Ambrose, me old iMac 700MHz G4, is now the oldest in-use computer I have ever owned, being a six year-old model I've had for five and a half years. I bought him in April of 2002, for starting Doctoral studies in August of that year. My previous computers had been bought at the start of Master's studies and at the start of my high school teaching career, respectively. All of these coming at a turning point academically, made me want to hold off on buying a new one until the start of my first professorship, just for symmetry's sake, and because I am dorky that way. But waiting another year is unrealistic at this point. As I said, Ambrose is now old. I've maxed out increasing his memory, and am on my second external hard drive, but these are now maxing out on space. The internet itself is so media-saturated, that that is slowing down his performance to annoyingly slow levels at times, and the other month I experienced my first hardware failure with one of my Macs, as one of his USB ports suddenly just died. I'd budgeted more with an eye toward a car this semester, but with the suspicion that the computer issue was going to creep up on me, I held off, and am spending in this direction instead.
So, time to upgrade. friede helpfully contributed the rationalization that I really ought to have considered candidacy – passing my doctoral exams and becoming ABD – as a significant-enough shift to warrant an upgrade. I had never thought of that, and, in both being retroactive and coming from someone else, makes the rationalizing quality of that move all too painful for me to invoke. So, I'm changing computers without really changing my academic placement, but these are crazy times.
All right. That's the end of my freaking out that I just spent as much money as I did. I custom-ordered a new iMac 24-inch, Duo 2.4GHz Intel Core processors, with 2GB of 667 DDR2 SDRAM, and a spacious 750GB hard drive. I'll try just to think "shiny!" instead of about the cash involved in my new investment.