Top To Bottom In 4 Months (4/13/01)
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Do you ever get that sinking feeling when you think about how much you paid for your aging computer equipment compared to how much it's worth today? For instance, when we bought our PowerTower Pro a few years back, we laid out $2600 for it-- $3100 including the used monitor. That was for a 200 MHz 604e-based system with 16 MB of RAM and a 2 GB hard drive. For that price today we could be steering a glorious Graphite Power Mac G4 with dual 533 MHz chips roaring under the hood hooked up to a matching 17-inch Studio Display. (Don't even get us started on that used 16 MB SIMM we bought for $400-- it was a steal back in '94.) Well, hopefully you can laugh about stuff like that; if not, we advise all Mac users with a particularly weak stomach for depreciation to head for the hills ASAP, because if the rumors are correct, the scene's going to get really ugly in the months to come.

See, even in the computer industry where the average price-to-performance ratio halves every year and a half, we don't often see a situation in which the fastest available model becomes the slowest in the space of four months. According to Mac OS Rumors, though, that's a distinct possibility; while today the 733 MHz Power Mac is the top of the line, word has it that the next major overhaul of the pro desktop line-up in July or August might start at 733 MHz and go up from there-- to 800, 866, 933, and the long-coveted 1000 MHz mark. (That's what they call "1 GHz" in the big city, Smacky.)

If the very prospect of a 733 MHz Power Mac G4 being the "entry level" model has you hyperventilating, that's probably because you just shelled out three grand for a system that'll cost maybe half that before summer reruns are over. Granted, while the RAM, hard drive size, and other specs of this fall's low-end Power Mac might not match the gear in your tricked-out "Fastest" config, the chip speed will be the same, and that stings a bit-- understandably so. Such is the price of progress. People who are particularly sensitive to that specific brand of pain should probably go full-on Luddite and forswear technology altogether-- or at least avoid buying brand new high-end systems, because that's just begging for a smackdown.

Oh yeah, if you're bummed about having to wait until August for new Power Mac systems, get happy: dual-processor 733 MHz Macs and some possible price breaks are reportedly still on track for "mid-spring." If you're a real "buyer's remorse" masochist, sell your car and buy a dual-733 with SuperDrive as soon as they become available, and then start counting off the days until your big-ticket purchase turns into yesterday's news. Fun for the whole family!


 
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


 

The above scene was taken from the 4/13/01 episode:

April 13, 2001: Sure, the Power Mac G4/733 is at the top of the heap right now, but in four months it might be the entry-level model. Meanwhile, Microsoft plans to promote its proprietary WMA audio format by crippling MP3 in Windows XP, and Apple plants full-time Apple employees in CompUSA locations in a bold attempt to improve the retail experience...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2989: Sound, Fury, And Bill Gates (4/13/01)   Did you find it a little odd that Uncle Steve made such a big deal about the whole "unrestricted encoding" issue at the iTunes intro back in January? We did. We sort of took it for granted that if we wanted to MP3ify our CD collection, we should be able to do it at the highest quality that suited us...

  • 2990: Making Retail Suck Less (4/13/01)   Believe it or not, folks, Apple is listening! Remember that letter you sent them about your unsatisfactory shopping experience at the Apple store-within-a-store at your local CompUSA? The one in which you detailed a litany of transgressions, such as a lack of Apple-knowledgeable salespeople, an array of demo Macs in various states of disrepair, and a huge stocking ladder permanently blocking access to the latest Apple gear?...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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