The coming Mac Pro. Photo by The Verge
Everything goes away eventually.
A comedian I just discovered, John Mulaney, has a nice line in his Comedy Central special: "I was once on the telephone with Blockbuster Video...which is a very old-fashioned sentence."
"That's like when your Gram would be like, 'we'd all go play jacks down at the soda fountain.'"
Everything goes away eventually. Horseback riding is very gone away (I used to ride, before I was ordered not to by a guy in a white coat, on account of my back.) Pool appears to be going away. (This post isn't about pool.) The tables you can buy new are for the most part almost too cheap and crappy to bother buying, the pro game is in such a state of doldrums that even some top level players have to sleep in their cars when they're on the road, and the number of Americans who self-identify as "pool players" has dropped by 17 million people in just seven years.
...Making this, of course, the perfect time for me to get into the game.
The personal computer is also beginning—but just beginning—to go away. We're in the era of the "device" already.
In years to come, GOFs (grumpy old folks) will be dated by their familiarity with the personal computer. You remember Apple vs. IBM? You actually know what came before PCs? You once had a cathode ray tube monitor?!? (And like, what's that?)
Your computer was a box you kept on your desk? Wow, you're old.
It's coming, you smug fortysomething fetuses. Get prepared.
So anyway, the new Mac Pro isn't getting very much attention—because personal computers are starting to be over. No one's making much of a fuss over it. It isn't getting much mindshare, to use a term that didn't exist back when the newest developments in personal computers would be sensational international news.
...Making this, natch, the perfect time for me to get serious about computers. ("Natch" was short for "naturally" and was something that adults who grew up during the 1920s said. I still remember adults who grew up during the 1920s, although they're kind of over now too. More's the pity; I liked that generation*.)
So my questions. Anyone else looking forward to when these will ship? Anyone else looking forward to the first reviews? Gonna get one?
I think I might get one. But only if they're really good and not very popular, which would make them just the sort of thing I like.
*John Mulaney also said something that you just don't hear very often. "I'm not Jewish, but I've always really liked Jewish people," he said, describing his Jewish girlfriend. Funny that you don't hear people say that straight out like that very often, but as soon as he said it I realized it's exactly the way I feel. I've always really liked Jewish people.
Original contents copyright 2013 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
BWJones: "I've been planning on updating several of our many year old Mac Pros to the brand new black tube Mac Pro when they came out. Alas, this year's sequestration followed by a government shutdown means that for this scientist, we are again delaying computer purchases in order to keep our people employed. When/if the science funding corrects itself, I'll buy these bad boys in a femtosecond."
Steve D: "I love portable technology but as an engineer/draftsmen/modeller (who renders a lot of things in 3D), I can't fathom an internet connection fast and secure enough that I would ever want or trust it to do any of my work over. That box on my desk is called a 'work' station for a reason. Could I do that in the near future on a wonder device? I'm sure it's technically possible, but my hands and eyes don't scale. So if it can connect to a keybord, mouse (or sketch tablet) and drive two 30" dual monitors then maybe someday. Till then steady as she goes."
Kalli: "Just to date myself, I'll reveal that my first notebook computer (and first Mac) was an iBook. The first generation iBook G4 12". I'm not ever buying a box that you park on your desk ever again."
Ctein: "Dear Mike, No. Just, no. This is a machine for an extreme power user, which you are not. And I am not. Lloyd Chambers is. Very few people are. Which is why it as rumored that Apple would be dropping MacPro line entirely.
"I can see what's happening here—you, having made a clear decision on what to buy next, are getting distracted by shinies. You don't need to second-guess yourself. Or, if you really do, go back and re-read the previous columns you wrote and all the excellent advice you were given back then, and make a different call, amongst the options that were discussed then. But, do not expand the playing field. No need, no gain, much pain."
Rodger Kingston: "Since the late '80s I've always bought desktop (or tower, or whatever) computers, along with the biggest CRT or LCD monitor I could afford. Then several years ago along came the 27" iMac [latest version —Ed.] with the entire computer built into the screen. I do a lot with Photoshop, and this iMac is more than up to the task. I watch computers getting smaller and smaller in all their various iterations, but I can't see a way around the need for large screens for doing graphic work. I love this iMac; its a sweet little friend, and I hope it stays around in one form or another for the rest of my working life."
Mike replies: I have to admit that's almost certainly what I'll get next...even if I didn't listen to Ctein, which I do. My mid-2010 27" iMac has been nearly perfect for still photography and general computing, the best computer of all I've owned or used beginning with the original 1984 Macintosh.
Joe Holmes: "Oh, I've been waiting for such a long time for a new desktop Mac (running Photoshop, DxO, Aperture, and Final Cut Pro—all at the same time!), and for quite a while I feared Apple had decided there would never be a new desktop Mac. Now my only fear is that this craaazy-looking new box will be so exorbitantly priced, and that it'll involve upgrading so many peripherals (Thunderbolt??), that I just won't be able to justify the expense. But boy, I'll try. My 'Early 2008' Mac Pro is starting to feel pretty creaky."
Oskar Ojala: "I think that those things are just tools, like hammers and pickup trucks, and thus have been relegated to mundane status, making way for new hip technology. There are still people who need those for their work, it's just not that mainstream anymore. When was the last time people talked about what kind of CPU they had? Now for some real dinosaur stuff, look into the world of hifi. ;-) "
Mike replies: Don't get me started on hifi. Seriously, don't. :-)