Consumer breakdown

It beckons.(WARNING: Yuppie-in-denial complaining follows. If you’re the type who’s offended by the petulant whining of the over-privileged, you’ll want to skip this post. And a couple of the next posts, too. For that matter, you probably want to skip this whole blog.)

These past few months have been kind of a test of will power for me. I’ve had this irrational jones to get a new computer, one that I haven’t been quite able to justify. I’ve got a behemoth of a Windows PC that I hardly ever use anymore, and it’s just taking up desk space. And because it’s one of those flashy black Alienware cases, it feels like it’s mocking me for not using it — it’s like having a pimped-out motorcycle in the garage that you don’t really need anymore because you actually just prefer driving the minivan.

So I want to get rid of it, and get a Mac desktop instead. Even though my laptop does everything I need, it makes me uncomfortable at an OCD-level using it as my one and only computer, for reasons that only years of therapy would be able to explain.

But I’ve been able to keep it under control, all this time. I figured I’d wait until it was time to get a new monitor, and upgrade everything at once. Then I found a deal on exactly the monitor I wanted, at almost $200 less than it normally sells for, so I picked one up.

Then I said I’d wait until Christmas-season unemployment situation worked out, and I started getting income again. Almost immediately, I got a check from a contracting job, which was almost exactly the cost of a new machine (after taxes).

Then I said I’d wait until Apple updated its desktop Mac line, to get in at the beginning of a product cycle instead of at the end, like I usually do. And literally the day after I said this, they announced their overkill model, which has way more processors than I’d need at a price there’s no way in hell I’d ever pay for a machine. So that was a wash.

Then I figured I’d wait until they released the new version of OS X, so at least I’d get that included in the price. It was coming out “in Spring,” most likely early June, so it was only a couple of months to wait and see if the feeling subsided. Tonight they announced that the next version of OS X has been delayed until October.

There’s no way I can hold out until October. I’m really tempted to just buy the damn thing now and be done with it. And reading the comments in response to that post on ars technica, a few other people are saying the same thing: “At least now I don’t have to wait to buy a new Mac.”

Now, that’s kind of creepy. The whole “Mac users are a cult” concept is tired and played out, but I’m kind of alarmed. They announce a delay in the release of their OS, and my first impulse was to punish them by giving them a lot of money for a new computer? And I’m not the only one! I really want to get a pair of those They Live glasses to see if my computer is projecting brainwashing images at me while I work and sleep.

And seriously: if anybody out there is still a Windows fan and would like a still-reasonably-capable (AMD Athlon 64 2.66 GHz, ATI Radeon X800 XT Platinum w/256MB VRAM) PC for a reasonable price ($800 or best offer), send me an e-mail at my name at this domain. Friends don’t let friends use ebay.

2 thoughts on “Consumer breakdown”

  1. I’m on my last Windows box as well. Last year I bought a smokin’ fast Alienware. Exactly one year to the purchase date, it failed to boot, resulting in 4 hours of tech support, a complete system re-install, and the loss of some work files. That’s my second Windows box to die out of the four I’ve ever owned. That’s also a 50% failure rate if I’m doing the math right…but I’m also not very smart, so maybe not.

    These days I don’t really play games. I just want the simplicity of a Mac. I’ll gladly pay a little more for a machine where I never have to ‘pop the hood’.

    I’ll probably start with a laptop though, since I still don’t own one. Any recommendations? Most of my use will be Photoshop and Flash.

  2. Well, I’m still using a MacBook Pro that’s the best computer I’ve ever owned. I got it last year because I wanted a newer Mac but actually needed a laptop that could run Windows for when I was down in Florida. Now I use it for everything, and it’s made my PC obsolete. (But still a bargain for prospective PC shoppers!)

    Hooked up to a keyboard, mouse, and external monitor (did I mention I’m also selling a 19″ Dell flatscreen LCD with 4 USB ports for the low low price of $75 or best offer?), it’s completely functional as a desktop machine. And I use Photoshop frequently for pretty simple stuff, and Flash on occasion for work. As expensive as it was, I still totally think I got my money’s worth and would recommend them to anybody.

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