Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Strawberry Whine (Continued)

For today's post I'll continue my ruminations on the need to keep up with the internet's technological advances. In the post below I whined extensively about my 8-year-old iMac's obsolescence. I don't mind the slow operating system on my iMac as much as I mind the fact that the damned thing requires more RAM and updated operating software just to be able to surf the internet. Eventually the hardware could no longer keep up with the software. I have 1 gig. of RAM in this computer, and I use it for everything. Internet surfing, paper writing, graphic design and my creative writing projects. Right now I have all of my projects safely saved onto Zip disks, but I'm not sure when I'll be able to access them.

I brought my iMac to the Apple store two nights ago. The technician took one look at it and said, "I don't know what I can do for this model because we stopped making it . I'll check it out for you but technically we're not even allowed to look at these anymore." Thank you, Apple customer service. I'll save the rant about deserving appropriate technical support no matter which Apple I own for another time. To my surprise the computer started up without any problems, but when he plugged the Zip drive in, everything froze and disappeared. I was a little confused, but at least the technician didn't charge me for looking at it, and he got my zip drive out of my zip disk as well. The drive worked on his newer iMac without any problems, so obviously, I'm facing the inevitable task of having to replace my computer sooner or later. No one actually laughed at my iMac, but a few techies shook their heads in a mixture of pity and disgust, and one young salesgirl went "AWWWW!" and patted my iMac in the same way one pats a dog's head.

So this is my dilemma: Do I continue to buy new equipment every 5-8 years? It looks like I don't have a choice, which means most internet-savvy consumers don't, either. Part of the iMac's problem is OS10.4, which is running on a G3 processor. The technician told me that 10.1 would be better to use with such an old processor, but I bought the upgrade because I could no longer access the internet using 10.1. As I said in my earlier post, living without internet access is not an option. 24-7 on-demand access to news, entertainment and shopping is taken for granted these days. I refuse to live without the ability to check my course materials, shop online, and communicate with friends and family from the comfort of my own home. The internet has brought the entire world to everyone's doorstep, and once we've become accustomed to that, there's no turning back.
I attended Parsons School of Design (of Project Runway fame!) in the nineties. Every single computer lab on campus was wall-to-wall blueberry iMacs, which means, of course, that many major learning institutions invested huge amounts of cash on Apple technology. I wonder how much Parsons had to spend to replace all those Blueberries. It doesn't seem very customer-friendly to me.
I'm fast approaching middle-age and already I can feel the crank letter-writer coming out in me. I'm almost tempted to write a letter--well, by letter I mean e-mail--to Apple letting them know how I feel. In the meantime, I'm not sure what to do. This sounds stupid, but I haven't plugged in my iMac since I brought it home from the Apple store. I'll get around to it this weekend. If I can still use it for everything except accessing what's on my zip disks, I'll take that for now. But if that' the case, what will I do about my novel-in-progress??

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