What to buy with savings from using Windows?

Commenters have been talking about how it is worth spending extra $$ to have a Macintosh instead of a Windows machine, or, more likely, in addition to because one still needs the Windows machine.  The implication is that money is infinite that there is nothing better to spend it on that a high-style personal computer.  So what would I buy in the next month or two instead of the Mac?  (We can call this “the straight guy’s dividend” — money that one saves by not having to invest in a fancy wardrobe and an iBook.)

  • an Infrant 1 TB network-attached storage (NAS) device to hold my music collection and photos (700 GB in RAID 5 so you’re protected from a hard drive failure)
  • a Canon EOS 5D full-frame digital camera and 24-105/4L image-stabilized lens (both just announced; finally we have a reasonably light almost cheap full-frame digital camera that lets one’s wide angle lenses be truly wide), not sure about the lens actually because f/4 is kind of slow and will make the viewfinder dim even if the L quality is very good
  • maybe a brand-new liquid-cooled silent PC, as long as I’m shuffling files around (Sony VAIO seems to be the only major-brand liquid-cooled silent PC; does anyone know of another?  The VAIOs are supposed to be kind of flaky and hard to deal with due to custom drivers.)  Though maybe it is better to wait until there is a stable release of Windows Vista available (anyone know when beta 2 is supposed to be ready?) and do the reinstall of the apps only once.
  • a Sonos whole-house music system
  • a Gigabit Ethernet switch to complement the NAS box and all of its clients, including the Sonos (which brand of switch is best these days?)
  • a Zen Vision from Creative to show off photos when I’m walking or driving around — also good for backing up CF cards though lames out when it comes to displaying Camera RAW format images
  • Samsung CLP-510 color laser printer, only $300 at the local Microcenter
  • exercise machine that controls video games from http://www.powergridfitness.com/ and an Xbox to go with it

(There are other toys that would be nice to have, e.g., a Eurocopter EC120, but I’ve excluded them from this list due to the fact that they cost a lot more than a Macintosh.)

Would these be more or less fun to own than a Mac?

Full post, including comments

Google Sidebar, $499 Dell laptops, and the Macintosh OS

Just downloaded the new Google sidebar software and am playing with its Weblog aggregation features.  It installed and started doing useful things within about 2 minutes.  Yet another impressive showing from our former classmates and students.  In other computer news, Dell is now offering laptops for $499.  These aren’t nearly as good as IBM’s $599 laptop in some ways (only 1/4 GB instead of 3/4 GB; no built-in wireless; on the other hand it does come with a CD burner/DVD combo drive) but it is nice to see the $500 threshold cracked. 

[One wonders if it is a good time to short Apple stock.  A Macintosh is not only 2X the price of one of these IBM or Dell laptops but it can’t run any of the software being put out by the world’s most innovative software company (Google; all of their stuff has been Windows-only so far).  If MP3 jukebox prices start to fall and iPod-like devices become a commodity like all other portable music players, it might be “game over” for Apple shareholders.]

Full post, including comments