My workhorse of an iMac is desperately in need of an uprgade. It’s a sturdy iMac G4 flat panel that’s seen me through many projects. My computer runs sluggishly at best, and I often have to quit all applications that aren’t of immediate use. I’ve come to the realization that if you wait too long to upgrade, then you might as well wait a little longer for Apple to throw in a new processor or update one of the desktop lines. I was set on getting an iMac because it perfectly fits my needs. The iMac is a far cry from the entry-level machine it used to be; now the higher end iMac comprises a powerful computer well fit for web work. I used to scoff at the iMacs in favor of Apple’s towers, but I’m doing less and less print work these days so that extra power (and price!) have been rendered unnecessary. This makes it all too easy to spend half a morning pricing out a shiny new 24” iMac (which is now all but purchased).
The thing that troubles me most is how my drive to purchase a new computer is almost directly tied to Adobe products. If there is a new version of Photoshop or, much more likely, a version that has become too unwieldy to run on my current system, then it’s time to go shopping. Of course, I don’t need to upgrade, and I resist as long as I’m able, but between dealing with files from newer versions or needing to take advantage of new features, there comes a time when you inevitably have to upgrade. It would be nice for Adobe to start from scratch with the next CS release. Since they are already going universal, they could do a re-write and optimize the hell out of the program’s performance. Yeah yeah, I know it’s not that easy. It’s just wishful thinking. But Adobe has fallen deep into the “feature pit”; adding more and more features with each release, and thereby muddying up existing features. Perhaps a more a la carte Photoshop would suit me better. Start with a baseline version, and sell feature packages for different types of work. I guess it would be a big pill for companies to swallow if Adobe came out with a new Photoshop touting “now with 80% less!” If they were to go that route, they would probably have to start it off as a whole new product, rather than a re-imagined Photoshop. So it goes.
Pardon the Friday afternoon tangent: I’ve never been what you’d call a “Mac Expert”, but just in the same way we learn the intricacies of web development and CSS quirks with workarounds, I learned how to cope with Mac OS 9 (and earlier). When an application crashed in OS 9, I would panic and restart the instant I was able to. In OS X, I force quit stuff just to prove I can. Interestingly enough, some of the people I work with now have never made a site using tables. Ever. They learned how to make sites with semantic markup and CSS from the ground floor. I’m not even that old, but this perfectly illustrates to me just how fast technology moves.