Timing the purchase of new Macintosh computers is a guessing game. The rhythm of our replacement schedule does not always match the release of new products. This is more of an issue for Macintosh than Windows computers, because Apple tends to keep their innovations secret before release and tend to introduce more changes in their laptops than Windows laptop manufacturers.
This time, we have gotten lucky — the timing is just right. Our “lampshade” iMac computers are in their third year of use and will be able to serve a fourth year in our Mac lab next year. As we expand to the Sacramento St. building, the film program will gain a dedicated computer lab, which photography (adjacent) will share. Not only will we be able to purchase a room full of new iMacs, but hopefully Apple will release a second revision of the model by then. Final Cut Pro on Intel should be stable, although we will have to upgrade from HD.
The timing of the new Powerbook is not bad, either. Though we only have three on campus, two are due for replacement next fall, one on the desk of yours truly! I am curious to see whether integrated video chat holds any real value for me. Having invested almost exclusively in asynchronous communication up to this point, I’m not sure how much I will like direct video communication once it’s built in to my device.