Stop scanning me, Steve!

I’m not going to the MacWorld this year, which turns out to be okay because I woke up this morning and discovered I was already there! By which I mean: either I’ve become the prime example of the Mac demographic, or the company is aiming its (no doubt slim and flawlessly designed) mind-scanning ray gun directly at my beguilingly exposed head.

Just last night, I came home to find myself internetless. My aging router used to need a reset once every few months, but lately it’s been once a week. To get it working again, I have to shut everything down, do a hard reset on the router, hook up my laptop to the DSL modem, re-establish the DSL connection, re-enter all my router security info, then hook everything back up and hope it all works. I’d convinced myself to splurge on a new router, one that’d be easier to set up and hopefully more reliable (and faster).

I was trying to find a reasonable price on the Airport Extreme when my laptop popped up a message — the system was warning me that Time Machine hadn’t backed up the laptop in over 30 days, and what the hell was my problem? I replied that to back up the laptop, I have to do a lot of unmounting and firewire cable swapping and waiting for the backup to finish and more cable swapping (all of which I think was implied by my “OK”), and it makes the whole backup thing kind of a drag again. So the question became: do I waste more money on a new router, or on another external hard drive?

Boom. A router with a hard drive built in. It’s eerie. Apparently the concept is common enough to have its own three-letter acronym (NAS), but I’m so far from understanding IT that the idea was new, and even a little creepily appropriate, to me. The really odd thing is that it’s an Apple product, but as far as I can tell, is actually reasonably priced; it’s about the same as a router plus a hard drive of that capacity, Apple-built or not.

I’ve got to say I don’t really get the “MacBook Air“‘; it just seems like a parody of Steve Jobs’ freaky, Stephen King gypsy-like fetish.

And the iPhone update is neat but not particularly earth-shattering. The whole page-curl thing for setting Google Maps options is a million times cooler than it needs to be, though. I can predict that effect getting way overused when people start writing apps for the thing, and I’m looking forward to it.