am a little reluctant to put a lot more money in a system that is getting a little long in the tooth.
Whatever I do, I am in no rush. My wife actually needs a system before I do since her Mac laptop is almost seven years old.
How did I get beyond the need to upgrade whenever something new is announced? The simple answer is pretty easy, money. While you are working for a computer manufacturer new systems are a status symbol and rarely cost your wallet anything.
When you are out on your own, a new system has to be justified by the results that it will deliver. In my case, I doubt that a new system will bring me greater productivity. It will allow me to standardize my laptop and desktop operating systems.
While that is not a big deal right now, my guess is that a year or two from now, it will be a big deal.
The other thing that has helped me resist all this new technology is that I have yet to see the killer application which requires new technology. Internet based applications have brought me more functionality than computer based ones.
I continue to be able to do my computing tasks on whatever computer is put in front of me. That includes the ancient Windows XP Dells that are at our real estate office. While I would likely not do photo work or website work on them unless I was desperate, my other work could survive.
Certainly if my main desktop is a Mac that is likely six years old technologically, I would question the need for new hardware for any other reason than mechanical reliability.
Actually if I could get better bandwidth for my Internet connection I would trade it for at least another year on my old hardware.
So how do you feel about that choice? Would you give up buying new hardware for a year, if you could get faster Internet?
While I have a good solid cable connection, I work with enough large files that I could use some extra bandwidth if it were available here on the Crystal Coast. I would like to see Internet sites almost jump into my lap.
When I go to work at our office where we have DSL, I almost die while waiting for pages to load.
In my situation new hardware would be nice, but more Internet speed would speed my work and be even nicer.
Of course I would trade both faster Internet and new computers for another day of great fishing like we had recently out in the ocean off of Bogue Inlet.