My first Apple Macintosh computer I bought was the Performa 600
in 1992. Since then I’ve gone through at least four newer generations of Macs,
and soon I will be forced to finally buy a replacement for my 2006 1st
generation MacPro 1.1.
My MacPro has finally come to the end of its upgradable path. I
can no longer upgrade the software to a current OS, and even if I could its
internal architecture only supports 32-bit rather than 64-bit application
I’m trying to hold out until Apple finally announces plans for
their latest incarnation of the MacPro line of desktop machines sometime in the
late spring. Will the new MacPros (or whatever Apple chooses to call them)
still support Firewire? Will they still have a CD drive? How many PCI slots
will they have? And for me, one of the most important questions – how quiet
will they be? Until I know I can’t even begin to figure out what will replace
Of course there are other options besides a MacPro. I could opt
for the latest Mac Mini, add a Thunderbolt to PCIe external enclosure, a bunch
of external hard drives, and be ready to rock and roll. I’ll also have to buy a
Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter or two, and an external CD/DVD/BluRay
reader/writer to make a mini fully functional for my world. But still, a Mac
Mini would be doable. I don’t expect a Mac Mini to have the useful life of a
MacPro, however. Especially when it comes to performance upgrades that would
help it keep pace with current software requirements, a Mac Mini is no MacPro..
I got almost SEVEN FREAKIN’ YEARS from my first gen MacPro.
With the additions of a solid-state hard drive replacement, a more powerful
video card, and 16 gigs of memory, I’ve been able to keep my MacPro going long
after most of the computers that were made at the same time have long gone to
that big parts heap in the sky. Given the longevity of my MacPro, I’d like to
go that route again, but can I?
It’s also pretty obvious that Apple, EMI, Sony, and other
“music providers” would prefer that all music be acquired via “the cloud” or
downloads. Apple has deemed that new users don’t even need a CD/DVD
reader/writer any more – none of their latest offerings include a CD drive in
their stock configurations.
Yes, ripping your own CDs into your digital music
library is so last century that it may eventually be just as hip as spinning
So, I’m watching, waiting, and preparing to drop another pile
of change into Mac’s coffers. After all, what else can a Mac guy do but wait,
watch, and hope.