The shock of the new

Mere days after resolving that although I would ideally like a smaller screen size, a 15.4" MacBook Pro was The Laptop For Me, Apple releases the 13" MacBook.

Oh I knew this would happen.

Mere days after resolving that although I would ideally like a smaller screen size, a 15.4" MacBook Pro was The Laptop For Me, Apple releases the 13" MacBook.

Now while I'm keenly aware that in the realm of technology, whatever you buy will be old hat five minutes later, the fact that I shelled out for the pricier model when I didn't need to seems a cruel twist of fate indeed.

Tech inspires a particular fanaticism. The fervent desire for a newly-released product is standard across all areas of consumerism, but with tech, the need is even more urgent because it is tinged with anxiety. How long will the toy be new and impressive and the giver of joy? How long before pride at showing it off becomes sheepishness that it's not the current model?

iPod old-school style
Yesterday at an HP event on fuel-efficient printing, a company rep told the crowd that the technology currently appearing on the shelves was developed in the labs four years ago. Four years ago, Apple was about to release the second-generation iPod. That's the ancient-looking monochrome-screened monolith on the right. The comparison with current video models is startling.

Given that huge leap, it's understandable that tech devotees get giddy and excitable about what's around the corner. It makes the agony of buying a soon-to-be-obsolete product bearable.

While I'm miffed about the MacBook situation, I'm taking solace in the fact that the PowerBooks from 2002 still look pretty darn slick, even by 2006 standards. So in four years, when Australia is defending the World Cup title, my laptop may not perform any of the latest functions, but at least it will look crash-hot.

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