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June 1, 2004

Open Deliberations

Posted by Mike on June 1, 2004 9:08 PM

One of the fun things about embracing my inner ditherer is getting to say really definitive and seemingly resolved things before completely changing my mind the next day.

Three things happened today:

  1. The iBook came back.
  2. The clone developed this weird thing where a video card I just bought for it works in the machine on the bench at the shop, but doesn't work in my computer.
  3. I spent one complete day trying to use Outlook, which hates IMAP and occasionally just hangs at startup, on the theory that it's the best-of-breed in mail and calendar apps under Windows, and that it's the only hope I have for a unified calendar, address book and mail program.

Regarding item 1: I complained bitterly to the tech at the repair shop about how lame it was that I had to keep dragging Apples back in for repair when Dell could sell me a one, two, or three year contract with on-site repairs. The tech said "Why don't you get AppleCare? It's on-site for three years for desktop machines." Oh. Duh. And it comes out to less than a comparable plan for a Dell. And the mom-n-pop I deal with can't do that for me at all.

Regarding item 2: It's a minor annoyance indicating that I've probably got a failing AGP slot. Time for a new mobo if I want to get out of the graphics dark ages. Not a "damn all clones for all time!" offense, just an annoyance. But it makes me be in the market for at least a new mobo and new RAM + CPU to go with it. And that means I'm pretty much in the replacement market again.

Regarding item 3: It's nice the way Apple figured out how to make, iCal, and the Address Book complement each other. Nicer yet that iChat fits in there as well. And with minor bits of glue (like teaching lbdb to access Address Book from within mutt), it's even possible to make them play outside their little ecosystem.

So we're back to wondering what the next desktop machine will be. AppleCare removes my big objection to Apple, which is "they work great until that thing the engineers missed fails, and then you're trooping to the shop for a five day turnaround." With AppleCare, I can call, say "broke," and someone comes to my door. That's much more agreeable (and it's not, by the way, an option for Apple notebooks... just the desktops).

Having just played with a gigahertz G4 eMac, and having enjoyed the buttery, tasty smoothness of the OS X experience on it, I find myself feeling much less anti-Apple than I was two days ago. Certainly enough to consider taking out some protection on a desktop machine and not having to worry if something goes wrong.


Michael, you had at one point asked me how I was liking my new 1.5GHz PowerBook. I had not answered because I knew how useful the machine was but I still had not formulated an emaotional response to it. This afternoon I moved swtifly between 3 apps to a tcsh with hardly a wasted movement then as I turned back to my desktop PC I noticed the crisp wide screen and realized how happy I was with the aquisition. I not only smiled but could not stop smiling for a while. Get a PowerBook... it will make you smile 8-)

Posted by: Leopoldo at June 1, 2004 10:53 PM

Michael, Michael, Michael... First, what sort of appleCare treatment are you going to expect? Let's hope they arn't of the same engineering ilk that crank out first revs' of those buttery yet broken boxes you enjoy so much.

What you need is a nice fully intergrated Intel based system. Might I suggest in fact a Pentium 4 with HT Technology? Anywhere between 2.4 and 3.4 GHz, the Hyper Threading technology gives the performance boost of multiple processors without the cost! (There's also an Extreme! edition that comes with a smashing 2 meg of L3 cache.)

And don't forget to have a cookie on your way out...

Posted by: "Devil On Left Shoulder" at June 2, 2004 1:13 PM

I don't have a Mac, but as someone who's responsible for providing technical support a couple offices' pc's, I probably wouldn't judge Apple's overall quality based on their laptops.

I've generally found desktop systems to be more reliable and less prone to hardware problems than the laptops in our office.

Oddly enough though... I've had no problems that I can think of with the Mac laptops in our office.

Posted by: Jim Zoetewey at June 3, 2004 8:01 AM