It started with trying to buy something to convert my cassette tapes to mp3. I found a PlusDeck 2C and thought it would be a fun toy and would avoid my having to dig up a tape deck with RCA output jacks on it. The PlusDeck, unfortunately, is just not meant for me. It requires a serial port (who the hell has those anymore?) a spare port for their proprietary sound card contraption, and a path from my 5 1/4" drives to the rest of the computer guts, which my SONY computer doesn't have. So that went back. Then I got a wild idea that I wanted to play with a Mac. I've never actually owned one and only sporadically used the ones we have at the office. I wanted one, much in the way that a new home owner feels compelled to own a blender. Bossman had just bought a Mac Pro for a ton of money and was raving about how much he was enjoying using Aperture to edit his photos. Oh, did I mention we've been playing with our digital cameras recently?
Bossman and I both have Canon cameras, although his is much fancier than mine. But I can play with his lenses while he tries them out. The same lenses that he was loving so much and having so much luck with getting these "perfect" photos, I was not really enjoying. You can see some of my better results in my Lens Experiment Flickr Set but I was starting to feel a bit camera stupid. So that was getting frustrating.
Despite all my new found enthusiasm for a Mac, I wasn't sure where I would put an Apple computer were I to own one. We spend most of our time in the office together (where all the podcasting magic happens) and it's kind of cozey in there, not really lending itself towards an extra computer in the already toasty warm room. I also wasn't really sure if I would commit to an Apple computer or if it would just piss me off. I don't hate Macs, but I seem to have bad luck with them. It's a long sordid tale of woe that only seems to befall me - believe me I'm no zealot.
I tried to borrow a Mac Mini from the office but it wasn't compatible with my monitor at home (I'm really starting to hate my Samsung LCD - it doesn't play well with nVidia at all). I spent a chunk of cash on a high quality DVI switcher so I could use one bad ass monitor (which I swiped from the office on long term loan), keyboard and mouse for two computers only to find out it wasn't compatible with either computer - at least not in the way I wanted it to work. So that very cool gadget goes back tomorrow.
I was truly angry with everything that had a power plug in my world by yesterday afternoon. Everything I wanted to experiment with and I thought would give me joy was just becoming a shit sandwich at the expense of several hundred dollars to discover it.
But today finally took a turn for the better. I have a new lens for my camera that makes me really happy and seems like a bargain compared to the other lenses I was drooling over. It's like shopping for shoes on Zappos where if you look at enough $300 shoes, the $150 shoes seem like a bargain. I also managed to find an inexpensive new dual link DVI video card to run my new monitor at something greater than cartoon mode 1280x800. It was ironic that the red shirt in CompUSA told me that I didn't need "such an expensive card" if I wasn't going to play a lot of video games while I was marvelling at how the card I found was about a third the price of the one I had found this morning.
And to top it all off, I ordered an iMac today (it was on sale - again the shoe shopping bug hit me). Since this Apple computer is self-contained, I no longer need the switcher and we won't be adding more heat and noise to the office. And the iMac is going to go in the kitchen, right where a blender would be if we owned one.
This is my calming view at the moment.