I haven’t built a new computer since January 2006, when I put together my MythTV box. I haven’t bought a new computer for myself since March 2007, when I bought a refurbished eMachines T6536. Since then, I’ve upgraded both of those boxes, with the eMachines ending up with two additional hard drives for a total of one terabyte of storage, an Nvidia GT220 video card and a PSU to handle it. All that and it still only gets 67296 on the Crystalmark benchmark.
I just finished putting together a new machine, with parts purchased over the past 8 months or so. With a quad-core Athlon 635, 4 gigs of PC1333 RAM, Radeon 5770 video card, and two 500 gigabyte hard drives, it gets 186731 on the Crystalmark test. Sweet.
Now, to take on the crazy people in Burnout!
Because the only significant story in the tech press today is about Apple (as is true every time Steve Jobs gets on a stage), I have become far too aware of the various iPod and iPad updates announced. I find it interesting that Apple chose to replace the most popular model, the nano, with a version completely unlike the one which sold so well – it now has a touch screen and no buttons. Since the iPod classic was not mentioned, one assumes it is being led out behind the barn for an Old Yeller moment. That leaves the iPod Shuffle as the sole remaining iPod with buttons. Apple has decided that you can either have buttons or a screen, but not both.
I personally use my Sansa Fuze in the car, and the tactility of the physical buttons is the only thing which allows me to jump past a song while keeping my eyes on the road. I’ve heard that people who listen to their music while exercising are also quite fond of physical buttons. Would those people now have to resign themselves to the screenless shuffle (4 gigs of music without a screen? Ick) or does Apple just not care if some portion of their market jumps to a Samsung or Sansa or Creative player instead?
Of course, this assumes that Apple purchasers are sane humans who weigh the balance of features they need and desire against the value proposition they’re offered. I’ve seen no evidence that is the case, so Apple is probably safe in betting that everyone they’ve already hooked will wander into an Apple store in a hypnotic trance and buy the latest doodad that Steve says they want.