No brainer?

You probably don’t need me to mention this again, but I’m a bit of an Apple fanboy. But however beautiful, intuitive and user-friendly their hardware and software is, it still goes out of date. Technology does that unfortunately. You can have the most up-to-date, bleeding edge kit one day, and it’s relegated to second-best the next. If there’s an upside, it’s that Apple kit does stand the test of time. The hardware’s built to last and the software gets support for quite some time before its completely obsolete.

As I’ve mentioned in passing already, my iMac is a G5 Power PC running OSX 10.4 Tiger. Both the hardware and the software were superceded quite some time ago. I’ve resisted the lure of 10.5 Leopard for some time (so long in fact that I thought I could miss it out entirely and just jump straight to 10.6). This isn’t to be though. 10.6 is for Intel processors only, so I’ve hit the upgrade wall with that one I fear.

I could save up my pennies and opt for a whole new machine preinstalled with 10.6 when it finally arrives, but I think by the time I’d saved up enough we may well be on 10.9 and I’d still be lingering in the unsupported software dark ages in the interim.

So what to do? If I can’t afford a whole new machine, and my current one won’t run the new OSX, I think my only option is to upgrade this iMac to make it as good as it can be to tide me over until funds allow something better.

So far as I can tell, the best way of me doing this is threefold. 1) Install a great big hard disk – this current one is stuffed to the gunnels, 2) cram in 2GB of RAM and 3) replace Tiger with Leopard. That would take this machine to its technological ceiling – it can’t get any better than that.

Something else that came to mind was that my iLife suite is currently the ’06 version (and that, in computer terms, is practically prehistoric). Apple have just released iLife ’09. I was never tempted by ’08, as it never got very good write ups (particularly iMovie 08) and seemed a bit of an incremental update rather than anything genuinely new, so I never felt the need to change. (There was never an ’07, in case you were wondering.)

However, this new iLife 09 looks the business. Already people are raving about it, and it does look very tempting. And the best thing? Apple are bundling Leopard, iLife 09 and iWork 09 (their latest productivity package) for £149. If you bought Leopard and iLife separately they would set you back £152. iWork costs £69 on its own. Erm… is that a difficult decision? So I can have the two pieces of software I want for £3 cheaper than buying them separately AND you’ll throw in iWork for free? Can I phone a friend?

When I finally get round to this mammoth upgrade, I shall be documenting the process (maybe even with photos) for your delectation. Mind you, I’ll probably change my mind six times before then. That’s half the fun though. Isn’t it?

*** UPDATE 30/01/2009 ***

I’ve decided to bite the bullet and start the upgrade process, but rather than do it all at once I’ve opted for the “little by little” approach. I figured that changing the hard drive and upgrading the OS would best be done together, so the logical (and less expensive) first step is to max out the RAM. The iMac can handle 2GB, so that’s what I’ve ordered. The down side is that because PC3200 DDR RAM is a fairly niche market now, the price is comparably high. If I had wanted DDR2, it would be half the price. Typical. Anyway, I’ve secured myself a shiny new matching pair of Crucial 1GB sticks for £50 and they’ll be arriving next week.

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