Originally published at The Gentle News. You can comment here or there.
Last night the display adapter on my four-year-old 24″ iMac started going nuts, so I shut it down hoping a cool-off would make all my problems go away.
This morning it was still doing the bananashits. It’s probably just trying to manifest all of my suppressed emotions about the pending Michael Bay Adult Non-Ninja Non-mutant Turds culture brouhaha. After two minutes of uptime I can’t even ssh to it anymore. So I’m backing it up via target disk mode with SuperDuper. It will probably take all day to finish that backup process. I’m amazed that it’s staying online even in target mode.
Tomorrow I will ask the Apple store people to tell me how much it would cost to fix it. The support site is down right now, and I don’t want to schedule anything until I’m more certain of when my backup will complete anyway. If it’s effed in the ay, I’m probably going to give myself a peptic ulcer over whether to buy a new machine and if so which one.
I have a brand new 13″ MacBook Air that my new job bought for me. I’d like to think that’s all the portable computing I need. I have my wife’s three-year-old MacBook, good enough for fiddling around while I’m in the kitchen or something.
What I won’t have anymore if the iMac has met its demise is a main machine I can throw stupid tasks at in my office. Recording and editing audio and video, watching stupid TV shows and movies while I clean or rearrange my office or fold underwear, compiling code, whatever.
I have gotten used to having many square miles of screen real estate: 27″ Thunderbolt display I connect to the Air when I’m at my desk, the 24″ main display on my iMac, and a 30″ secondary display connected to the iMac. I’ve got a system for what goes where on what screen and I love it. Right now, more than 60% of that space is unusable. I only have the work machine’s piddly 27″ display to use. I can add the 13″ built into the Air if I want to temporarily rearrange and keep the Air opened rather than closed, but I don’t see an efficient use of such a small-by-contrast screen at the moment. I could barely fit a 24pt Comic Sans “First World Problems” banner on such a screen.
Should I consider downsizing all of that? Maybe just get a Mac Mini and connect it to that 30″ display? It would give me more free desk space for workbenching. Or I could get a much smaller desk and have more room for music gear in the office, since I have a very fancy workbench in the garage that would get a lot of use if I could just motivate myself to clean the damn garage.
Or I could get a MacBook pro. It would make life slightly less complicated when I want to move my recording workspace somewhere else.
I think I want to get another iMac, but I also think that I don’t need it. It would be cheaper. Two giant displays on my desk is probably more than enough for work and play. I’d try to downsize to just one, but then I’d run into the problem of having to disconnect the Thunderbolt from the work machine when I need to use it for play.
I briefly considered just hooking up one of the 500 PCs I have for now, but I don’t wanna do that, and it would still leave me with an unsavory environment for recording and editing. All of my stuff is in GarageBand, Logic, iMovie, or Final Cut. I guess I could go Hackintosh, but that hasn’t sounded like fun for a few years now.
I could also just not replace it, and only use the Air for work and light play, dragging out an older machine for any creative stuff that requires something more dedicated. It would certainly save a ton of money. We do have a baby on the way. I hear babies like money. Stupid greedy babies.
Anyway, here’s a video. No awesome, accidental, Abramsian lens flares, sorry: