ElixirDaze 2016

I will not be attending ElixirDaze, sorry to say. I have other commitments that weekend, including a birthday of my own with far too large a number to discuss in public. ;–)

But I did design the logo for the conference, so there’s that.

Tired of Earnings

Apple will announce its quarterly earnings tomorrow.

These events used to be fun. Sadly, the realities of Wall Street, disconnected as they are from reality, make these events ultimately frustrating and sad. After a solid month or two of analysts doing everything they can to tank the stock, there’s no numbers in the world that Apple could realistically come up with tomorrow to make them happy.

And, if they did, the stock would tank because the analysts would say there’s no way they could top it next quarter, so sell, sell, sell.

Reality is unhinged from Wall Street.

Sales go up and down. There are natural progressions of products and product lines. Apple eventually eats its own and moves in new directions.

I’m almost wistful for the days when nobody cared, the numbers were small, and merely surviving was considered a success. Now, Apple is held up to impossibly high standards. And the metrics used to determine success or failure are just plain dumb. “Oh, no, the average price of an iPhone is only $640 instead of $646 this past quarter? Apple is doomed!” “Android now controls 80% of the market? There’s no way Apple can survive that — except for the fact that Apple takes 80% of the profits in that market, but let’s not let money get in the way of a specious argument.”

So I’ll look at the numbers tomorrow out of curiosity, just to see how product lines are faring. Then I’ll fire up the most awesome desktop computer I’ve ever owned — the one with an Apple logo on its front – and go back to creating stuff that makes me happy. I just hope the machinations of Wall Street don’t ruin it for the Apple employees who deserve to be well compensated.

Remember the good old days when Apple would make projections that everyone knew were a joke? They were so far on the low side that Apple couldn’t help but beat them every quarter even if they slept in for the three months. And Wall Street ate it up.


Researching a New iMac

I’m pricing out a new iMac 27” desktop. I’m very excited to update my five year old model and get a retina display along the way. Sometimes, old machines just get slow for seemingly no reason. C’est la vie.

I used to buy a new Windows PC every two years back in the day, but the processors were also jumping to new speeds quite often then, too. Things have slowed down in that regard, but I think five years is still a good run. Apple bloggers and podcast pundits would have you believing you need a new machine every 10 months, at worst, but let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment here: We don’t.

In pricing this new machine out, I came up against one of the usual issues with Apple’s computers. Over the years, people say that Apple has gotten better about the price of its RAM upgrades. Maybe that’s true with the laptops, but it doesn’t seem to hold up with the desktops. With the last two desktops I’ve bought, I’ve always taken the base model and then bought RAM separately from OWC or Crucial.

The 27” iMac comes with 8GB standard, which is just far too low, especially for someone like me who tends to have three art programs open at the same time (Acorn and Manga Studio, for starters, plus maybe Image Well or Image Capture or, heaven forbid, Adobe Lightroom) next to multiple web browser windows and a text editor or two, at the least.

You can upgrade from 8GB to 16GB for $200, which seems almost reasonable, or 8GB to 32GB for $600, which just blows the doors of reasonable, takes the rest of the car body to the junkyard, and has the Hulk do an Irish dance on top of it.

Installing new RAM on an iMac 27” machine is still as simple as it gets. It’s the one remaining hold out for upgradability on a Mac machine. The smaller 21.5” iMacs do not allow for RAM modification without pulling off the screen, which I would never attempt. And it only has two slots, anyway.

I looked it up on OWC (which is MacSales.com), and they have multiple options to replace or add onto those 8GB. You can add two 4GB sticks to get up to 16GB of memory for a mere $63.75. Or, you can replace all four sticks with 8GB sticks for $224. Basically, for just a few bucks more than Apple’s upgrade to 16GB, I can go the whole 32GB. Sold!

From there, the prices jump up a bit. You can add two 16GB sticks to the extant 8GB for 40GB of memory at $359, or go all the way and plug in 4x16GB sticks (64GB, yowza!) for $699. I’m not a pro; that’s not necessary.

(There are a couple options inbetween, too, but I don’t want to split hairs.)

I’m going to go the $224 route and get 4x8GB sticks.

Then, I’m upgrading the 1TB hard drive to a 2TB fusion drive, because I get 4x the SSD memory with it: 128GB vs 24GB. Sure, I’d love to go all-SSD, but that would blow the budget, even for the tiny drive.

I’ll be ordering it in the next month or so, which gives me some time to clean up my current iMac, and start worrying about how I’m going to get everything set up on the new one. I could just copy everything over, but isn’t a new computer supposed to be the best time to clean old messes up? And the current one is bloated with stuff…