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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

When To Let Go: or How Do You Know When Your Mac Is Getting Too Long In The Tooth?

So today for the third time this week, I'm frustrated
by my Mac.

Today, it's a new annoying thing:  It is dog
slow, acting more like a 10/100 base T connected
machine than the Gigabit ethernet  equipped machine I
know it to be.

Monday, it was the fact that it produced a KP due to
the fact that I tried to push it to do more than it
was capable of it seems:  Burning a DVD in Toast,
 while converting a Video-TS to a DIVX encoded  .avi
file in VisualHub, while copying a folder of digital
files over from server ( a workhorse that is the
2009Mac Mini ).

Right in the middle of 1/3 to a half of everything, 
the KP comes up. I force shut it down & reboot.  I
check iStat Pro and sure enough, the Processor  is at
126C, which in a Dual MDD 1ghz Power Mac,  aka
"Windtunnel" or as it is known in the house, "Eve") is

And last Friday, ahhhh...let's just say that for
whatever wierd reason, one of the  power cables to one
of my 500Gb HDs decided to come undone. (the wires
seperated from the plug) And wouldn't you know it, but
it was my main FCP scratch disc,  a 500GB WD Internal

Now I admit, the plug was a little worn from having
upgrading the machine  so much over the last three
years:  I've swapped that drive bay out first with a
250gb, then a 300gb, and then finally a 500GB drive,
each time as prices fell on ( what was then standard)
a big drive.

But to completely come undone, the wires literally
pulling themselves out of the plug.... now I have seen
it all!!

But, looking a little deeper inward, I realize what my
true frustration is with my Mac.. not that it is long
in the tooth, and despite ( somewhat) working, it is
the fact that  I have pushed this machine farther than
I have ever pushed one of my macs, and that in
reality, I'm more mad at myself for not replacing it
sooner, letting it go.

I tend to run my electronics into the ground. For
almost 8 years,  I kept my 2nd gen iPod 10Gb around,
as an example,  pushing it with more and more music
playlists, HD use, and in the end, using it as a music
player / external  pocket FW drive. 

Had it not been in my pocket that day I dove into a
pool to save  my floundering oldest from drowning, it
would still be in use today,  and not replaced with a
5th gen 30GB iPod Classic, that,  as I type this, is 4
years old.

My computers are no different: my first mac, a
Performa 460, I kept in service for almost 7 years, I
followed that with  a PowerMac 7100/80, that through
peripheal upgrades  ( an external CD-RW burner that
burned at max 1x,  and a 500MB external HD that I paid
$200 bucks for....),  I kept going for 8 years, until
the Dual 1 MDD Powermac.

So for the most part, I like to keep upgrading my
Macs  at about every 7 years or so, before they
totally wear out. I knew that when I purchased this
one refurbed through the  Apple Store in 2003, I knew
the clock had been set then.

So now, I limp along with the MDD, and one or two
things will eventually happen:  I'll either get off my
duff,  and replace the machine, and move along with a
new mac for another 7 to 8 years, or go another year
fighting the ups and downs  of the MDD, as in this
economy, I'm trying to do my part of  "more with less"
even though it may kill my production output.

I do like the look of last year's i7 model in the 
I think that will be my machine of choice for the next
few years...consolidating much of my clutter  from my
desk, if not to mention just from my computer alone.

For what it's worth as an aside, I highly reccommend
buying your "new" mac  from, under the
refurbished  section ( aka "special deals" section).
Not only do you save as much as $400  on a the cost of
a new mac, but each machine  is certifed to work, and
AppleCare can be bought for the machine  to extend the
warranty on the machine and avoid any hassles.  Once I
learned about how to purchase Macs this way ( with my
Dual 1 MDD), I've been hooked. Both my MDD and  my
wife's iBook G4 were bought this way, and both have
been  solid, stable machies that have been problem
free ( with the exception now of my MDD). For the cost
savings, you can't beat it, and aside from not having
the pretty retail box,  the machine you get performs
just as well as  the retail counterpart.

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