Sometimes you buy something because you need it. Sometimes you buy something because its the sensible thing to do. Sometimes you buy something that you have carefully thought about, sometimes you buy things on a whim. And SOMETIMES you buy things because you just WANT them. It does not matter if they are hopelessly out of date, useless, slow, ill-advised, passé .. or one of 50 other negative reasons. You just buy it because you want it. We all know the feeling. Misplaced childhood traumas of not getting that "toy transformer" for your seventh birthday later raise their ugly heads. As you place a bid for a 1985 model of "Warpath" in mint condition for a nearly ridiculous sum you KNOW you are not making a good deal .. but you just WANT it !
Same happened to me this week. It has been one of my pet peeves ever since i've owned my first mac, probably even before that. From the very first time I saw one I was instantly craving to ONE DAY own one of my very own. Yep : Its a G4 Imac. A totally revolutionary design lovingly dubbed 'the desk-lamp' With its half spherical base, adjustable monitor arm and sparkling white color it just screams "computer" In every movie you look where they have to drag up a prop that really screams " I AM A COMPUTER NOT A TOASTER !!!" prop assistants are bound to dig up one of these babies or go for its colorful G3 counterpart : The first generation Imac. Now I have owned one of those and don't think they are all that. Lets face it : They might look good on paper but a 15 inch CRT screen for a computer used for graphic design. Come on ! Okay, the G4 Imac might not have a bigger screen (the did however come in 17" and 20" versions) but the latter where utterly NOT-affordable. But every time I saw one on TV I thought to myself : I want one of those !
So I had this old P4 1.7 gigahertz PC lying around doing nothing (you can't turn everything into a Linux Server) and I thought : What if I find somebody who wants to trade his G4 Imac for my old little P4 clunker. I know what you are thinking : "WHAT ???" but patience is a virtue and after sending once copy-paste email after the other to every Imac-G4 seller in the country my own little crusade was rewarded. I managed to find somebody who would gladly trade his Imac for my PC. Most mac users would rather piss in their own left boot then trade their Mac for a computer but there is a slight minority out their for whom that little Mac is more a curse then a blessing.
"It belonged to our daughter" the man said on the phone when I called to inquire about the Imac "She wanted to take a course in graphic design so we bought her the mac .. She needed it she said . It cost allmost 2000 euros back then, and after three months she was sick of it" " I'm very sorry to hear that" I said as I silently thanked the scoundrel who had conviced the daughter of the house to take up morning sex instead of morning classes and blowing her school career all together. One mans grief is another mans glory. Sniffing that I was dealing with a newbie user I thought it was time to explain the positive points of my PC system and greatly accentuate the fact that I would configure the PC exactly to their needs. According to the man it was a done deal and I was expected in Mechelen on saturday morning.
I arrived, unpacked the pc and set it all up. As the man once again explained his grief to me that the Imac had gone to waste over the years, he showed me the original price of the device : This G4 700 megahertz 15" imac had indeed cost a bundle. I might like my macs but i'm no fanboy : These things are FAR TO EXPENSIVE ! They where so back then and they still are so today. But hey .. we where both coming out of this a winner. As the wife dusted off the white Imac for the last time she stressed the point that this was without any doubt the prettiest computer Apple ever made. And knowing that I was buying a computer that was a tad on the very slow side and that could barely keep up with the fast pace processing power of its peers, I wholeheartedly agreed. My little G4 Imac might not be fast, it might not be powerful but its DAMN PRETTY when its sitting in our living room. So everytime when I have to wait four more seconds for Firefox to boot up on this not so very fast mac .. I just look at it .. admire and appreciate it .. cause sometimes its all about looking good.