When it comes to computers, I’m a tinkerer. I love taking them apart, seeing how they work together, and putting them back together.
About four years ago, I had a friend who worked in a computer shop. I had him build me a machine (pretty much entry-level), and then I spent the next couple years. Bit by bit (so to speak), piece by piece, I upgraded and replaced every single piece of that computer — several of them numerous times. Right now I’m pretty much set with my setup (details in the extended section), but I’m always looking for upgrades.
When I first saw a Mac G3, I was impressed as hell. The design was brilliant. I was flabbergasted when I saw that the whole side panel folded down, and the motherboard was mounted on it. That little innovation opened up the entire interior, and made working on the machine a breeze.
There was only one problem, though. Apple wasn’t marketing to tinkerers like me. Apple users (if I can stereotype a smidgen here) didn’t care to open up their computers. They were more interested in what it could do, not how.
The new G5 also shows a maddening “almost” quality. It’s a large tower, made from beautiful brushed stainless steel (at least that’s how it looks to me). (Correction: it’s machined aluminum. Thanks, Joe Maller.) It’s got a lot of room for expansion inside it, as well.
But this time Apple didn’t forget that its users aren’t too interested in playing with the insides. Consequently, this tower of a computer has a single bay that’s accessible from the outside. Adding any more drives other than hard disks has to be done through an external attachment, and not inside the computer itself.
I look at the G5 case, and I almost drool. It’s gorgeous, it’s innovative, and it’s elegant. But the designers put in all that room for expansion and then didn’t bother to actually allow it. What a senseless waste.
Full tower, AMD Athlon XP2000+ (Thoroughbred B), MSI KT3 Ultra2-C, 512 MB PC2100 DDR, Radeon 9200, on-board sound, 16X DVD-ROM, 4X DVD-RW (dual format), 40X CD-RW, Zip 100, 4 internal hard drives (2X 80GB, 100GB, 250GB), external USB box w/120GB hard drive, cheapo speakers (also hooked up to home theatre system), 21″ NEC monitor, wireless keyboard/mouse.