Looks like some people have new computer fever…

I’ve been doing some thinking as of late, there has been a lot on my mind and I figured I’d toss this out there.

Have you ever heard the voice nagging in the back of your head–you know, the one that’s always saying “you need a new computer…”–in some sort of off-tone zombie voice that resembles that of a dying cat robotic drone.

We’ve all heard it. But why must one always live on the bleeding edge? Let’s take a look further…

For example: This past Tuesday, Apple Inc. announced updated MacBook & MacBook Pro computers, featuring Penryn processors and some other slightly bumped specifications (such as 256MB video memory and a larger hard drive on the base model, and multi-touch trackpad capabilities). Sure enough, within an hour of the announcement, a hoard of MacBook Pro owners tossed their notebooks up on eBay or other on-line classified services (craigslist, anyone?)

Big deal! A whole 200 MHz processor clock cycle speed increase, a larger hard drive, and some video memory you’re not likely going to use unless you’re planning on running Boot Camp on that Mac and fragging up some people in Unreal Tournament 3 under Windows Vista or you plan on using Adobe Photoshop or iMovie heavily. You’re not going to see an hour extra battery life, or the ability to have your computer prepare your coffee on the dot and greet you personally every morning-“Hello, Mr. Jones, here’s your coffee, the newspaper is on the table, and the dog has pissed all over the damn floor and has taken a dump in your suade shoes soiled in the foyer.”

Point in case: I’m using a 2.2 GHz MacBook Pro, 15″ base model with 2 GB of RAM and 128MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT. It’s rock solid and I haven’t had a problem with it since I purchased it, and I’m rather impressed with it. The update from Apple this past Tuesday didn’t phase me in the least. Why? Is it because I’m a former Windows user? Could very well be. Or could it be the fact I didn’t want to sell a computer that I’ve only had for one month just to pick up the latest and greatest. My MacBook Pro does everything I need it to, and I can’t even remotely justify upgrading at this point. I don’t even need multi-touch trackpad capability, I use an external keyboard 99% of the time, and when I’m not I’m usually using the keyboard on my notebook, not playing with trackpad gestures all day… this is a professional grade notebook, not an iPhone or an iPod Touch; yes I know this can be useful for some people, but for me it would be useless.

I can pretty much split the demographic into three sections:

  1. New computer comes out, and suddenly your once-loved notebook is looking for a new home on eBay or craigslist.
  2. You bought your notebook within the past few months, and now you’re upset or suddenly unsatisfied because a new model has come out.
  3. You don’t care.
Let it be known all across the internet that your computer is obsolete the day you buy it. There’s always going to be a computer out there with a faster processor, a faster graphics card, a bigger hard drive, so forth and so on. Yes, if you’ve got a 5 or 6 year old computer that’s starting to get a bit long in the tooth, you could buy a new one (or upgrade it, which generally saves you some green); but if you’ve got a 6 month old notebook and you’re suddenly unsatisfied because a new model is out, ask yourself this – why are you so worried?
It’s not like your computer is going to self destruct the instant it sees the message “New model released today, offers 5% performance increase!” (it may cry a little inside at first, but we’re willing to bet you’ll be doing some more crying). Your computer will still be able to do the same tasks it performed yesterday. It doesn’t turn gray with age and throw out a hip (a hard drive, maybe). Be satisfied with your computer, and save your time and money for something else, and wait for a more substantial update before considering giving your computer up for a good home. 
End rant.

3 thoughts on “Looks like some people have new computer fever…

  1. Well put, Kris. With Intel’s upcoming (and highly-anticipated) release of the Nehalem architecture; people are getting antsy about replacing their just-purchase Wolfdale processors – a true shame, since those things can handle even Crysis at its highest.

    Then again, if you’ve got the money and don’t know how to spend it….

  2. “your computer is obsolete the day you buy it”. Moore’s law has come on a bit now from that stage. The current sate of affairs is thus:

    “your computer is obsolete BEFORE you buy it”

  3. Very true about the fact that computers become out of date very quickly. I am in the process of upgrading a number of desktop and laptop computers to handle new configurations. I think the biggest choice these days is deciding on a PC or a Mac.

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