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I've decided to upgrade my computers (plural because I have an old Apple PowerBook as well as a Compaq laptop) to the new MacPro near the end of the year. Probably after Christmas so I should get some discount. But since the MacPro is so damn expensive and doesn't come with a display, I decided that I will spread the cost of the upgrade by buying the display now, a few months before the main event.

In an ideal world where I have infinite amount of money in the bank, I would pick the Apple's 23" Cinema Display without a thought. But since I don't live in the ideal world, I have to look out for my wallet and bought the Dell 24" LCD widescreen display. It was delivered today and after clearing out the desk of all the crap and then connected both laptops to it (mouse and keyboard as well via a USB switch) the desk looks real cool now. Without further ado, here are some photos:

Those paper on the desk are about 10 months worth of bills, letters, and payslips. It looks a lot but if you think about it, it is actually very little considering that is 10 months!

I still need a wrist pad for the keyboard so I won't get pain in my forearms after long period of typing. And there is also a computer stand that is arriving tomorrow so I can stack the two laptops better, instead of just laying one atop of the other.

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Two into One

WWDC starts tomorrow and like most Apple fans, I will be following Steve Job's keynote tomorrow morning closely. Even though I did not plan to purchase a new computer at the beginning of this year because for everyday use, my Titanium PowerBook performs well enough, but I have been saving up for a new computer for the last few months.

The degree of how much underpowered it has became was painfully obvious whenever I use iPhoto or Photoshop. If that is all the computing power I need I can put up with my PowerBook until next year. However, I also have a PC laptop that I use for Windows software development. It is not the greatest and latest (only a Pentium M 1.3GHz) but it is powerful enough to allow me to code comfortably. However, having two laptops not only take up space on my desk but also means I have to make a conscious choice of which one to boot up. Actually whether to boot up the PC laptop because the Mac is always on and put to sleep when not used (I've never trusted the Windows sleep/hibernate capability, not to mention it is not quick like the Mac).

So with the Mac moving towards Intel chip and the ability to dual boot, not to mention the availability of virtualisation software (whether it is Parallels, or the rumored VMware), it means I can combine both machines into one letting me to run both OS X and Windows in parallel, switching between web surfing in the Mac and coding in Windows seamlessly. Then the question becomes, should I get a laptop or desktop?

Laptop is nice because it is compact, everything built-in, I can take it with me for traveling or even just to the bedroom. But it costs more, restricted in terms of upgrade, not as powerful as a desktop machine, and therefore not as 'future-proof'.

Desktop, on the other hand, will be as powerful as I can afford (or Apple makes available), allow me to use whatever peripherals as I like (large 20+" widescreen LCD monitor comes to mind), and I will be able to upgrade it as it ages (hard disk, memory, video card, or may be even CPU). And the price, after I've added everything I need to the list, will probably come to about the same as the laptop. The major downside is that I would not be able to take it with me, not even to the bedroom. I think that is a compromise I can live with, especially if I keep my PowerBook for traveling out of country or to the bedroom.

I did briefly flirt with the idea of getting an iMac but the inability to upgrade and restricted screen size and speed means I dismissed the idea as quickly as it popped into my head.

Now, Mr. Job, please show me what you got and I'll give you my hard earned cash in December.

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