Monday, September 13, 2010

Old Mac

Don't be fooled.
This really isn't meant to be an Old MacDonald singalong.
(Though the follow-the-bouncing cow is a cute touch, don't you think?)

This post is actually about Old Macintosh computers.
More specifically - MY old Mac computers.

Here's the thing,
I generally use a computer for MANY YEARS before replacing it with a new one.

Typical life span of a computer in my home is ---- 6 years - sometimes longer. By the time I upgrade myself to a new machine, several generations of Macs have already come - and gone. How smart is Apple to keep those freshly re-designed machines a-comin'?!? Apple counts on the fact that rabid fans of Mac look to keep a-buyin whatever the next best thing that appears on the Mac horizon. $$$

Unlike generations of human families, which cycle 'round every 20 years or so, a generation in the world of Mac is relatively short. Within 6 months of buying a new computer, that machine is already considered yesterday's model. By the time another 6 months go by, the one you 'just got' is just about obsolete - replaced by the latest greatest newest reincarnation.

The newer computers strive to be bigger but slimmer/ or smaller and therefore more portable, but still incredibly efficient. Each gen is speedier than its predecessor. Smoother and sleeker is part n' parcel of the latest packaging. Every new version of the Mac machine is more bee-yoo-tee-full than the last. Sure, some terrific bells and whistles go missing, but you can count on them being replaced with even more amazingly heart-stopping, breath stealing features.


I can't keep up - and don't try - and make it a point never to step foot into an Apple Store for a peek at the latest offerings. Those places are techno magnets of the most heavenly variety. Liken a visit to one as 'just going to LOOK at the irresistible newborn puppies'.

Replacing technics every year or two is far too costly a hobby for my pocketbook, and anyway -
that is not my concern today - and certainly not the reason for this blog post.
Though it may seem so.

My bigger problem has to do with what happens after the acquisition of a new machine. Following the anxiety ridden decision-making and figuring how best to finance the new 'puter - I am left with what to do with the 'other one' - aka Old Mac.

Put simply, I do not know how to dispose of the previous model of Mac that I've just been using. Or the one before that.

At this writing, there are currently three, no - four - Macs coexisting on or about The Homestead. The newest machine, a desktop, occupies the place of honor on my desk. The previous one has been passed along to HD (HubbyDear) for his periodic perusal of the internet. Because he's on the computer infrequently (preferring to park himself in front of another monitor - the TV screen), HD doesn't need the speedier machine. Or so I have determined. There's a very old Mac (hint: it's lime green, and so is its matching printer) in the garage that I'm trying to get rid of. along with any and all peripherals - besides the matching printer, there is a flat bed scanner, as well as downloaded and purchased manuals and how-to-use books. The fourth is an old laptop Mac, passed along to me via the DollinkDaughters. I do believe it's well over 6 years old - but darn it - the thing still works, albeit a bit slow to pick up my router's signal/ load pages/ respond to my many demands.

Three Old Macs.
I can't get rid of them.
Just thinking of doing so makes me feel traitorous. 

I refuse to do the casual heartless throw away, can't bring myself to take them to the dump for landfill, or even to tech recycle. Tossing away an Old Mac. It just seems so wrong.

I have often wondered if anyone else felt this way about their Old Macs.

But it seems there are.
Fairly recently, I saw a documentary about Macintosh computers and the crazy wonderful smart eclectic creative and fun people who buy and use them. Part of the film was devoted to those who keep personal Mac Museums, which seems like an intriguing enough hobby to indulge in. However, most of these museums consist of little more than a dusty collection of Old Mac stuff, belonging to these 'collectors' as well as to other people. Some of the old computers still work. Most are broken, unusable pieces. All are - outdated. The museums are housed in spare bedrooms, storerooms, garages.

So it's true. Many an Old Mac does not simply die and get added to the top of a recycle tech pile. They just get moved to a shelf in the garage. To collect dust. And stay the happy memories.

Fact: Mac users do LOVE their Macs. It's a bit of a sickness, rooted in an appreciation of aesthetics and invention. I relate to this warped affection for the marvelous tech tools made by Apple, because I too fall under the spell and become enamored of every aspect of a new Mac. The look of it, the ease of running it. Though for me - being so low tech, all of computering is a challenge. Yet...Mac is so damn user friendly. Plus, calling for help under the warranty puts you in touch with tech help who are so darn friendly/cute.

My love for Mac has already proven possessive to the point where it is near impossible to let go the old relationship when time comes for a new one to begin. How can I possibly completely give up all connection to my Old Mac when the New Mac comes along?

Oooooh - I just felt a twinge. An ache. That which I recognize as the pain of a Mac enthusiast who is not able to 'let go'.

I don't believe PC people have this - uh - er - issue. I've never heard a PC owner bemoan having to move the old PC on to make way for a new PC.
I should think they merely toss their old PCs into the trash. I picture them happily flinging the darn thing right onto the top of the heap.

So - bottom line of my dilemma is that I've got 4 Macs in what should essentially be a one and a half two Mac house.
What to do what to do.

Perhaps I'll sing a few bars of Old MacDonald (with the bouncing cow) as I wait on an epiphany...


baffle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
House Dreams said...

Laughing at Old Macdonald. Remember when simple computing was so fun! We had to get new washer and dryer. I didn't realize the old ones were 20 years old. How did that happen!