Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Geriatic computers

Apple has just launched their newest operating system, Leopard. It looks absolutely amazing. I watched the guided tour and drooled all over my keyboard. So am I going to buy it? The primary problem is that my Mac is over 3 years old. For most things, that wouldn't matter at all. In the world of computers, it's retirement age.

I've read the system requirements and I could install Leopard if I can open enough room on my hard drive. That's one of my biggest problems right now. My hard drive is almost maxed out. Whenever you buy a new computer the space available seems outrageously huge. "I'll never fill that up, yay!" But reality is that applications keep getting bigger and bigger, gobbling up gigabytes like a hippo in a hay field. Enormous applications often make gigantic files, too. I love the program Garageband (it's what I use to record my music) but the song files are so big it eats up a huge amount of space. Photos are another byte muncher, as are videos and games.

I have a back-up drive and that's where I store the files I don't need to access immediately. But the process of dumping files is a tedious one. Still, it's not impossible so I probably could find the room to install the new system software.

But the problems of having an old computer multiply. It's slow compared to the newer models, holds a max of 1 gig of RAM (yes, I've already maxed out on that) and now RAM requirements keep rising. I'm out of warranty, with a full hard drive, maxed out RAM, and a slow processor. I'm in a position where I have to watch the world surpass me as I type on my dinosaur.

On a positive note, it still works, so I'm very grateful for that. I can't afford a new computer so I'll continue to nurse this one along, trying to stay up to date. When you live on your computer as I do, this is all serious stuff. Without it, I can't earn a living. Geriatric or not, as long as I get that happy Mac face every day, I can keep on keeping on.


F.S. said...

I know the feeling -- my Macs are a G4 Mini and a G3 iBook. Both do a great job, but I'm not going to touch Leopard with them. When it's time to upgrade you might look at the refurbs at the online Apple Store. Good deals, full warranty, and usually free shipping. That's where I've gotten my last two machines.

Joanna Sandsmark said...

Good idea. My current Mac was a panic buy because the Mac before it died suddenly and horribly without warning. I had to get a new machine asap and ended up buying one at an Apple store in the valley.

I'm not sure what to do about the OS. I'm still on 10.3.9 (panther? I can't remember which big cat it is). A friend has offered to give me Tiger because she's going with Leopard. But regardless, I have to clean off my hard drive. It's too full. I do hate to be left behind on the OS because it's isolating. No more software available, etc. So many decisions, argh!