The Computer Blog

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Well, there goes my finances!

This has been one helluva weekend for Apple product announcements. As a result, I am hereby resolving to be financially insolvent. There is a new..well, kinda new… PowerBook in my future, uh, present, uh, family!

My iBook was a G3 800 that did pretty much everything I needed it to do. I ran Panther, Photoshop, Illustrator, Go Live, Live Motion, and In Design 2.0 on it, not to mention all the iLife stuff and Microsoft Office v.X. Most of the time lately I’ve been using Office and Photoshop because we’re generating training material at my job. I don’t have Photoshop on my work PC and don’t want to use Windows any more than I have to, anayway. At home, though, I’ve been using my dual 1 GHz PowerMac for a personal machine. That’s fine, but I want to have two production machines for video in my home business (not doing much business, yet), and. If I got either a new iBook or PowerBook, I could use that as my personal machine at both work and at home and move the dual 1 Ghz to a backup video editor and a prime GarageBand generator, not to mention a heavy duty Photoshop, Illustrator, or Go Live workhorse when it’s not being used for anything else.

When I looked at the pro’s and con’s, it made more sense to spend a few extra hundred and go for the PowerBook, though honestly I liked the iBook better. At least until I got some “hands on” with one, then the PowerBook came out on top. The grayness of the iBook turned me off, even though in features it’s almost equivalent to the most recent generation of PowerBooks and its keyboard had improved. Part of the deal breaker turned out to be the PowerBook’s ability to drive Apple displays. Depending on how I set things up, I could use it to drive a 20 inch Apple Cinema Display or finally have something to drive a 17 inch Apple Studio display sitting in my closet. The other part of the deal breaker turned out to be that my local Apple Store had a “refreshed” (new that had been returned) 12 inch 1 GHZ PowerBook for the same price as a new iBook of the same speed. While I could use both the newer 12 inch PowerBook's extra speed (1.33 Ghz), bigger hard drive (60 GB vs 40 GB), and extra video memory (64MB vs 32 mb), I could save $300 buying the refreshed machine. The refreshed 1Ghz PowerBook is what I decided to buy.

The big discussion within the family became what to do with my 800 Mhz G3 iBook. While we could really have used the money the iBook would have brought on the market to pay off other debt, we decided to send it to Caleb, Connie’s 12 year old great nephew. As I write this, it is nearing its destination. It is supposed to be delivered tomorrow. And for those of you familiar with my UPS PC debacle, you’ll be pleased to know the iBook is being cared for by the US Postal Service. Not only is there a much better chance of it reaching its destination intact, but the USPS, unlike UPS, has a reputation for paying insurance claims when they are made. Still, I double boxed the thing and the interior box is the original Apple box and packing; someone would have to work really hard to damage it.

As if the new notebooks weren’t enough to help nudge me into a deep financial pit, now there’s also DVD Studio 3.0 and Motion. I may not move to DVD Studio 3 Pro quickly; I’m just now starting to learn to use 2.0. Moving to buy Motion may be a different story. Motion seems to be Apple’s answer to Adobe After Effects and priced at $399 is a real bargain. Apple isn’t releasing it until the summer, and that’s good since it gives me time to prepare financially. (As an aside, one has to wonder what impact the introduction of this product will have on Apple’s relationship with Adobe. Some reports have said relations are already strained, despite the denials by both parties, due to Apple’s success with Final Cut Pro. Since Apple is now going after the Mac market for After Effects, hopefully, the Mac marketplace for Photoshop and Illustrator will remain untouched. But I wouldn’t count on it. It’s almost a certainty that Apple needs Adobe a lot more than Adobe needs them and Adobe could start working to drive that point home…or may already have.)

In any case, I’m a bit financially poorer. It was a good deal, though; with a government discount, I got the 12 inch PowerBook, an extra 256Mb of memory, and an Airport Extreme card for $1220. Not bad.

Now, all I’ve got to do is pay for it.

And I’d give it all up to see the look on Caleb’s face when the iBook shows up. He doesn’t know it’s coming. For him, the challenge won’t be what to do with it but how to keep mom and grandmom off it.

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