Thursday, October 29, 2009

I want to buy an iMac

My desktop PC has been dying over the past couple of years. When I turn it on, it wheezes like a sick old man with emphysema. It chugs along gamely whenever it's overloaded (three windows of Firefox usually overwhelms it). And it takes ages to turn off, as if it knows that it doesn't have much time left.

Lately, I've found myself cheating on my desktop. There's an Apple Store near my house, and I've spent an increasing amount of time admiring their wares. I love the iMacs. They're so sleek and stylish, and who cares if they don't have the grunt of a Wintel PC? There are more things in life than graphics cards and processing power. The iMac is beautiful - so beautiful that it inspires people to take photos of their computer and post it on the internet.

Whether that's the proper way of expressing affection for a machine is another story altogether.

Still, I have reservations. I bought my MacBook about a year ago, and I have great affection for it. For the six months I was in Europe, it was my constant companion. It stored my photos, my music, my journal. It booked my flights and my accommodation, and it was the gateway to my life back home.

But now that I'm home, I don't use it that often. The limitations of a Mac can be stifling. Personally, I prefer a Windows system where I can see where everything is and how everything runs. Macs don't seem to give you that option. And I'm worried that once the thrill of buying an iMac dissipates, I'll be left with another Apple computer that won't let me organise the things the way I want or won't run the programs I like.

I suppose I could make an analogy to our 2-1 win against Liverpool in the Carling Cup last night. Incidentally, I looked up the result on an iMac in the Apple Store. And the new Mighty Mouse is an amazing piece of technology that I had an urge to pocket it and run for the doors.

Anyway, Arsenal is like the new 24-inch iMac - its beautiful lines and elegant design are coupled with underwhelming performance. Ramsey and Merida gave great performances, and looked like world-beaters, but you couldn't rely on them for a whole season. They just don't have the stamina to go the distance.

Liverpool is like a PC that's been cobbled together from various parts - while it gives you better performance, it lacks any sort of aesthetic appeal. After all the money spent this year, you'd think Benitez would've had a shinier team. After Torres and Gerrard, Liverpool looks a bit like a beige box.

I'm a bit disenchanted with the Carling Cup now. Beating Liverpool doesn't seem that big a deal, because you know it doesn't matter. Only the Premier League and the Champions League matter. The kids are good in patches, but Wenger doesn't think they're ready for regular spots. The real test comes with Spurs on the weekend, when players like Diaby and Eboue have to front up to their lacklustre performances and start putting the effort in.

Whatever the case, I think I'd better buy an iMac anyway. It's only about $2000 nowadays, and I won't really use it for much except for Internet and Championship Manager. It'll be awesome to watch the Arsenal play on a shitty 2-inch Internet stream on a new 24-inch iMac monitor. And as Arsene Wenger has shown with his Arsenal sides over the years, performance isn't everything and sometimes beauty is worthwhile for its own sake.

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