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I hunger for your sleek body... - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
I hunger for your sleek body...
...oh Apple, you turn me on.

I was just cruising Apple's website and noticed the latest generation of iPods has come out. With these ones, you shake the iPod to shuffle your playlist. This is such a simple, clever bit of design I had a braingasm just thinking about it.

Anyway, I'm not in the market for a new iPod (SID is doing well and fits perfectly into my jeans pocket - hot) but I AM jonesing for a new computer. I like using computers as tools but rarely get attached to them these days - the only real customisations I do are putting a pretty picture on my desktop, arranging my icons into a pleasing configuration and (if I'm feeling especially clever) tweaking the OS so that the icons don't have text labels... it's prettier that way. Point is, I don't get attached to individual machines and I don't ever have the urge to manually upgrade this or that. I'm not interested in building a system from parts. I just want something that works perfectly straight out of the box, no fuss, no mess, no effort.

So basically, my next computer is going to be a Mac. I know I've said this before... I've been planning this for a long time; I never impulse-buy computers. (TVs, apparently, are another matter.) I'm not planning to make the purchase until next year - the upcoming Red Center holiday with mum is going to be my last big spend this year - so I've got time to mull over what I want. I'm torn between one of the fiiiine new iMacs, or a MacBook Air, or a MacBook Pro.

iMac upsides: iMacs I like because I've historically always had desktops (and I have my portable little eeePC as a laptop). It's ultra-simple, the computer is built into the screen so it's compact too, no cables, and it's pretty freaking gorgeous to boot. And I won't lie; when it comes to electronics I'm a huge sucker for design. If I had to choose between an ultra-powerful Frankenputer with cables and hard drives hanging out of it, or a fairly standard-powered compact, attractive and well-designed computer, I'd go with the latter. It'll fit in a small space at home, look nice, and do everything I want it to do. It has more "oomph" for your buck than the Mac laptops.

iMac downsides: Not portable. I've got a freelance job I'm struggling to finish at the moment. Can't work on it at work because it's just been way too busy here lately. Can't do it at home because I started it at work, in a later version of Illustrator, and the backwards compatibility at home does awkward things to the file - plus transporting it is a massive pain; no card reader here at work, no CD burner at home; PLUS my current computer setup at home is so cramped and impractical there isn't any room for either my feet or, more importantly, my keyboard. :( The latter point will change as soon as we get some desks set up in the study... lately on weekends we've been doing one thing after another, meaning we've totally failed to pull the study into any semblance of order.

MacBook Pro upsides: I know how it works, having played with Hammond's. Still pretty powerful. Portable. Good for art, as demonstrated by Damo. Really effective wireless detection, as opposed to eeePC, which is... quirky in this regard.

MacBook Pro downsides: Still prtty damn heavy. I do lots of walking. Also at risk of being dropped, and (this one is shallow) it's nowhere near as pretty as the iMac. Less grunt for your buck, too.

MacBook Air upsides: As above, only lighter - much lighter - very practical for walking. Also cheaper.

MacBook Air downsides: Less grunt AGAIN, plus all the usual laptop downsides.

There's also another option: Arguably I should reformat the computer I have, give it an internal clean, reinstall everything and just stick with it. An upgrade isn't absolutely NECESSARY. As far as freelance goes, I'm fairly certain I don't want to take any further work in future anyhow. And sticking with what I got would save me a couple of grand which could go towards my block of land.
10 have fought ~ fight the power!
(Deleted comment)
tania From: tania Date: September 23rd, 2008 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)
LOL! Good to know! I definitely need something with enough oomph to work as an art machine, so it looks like I can check that one off the list.
From: dawnstar_au Date: September 23rd, 2008 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Apple anything downside - massively overpriced for the components it actually ships with, non upgradable a majority of the time, suffers from serious vendor lockin.

Have you seen the Lenovo W700? Decently specced and priced machine with built in wacom tablet - aimed very specifically for the artist market.

Yes Thinkpads look ugly. But on the upside they have one hell of an internal cage to protect against damage and the uglyness also means they get stolen a lot less often as they are often mistaken for old less expensive machines.
From: ex_kellijow801 Date: September 23rd, 2008 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Ditto to Cooner's comment. I bought a 20-inch iMac in June when my old G4 started to plummet downhill, and I'd say it's worth every penny. If you plan to work on fairly large files on it, I recommend getting more RAM than the basic iMac package offers (1 or 2 gig depending on the package). I upgraded to 4 gig on mine and haven't seen it lag at all in Photoshop or Illustrator. My G5 at work only has 1 gig of RAM and will take 5 minutes just to open a hi-res jpg. :P
sigmoidal_suseq From: sigmoidal_suseq Date: September 23rd, 2008 05:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Buy a Pro so our Pros can be friends!!!

I think Jason wants a iMac just for a giant screen when we get back.

Yeah, the Air is pretty much the sleek good looking sister who doesn't eat.
porsupah From: porsupah Date: September 23rd, 2008 06:25 am (UTC) (Link)
The MBA's strength is simply weight; the real downside, for me, is the graphics are just the plain old Intel integrated stuff. =:P

I'd lean towards the MBP, as it is portable, whilst not actually compromising much compared to the iMac - the GPUs aren't equal, but not vastly set apart, with the MBP sporting a 512MB nVidia 8600M-GT, and the 24" iMac a 512MB nVidia 8800GS or 256MB ATi 2600HD.

That said, the scuttlebutt has it that there's likely to be a refresh of the MacBook Pro lineup in October, quite possibly with a bit more than the usual bumping of CPU and/or GPU, so if it's no problem to wait a few weeks, you might wind up with something a bit shinier.

FWIW, I've had one of the final PowerBooks for about three years now (the last ones before the Intel switch), and I'm still delighted with it - 17" 1680x1050 makes for a gloriously spacious desktop, though I'll still be going for the higher res option on my (hopefully) forthcoming MBP, offering 1920x1200. It's taken a couple nasty falls without incident, though the last one did leave a bit of a warp in the far right corner of the main case. (Protip: when walking with a laptop bag on your shoulder, make sure the zip is closed all the way around, else you may enjoy the not so delicate sound of 7lb of aluminium slapping against the sidewalk) And the multitude of ports means adding storage or other interfaces is a snap.
xylen From: xylen Date: September 23rd, 2008 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I looked into Macs when I was shopping for my new laptop. I ended up going with an HP 12" tablet. For me the deciding factor was the Apples I found were extremely overpriced coupled with the fact I'd have had to shell out for another copy of XP Pro for the new machine.

Far as what you're looking at though, go Pro. the iMac just wouldn't cut it and the Air has no ports unless you want to pay more for wireless usb interfaces and the like, not to mention the Air I checked out in the store was hot enough to warm my coffee on on the bottom.
c_eagle From: c_eagle Date: September 23rd, 2008 09:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Love the icon too!

Another thing shaking the iPhone does is like you can erase your stickynotes like using an Etch-a-Sketch! :D
stardustshine From: stardustshine Date: September 23rd, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Apple's most recent set of iPod commercials they are running here are the worst - the colored iPods all fly onto the screen and line up and then paint falls out of the bottom of them. sbodd and I were watching House and the patient had a rectal bleed right before they cut to commercial - and that commercial came on and we were like "RECTAL BLEEDING OMG!!"
aibo From: aibo Date: September 23rd, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am exclusively using the MacBook Pro I got from my company for my private stuff as well, at work and home. The desktop PC I used to have is now a bunch of spare parts, so the shiny Mac is definitely the only computer used here, doing all the things I want. I even watch DVDs on it, with its broad 15" screen it is actually bigger than my (portable) TV. Size wise it is not as small as your EEE PC alright, but never had problems carrying it around. I might not take it home from work every day, but the main reason for that is to actually get a break from computing and not constantly sitting in front of it. It rests on a nice transparent stand, external keyboard and mouse, also has a second screen attached (at work), which is the best and most performant setup I ever had. The only thing that does not meet your requirement is a card reader missing on the Macbook, you'd either have an external one or something included in an external keyboard. And with a slick laptop bag, carrying won't be no problem at all.

(Psssssstttt.......I also dropped that thing...once or twice....did not break......don't tell anybody.....)

Of course, the price sounds awful...then again, I had to deal with a standard PC of a friend one week ago, and suddenly realized how much more time and thinking everything takes. While the Mac is still as snappy as the first day. Of course, it failed me once three weeks ago, but it only went that bad because I left the solution to somebody else.

Nope, I am not a Mac fanatic now. Just really pleased with the system:-)


PS: There is a survey waiting for you that I put on yesterday.
leelakin From: leelakin Date: September 23rd, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, one of my friends immediately ordered the new iPod nano. Holy Crap, it's so THIN! iPods are always pretty thin, but that thing... you wouldn't even notice if it fell out of your pocket, I have no idea how they even fit ANYTHING in there. XD (I want the new Classic one with 120GB @_@ my oldie old 3G one is still working, but that was the time when the displays didn't have colour yet, much less a video function XDDD)
10 have fought ~ fight the power!