Well, the time has come again for me to build a new computer. Oh, I know what you’re thinking, “Build a computer? What kind of madness is this? How dare this photographer cross the line and not just buy a Mac?”
Well, I’ll tell you what: Macs are slow. I know everyone in the audience out there is beginning to scream with incredible vehemence but dollar for dollar you all know it’s true. I will concede that Macs are beautiful, well built machines filled with quality parts and if you have the money to burn you are certainly able to pay at least twice as much and get a machine that is better than your typical Dell or HP. But what about the custom built PCs that have parts that are the same quality as that in the Mac? Where Windows XP is easily as stable as OS X? Can it be? Of course. Just don’t go buy a Dell or a HP because the only way they make money is by purchasing the cheapest parts in the largest quantity.
Now before you all spam me with your, I had a PC and I switched to Mac or Mac has never failed me or I’ll never read your blog again posts, I’ll tell you a secret. I own more Mac’s than I do PCs and as far as laptops are concerned I would never buy anything else. I have a couple of Mac laptops which are grand machines for the typical operation of an office, emailing, writing, taking notes. But they are terribly slow if youask them to even start Photoshop. At that point they come to a halt and that cute little beach ball of death torments you without end. I also have an iMac G5 which is quickly approaching 3-years-old which is considerably faster than both of the laptops but still is no comparison to my 2 4-year-old Pentium 4s. Not even close. The contest is over.
But lately, I’ve been processing more and more images as things get busier and I’m starting to see the P4 is just not fast enough anymore. So the time has come to build another machine. I hear you mac people grumbling in the background. It isn’t going to happen kids. To get what I need in a Mac, it would cost around $4k which makes sure I have plenty of RAM, ample harddrive space, and absolutely a 500GB raid 5 array. I can buy the parts for around $1500 and actually have a faster machine if it is a Windows or Linux machine and it will be equal in stability. Where is the contest?
The naming game has been going on for years. I wasn’t very creative when I started. The main machine is Blackbox. The back-up main machine is Mistertime. The iMac G5 used to be White Wonder but is now is Timelord in homage to Doctor Who. The Powerbook is named Gigaflop and the new MacBook is called the TARDIS in reference once again to our new found obsession with Doctor Who.
The new machine will be a Core 2 Duo 3.0 GHZ machine and I’m toying with the name Torchwood, another Doctor Who reference. It’s an anagram of Doctor Who. You’ll be happy to know that I didn’t obsess to that point about the show. The creators did that during early production of the 2005 revamping of the show to prevent it from leaking out to the press. The show was code named Torchwood to throw off any leaks about it’s true nature.
I’m open to ideas. Leave posts in the blog. Let me know what you think. But no hate mail about my estimation of Steve Jobs’ obsessive compulsive need to control the universe like a young, unmasked Darth Vader in the early years. His vision is nice, but it’s just kind of slow.