On Obsolescence

Imac G5 Rev A by Matthew Welty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMac#mediaviewer/File:IMac_G5_Rev._A_front.jpg)

Imac G5 Rev A by Matthew Welty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMac#mediaviewer/File:IMac_G5_Rev._A_front.jpg)

I love the Mac, I really do. If you look at my resume, one of my earliest jobs was doing tech support for it, and I had another job writing software for it. It was fun. However, after supporting and programming so many different systems over the years I do have some insights, and this one just happened to me.

My mother in law has an iMac she bought a few years ago, near as I can tell it’s either an 04 or o5. She loves it and I do tech support for her since I live in the same house. She used to have a printer but it stopped working (that’s a another story), so we went printer shopping and… can’t find one that will work with this model.

You see, it’s a PowerPC model, and runs OS 10.5.8, and printer manufacturers don’t compile or test drivers for the old OS running on the old architecture.

Let’s compare this to an Intel P4 I bought before she got her Mac. It’s currently sitting in my living room, running Windows 7, it had .NET 4 installed and I regularly use it to test my GIS Software – AND it can print to all of my printers. It started its life as my partner’s desktop machine running SAS and numerical analysis, became my software development desktop, then became a file server and is now stills serving as a media centre and test platform.

This computer is entering its second decade of use.

I know most people don’t think this way, but it you’re buying a computer think of how long you’re going to own it, and what other roles it will fill in your life. Using some of the simple concepts of reduce, re-use and recycle, plan for your computer’s life and buy something that will continue to be useful for many years.

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