I know a lot of readers of this blog are a lot more computer-savvy than I. With CS3 hull-down on the horizon and my hard drive full, it's becoming obvious that my sturdy old eMac is getting due for an update. Any expert opinions on what Mac a photo-stylin' cheapskate should buy at this point in time? Used or new? Mini or iMac? G5 or Macintel? Two-piece or all-in-one? One Gig or two? I'd sure appreciate input from wiser brains.
Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON
UPDATE: THANK YOU for all the great replies. The strongest consensus recommendations seem to be:
a) Wait until after the MacWorld Expo;
b) Get a Core Duo iMac (with 20" being the main recommendation, 17" to save money and 24" for a "dream machine");
c) Go for 2GB of RAM minimum.
With weaker but still prevalent recommendations being:
1) Choose the Core 2 Duo (I'm not quite sure what this refers to, but I'll find out);
2) Seek out a refurb, or an educational or employee discount to save money.
Bruce McL points out, "Since you have an eMac, you'll be pleased with the performance no matter what you get." I agree, although have to admit that the eMac has been the best computer I've ever owned—the monitor is beautiful, with very accurate color (albeit with the benefit of frequent calibration) and the box has been largely trouble-free.
Just as a curiosity, I might mention that I learned to use computers on some of the very first Macs ever sold, original 128k Macintoshes, which I was using even as the original "Big Brother" TV commercial still ran over network TV (or so I thought, anyway—my memory may be of re-runs of the commercial on news and information programs). A gallery owner named David Adamson bought six or eight of them for the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. where I was a student (thanks again, David, wherever you are) and taught a course in computers that I took as an elective. My parents then bought me a 512k "Fat Mac" as a graduation present when those were the latest thing. That "Fat Mac" and its dot-matrix printer, which I believe was called an Imagewriter, is still the most expensive computer I've ever owned, although I believe it had less computing power than my current digital SLR. I've had one-piece Macs ever since, with the exception of a G3 desktop I used at home for two years that belonged to an employer (it was probably the worst Mac I've ever used). For most of my tenure at one job I used a Quadra 604 in the office. It wasn't even new—I inherited it from a predecessor. That Quadra 604 failed exactly once—when the battery on the motherboard that kick-started the monitor ran out of juice. Apart from that, it worked for me 9 hours a day, 5 days a week for five years without so much as a single crash or screen-freeze (when I'd say that to PC users of the era, they look at me blankly and blink rapidly, about like you'd look at someone with a serious mental defect that had just become painfully evident. Such a thing did not compute with them. But it was true.)
My next one will be my seventh Apple Mac since 1984.