G5 vs Powerbook, One Tough Call

(Note: This is a very self referential column, I’d stop reading now)

Now that the G5’s are shipping, I’ve got new computer fever in a bad way. All the symptoms: massive envy, eight gigabytes worth of lust, bugs crawling on my skin. Skip the last one, that’s hygiene issue. I don’t need a G5 anymore than I need a Hummer. Which is: not at all. But I want a G5, you know, for the coolness factor. Add to the lust inspired by the coolness factor the fact that the G5 is a brand new chip and allow for the extra cool perforated form factor and you’ve got one salivating Mac user. So I started dropping not subtle hints, cause my birthday is coming up.

Here’s an example:
“Hey Chris, what do you want for your birthday” My long-suffering wife inquired.

“Dearest, I require nothing more than your continued devotion” I replied “And a G5, Steve Jobs has one.” This last bit I tacked on, as an addendum lest she think that happiness was something not purchased with baubles.

“For one thing we can’t afford a ####ing jet, and for another you hate to travel, if someone slapped a tracking collar on you they’d be hard pressed to distinguish you from a tree” my lovely wife retorted.

“No, no, it’s not a jet it’s a computer, chock full of shiny newness!” I said.
She replied, “Fine, go buy one”

Of course she said those four words in a manner that implied were I too actually purchase said computer I would be the only homeless guy with an aluminum computer to mach the cans in my shopping cart. Put off? Nay nay I say! She just needs some softening up. So I sent the heinous thing ever: Spousal spam. I spammed her with the “send this order” button at the Apple store. Didn’t work.

It’s probably a good thing it didn’t work because even if I had a G5 I probably wouldn’t use it much. The reasons are long and interminably boring but they involve lost computer space due to a nursery for our only child. In fact I have a G4 crammed into the corner of my wife’s office, a G4 I rarely use. Yep, I am trading speed and screen space for mere convenience. I can’t say I really regret the swap though the iBook is decidedly pokey when making videos. Still, new computer fever has me squarely in it’s consumeriffic grasp. In short, I’m going to buy a new computer; it’s just a question of which one.

This is where you, my few readers, come in. Judging by the mail I get everyone who reads my columns is, in fact, smarter and a better writer than I am. I’m okay with that, heck my IQ is so low I have to leave post it notes scattered around the house reminding me to breathe. So the question is: G5 or shiny 12′ PowerBook. I could unload my current iBook and get the brushed twelve incher. Or unload the 400 MHz G4 for the G5 garlic press.

Either way I’ve got the aluminum thing covered so aesthetics aren’t a concern. With the G5 I figure I’ll get blazing speed I can’t really take advantage of because I don’t have the necessary apps or the will to sit in a squeaky chair essentially chained to one spot. With the PowerBook I retain mobility but lose (possibly) longevity (those things are hard to upgrade). Plus it makes the G4 tower redundant so I’d probably sell that as well. This scares me because if something goes wrong I can’t comfortably work on the guts of a PowerBook owing to my hamfistedness. Hence any computing outage will leave me unconnected in an increasingly connected world. It’s pure FUD, and I need some advice to figure it all out.

Final note: I would generally ask the mymac.com folks about this but I’ve hit just about everyone there up one time too many (thanks: Todd, Jeffrey, Nemo, Tim, Adam, Dawn, Steve et al.)

Chris Seibold

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