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  • Newsletter Issue #1055 — Upgrading Your Mac: The Cheapskate Way

    May 26th, 2024

    I was young and foolish — more or less — when I first brought a Mac into my home, after working on them at a prepress design studio for a year or so. My brand new system consisted entirely of Apple hardware, such as a Macintosh iicx, Apple LaserWriter II, a 13-inch Apple color display, the famous Extended Keyboard II and a mouse. Add to that a handful of apps, such as QuarkXPress, Microsoft Word and FileMaker, and the bill of particulars came to more than $14,000.

    In 2024 dollars, that’s $34,821.27, more than a decently-equipped midsized car. How times have changed. And, of course, fewer people buy cars nowadays; it’s all about SUVs and trucks, which thus put me out of touch if I got a new vehicle.

    Working as a paid Mac journalist, it was important for me to stay up with the latest and greatest. So over the years I upgraded my Mac every year or two, depending on whether the improvements made much of a difference. The arrival of Intel Macs in 2006 offered a demonstrable speed boost over the PowerPC. Not that the PowerPC was necessarily inferior to an Intel Core processor (it was once demonstrably superior), but since IBM and Motorola gave up on developing them for Macs in favor of embedded systems for cars and other products, Apple had to make a switch.

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