One giant cheese grater, please.

Tuesday, June 24th, 2003

When we first talked about going down to Mexico I thought that the timing would work out well on all kinds of levels. There’s nothing really much to recommend Atlanta in mid-July–and since we don’t live 100 yards from a pool like my brother and his family in Tudor-fancy Avondale Estates, we might as well get outta town and gain some altitude.

And I’d heard that there were going to be some big Apple announcements at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference on the 23rd of June, and my best guess was that they involved systems that you couldn’t get your hands on until August or September anyway, so why not spend that time productively away from Atlanta, away from broadband, away from the fancy Mac machines that support my professional life, such as it is.

And sure enough, with Sammy already in the mountains and me nearly out the door, here comes the new Mac desktops, the G5s. Professional machines, mind you, not for dinking around in Word or sending a bunch of emails, but large, bus-capable, bit-pushing monsters that make slogging around digital video or even high-definition video images easy and, well, fun. The fun comes in the guise of some operating system improvements Apple will release as ‘Panther‘–I’m especially looking forward to this one, which makes your windows scurry about like cockroaches surprised by a sudden light (that’s a line from this website, by the way. I wish my mots were that juste these days, but it’s late and my sleep-cycles are even wackier than usual.) This latest OS X version will also completely restructure the Finder, speed up Mail and Preview applications and allow you to use Instant Messaging with audio and video. (Yes, one step closer towards those picturephones we were promised.)

It’s thoughtful, clever development work like this that will keep me loyally on Macintoshes long past the point that I really should stop doing all this design stuff for television. As long as they keep making things easier and faster and the screens brighter and sharper, well, it’s fun top play in the fields of After Effects, Final Cut, and Photoshop, take it from me.

So as I said, the timing works. I went up to the Apple Store at Lenox Monday afternoon and became one of the corpulent t-shirted lemmings lined up in front of the huge video image of Steve Jobs, and I basked in the reality distortion field he still wields masterfully, and I walked out ready to order the big all-powerful one, the dual 2 ghz G5 that resembles (some have already said) an enormous fancy cheese grater.

And I’ll go off to Mexico, and walk around in mountain towns and cruise through the Mayan lowlands and think about just what a big cheese grater does for one’s quality of life, especially in the richer context of being the spouse of the archaeologist and not out there on the 80-hour-a-week fringe of graphic production.

And then (what would you expect?) we’ll come home in August and I’ll whip out my REI Visa and get my hands on one of the damn things, because they’ll be shipping by then.