Friday, 2 March 2012

A Funny Thing Happened of the way to the Fridge.

I use computers a lot, all day, everyday. I make things a lot, all day everyday. I make music, animation, software and I teach all of these things, all on a computer of some kind. I have however always had a strange approach to this in that I always used either old, secondhand or cheap equipment often donated to me. I won't lie it made things harder, it was a challenge, using older and out of date hardware/software was often frustrating. Despite my love of technology I couldn't justify a buying computer, especially a top of the range computer for just me. I use computers until they die, until they catch on fire and then I use their parts to build "new" machines that eventually catch on fire.

Last year I bought a netbook an xxxx xxxxxx xxx, it was cheap at around £200 it was clearly approaching the end of it's commercial appeal the online retailer was pushing the newer model. It strangely appealed to me so I bought it, it was a mistake, it was awful, I bought it for giving presentations, checking email and browsing the Internet. It couldn't even do this very well the machine would often crash maybe once an hour. xxxxxxx x, I like the way the advertising campaign used "everyday" people to take credit for it, perhaps that way xxxxxxxxx could deny responsibility for it. I couldn't even change the desktop image.

The other day this awful machine, which would often start with the words "not responding" decided that the LCD would just die, just before I was about to teach kids about web apps. Maybe the idea was too much for it, too new, it just couldn't handle it. Fortunately, I was able to plug it into an external monitor and the kids still enjoyed learning about web apps. I was so angry this this piece of crap stumbled along all of its life and then died, and I bought it new.

I had a chat to a lot of other people about the PC / Mac debate and I have always been ok with both, they are just tools. I have a Mac mini it has never failed me, I have built huge art installations with it and coded apps with it, it runs open office, it works with my printer. I have a brilliant Dell desktop I have made albums on it, decoded mysteries from World War II its not very portable but it works most of the time. I could never justify spending a lot on a new machine. Until now.

I am so busy people are always asking for my help to do this or that. I can not have another computer that is "not responding" for most of the time. I have always championed re-using technology but after a chat with my partner this evening, she bought me a top of the range MacBook Pro. I felt both excited and sick at the same time, I felt relieved and ashamed.

This blog will follow the life on the machine, partly to justify spending an awful lot of money on it and partly to see how it changes my productivity if at all. I use computers for everything I do, it is my main tool for my skills, will this change me? Or have I already changed having agreeing to own such a new and powerful machine?

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