My old iBook G4, now over 4 years old, has finally started showing signs of age. Early last year, we turned it into the “Kitchen Computer”, which Emily used pretty much all the time. This was an especially fitting use for it because its hinges had started to go on the screen, but with the connection of a few externals it became a dandy computer. No external attachment will help it today, though, as its fragile little hard drive is starting to fry. I’m carefully backing it up now.
Trying to back up a failing hard drive is very similar to hostage negotiations, with you being the good guy and the computer holding your precious data as a hostage. You’re trying to stay cool, but its still tense because you don’t know what the thing is going to do next. In a hostage situation, things could go any direction because they lack predictability. Yup… same here. You don’t want anyone to get hurt, but you have the most important element — all your pictures from that one canoe trip — at the top of the list. Oh, and, sometimes there’s a megaphone involved.
What’s next? Well, I was thinking it was done for, so I was ready to put the entire computer in the freezer as a last-ditch attempt to free the hostage data. But lo and behold, faith and begorrah, the little iBook booted up. And now I’m speaking in calm tones as I try to talk it into surrendering. “No one will get hurt” I say in a calm, reassuring tone. “I’m not going to really drill a hole in you! That was a joke!” I even added a “Ha ha!”, but to no avail.
I took a look to see how much these things are going for on the used market, and I must admit my surprise — iBook G4′s actually worth around $500 used. This, of course, assumes a non-hostage situation, which we most certainly do not have here. Nonetheless, it goes to show you that Macs hold their value, which you’re very happy about when you own one and very mad about when you need one. The same is true of Subarus and/or Jeeps.
To get some perspective, I headed over to the AppleStore online to see just what I could buy. I decided to take the “money is no object” approach, the kind that most people use when they are 1) Richie Rich or 2) have Richie’s credit card. I went with the highest priced machine and then, as if I were Mr. Donald Trump himself, added all of the options that Apple makes available to chumps like you and I. A wireless keyboard? Sure! Add $30. How about Microsoft Office? I hear they’re doing well these days. Sure! Add $299. The biggest hard drives, the most RAM and the best video system. My system grand total, Supersized at the AppleStore, came to… well, let me just show you a screen shot:
It’s a little small, but the number there for my new Mac Pro is $23,035.85.
“So? That’s how much my cousin makes in a year” you might be saying. And you might be right. But I need to tell you that the Morgan Spurlock “Supersize” approach to buying a new computer at the AppleStore will kill the liver, kidneys and heart of your financial status if you’re not careful.
So, after thinking about it for a moment, I’ve decided not to buy this new Mac. Oh, the 12 months same as cash is tempting, but who wants Steve Jobs knocking on your door at midnight looking to either collect payment or uh, ahem, “put you to sleep with Vista”?
Oh, good. My pictures made it over from the dying Mac to the backup drive. Let’s see if I can rescue all those iTunes purchases. Hmm… not authorized? Blast! I bet I’ve spent nearly $23,035.85 at the iTunes store in the last 4 years, and now it’s all gone!
Okay, Steve. Come on over. I’m ready.