I bought the machine I'm writing this on back in July 2019. It replaced a 2012(!) 13" MBP Retina that I bought on release and I think max'ed out at the time, i7 processor, 1TB SSD and 8GB of RAM. It served me well for about seven years. It was connected to a 27" Thunderbolt display for most of that time.
This iMac isn't max'ed out in specs, but nearly. I got the i9 processor and the Radeon Pro Vega 48 with 8GB of RAM. It came with 32GB of RAM, but I've since added 32GB more, and it's got a 1TB SSD.
At the time I bought it, I figured I'd keep this one for at least 8 years.
Now I'm not so sure. I think it'll work just fine for another five years, probably longer. But I don't know how long Apple's going to keep developing software updates, specifically security updates, for it. I think that's my biggest legitimate concern.
Emotionally, irrationally, there's the whole Apple Silicon issue. Being something of a techie, albeit less so now than in my younger days, I follow the industry. The rhapsodic reception of the M1 chip and its derivatives definitely took a lot of the luster off my 8-core i9.
In June 2020 I bought a 13" MPB to have a current laptop, a refurbished quad-core i5 with 8GB of RAM. I bought that one because it came with 4 Thunderbolt ports. A few months later, the M1 13" MBP came out and the Mac world lost its mind.
Mitzi was still running a non-Retina 13" MBP and using it as her daily driver. She offered to buy my refurb, so I could buy a new M1 machine and keep up with all the cool kids.
And so, life was good again.
Then the M2 machines came out and Mitzi went to San Diego for two weeks. I live in a place in Florida that's basically 30 minutes from anywhere you'd actually want to go (Nocatee), so I listen to podcasts when I'm in the car by myself. Which meant I was listening to the Accidental Tech Podcast and The Talk Show right when they were discussing the new M2 macs, specifically the M2Pro Mac mini.
Well, to make a long story short, I then spent some time on Apple's web site, pricing out an M2 Pro mini and a Studio display. Ouch! And the Apple trade-in on the 2019 iMac is now almost pennies on the dollar. Dimes anyway. Double-ouch!
So then I tried to find some performance tests to see where my 2019 i9 iMac might be, just to see if an M2 Pro mini would be life-altering. Turns out, the iMac is fine. It's way over-spec'ed for anything I do, and the screen is still about the best you can get without spending thousands more. I'd be paying a lot of money for performance improvements that I'd not really experience in my daily use.
The one app that bugs me is OM System's OM Workspace. It's pokey to the point of being unusable. I don't know why. They've made an Apple Silicon version and I haven't tried it yet on my MBP, maybe that'll be a better experience. For now, I've abandoned using OM Workspace as my main editor. I'm playing with RAW Power now from Gentlemen Coders, one of the guys responsible for Aperture. I'll also play with Acorn and Pixelmator Pro eventually, but for now I'm trying spend enough time in RAW Power to get comfortable with it. But I'm getting out of Photos other than as kind of a library tool. But that's another story.
Colin also writes about another thing that resonated with me, and that's the pace of system change. For a long time, Apple was struggling just to survive and differentiate itself from the Wintel market. We welcomed the new features that offered more capabilities or greater ease of use than Windows. But now it seems like we're chasing "new" features just for the sake of buzz, while many of the formerly new features underperform or get flakey.
One of the podcasts I listened to was The Automators and they were discussing keyboard launchers, like Alfred or Spotlight and some new app called Ray Cast. I use LaunchBar. Well, I didn't recognize what they were describing with Spotlight, because I'd never seen it do the things they were describing. About the same time, Gary with MacMost dot com posted a video on rebuilding the Spotlight index, and my Spotlight didn't look like his at all either!
So I checked Spotlight on my M1 MBP, and it looked like the one on my iMac. Since they're configured nearly identically, it may be some conflict with something I have installed. But what that is, I don't know. Looking into it some more, others have been complaining about similar issues.
Maybe I'm just getting old, but I would rather see Apple fix, refine and improve the performance of the existing features in the OS and Apple apps, than keep rolling out new features like Stage Manager that demo well, but don't really seem to improve the user experience.
I recall how George R. R. Martin still uses WordStar on some antiquated piece of computing hardware because, well, that's how he writes!
Again, maybe it's because I'm getting old, but I'm beginning to think it might be cool one day to be in my 70s, still blogging on an ancient intel iMac. That's less than six years away!Originally posted at Nice Marmot 08:57 Friday, 10 February 2023