FEBRUARY 21

The Luckiest Boy in the World
A magical story of love and hope fulfilled for one special person

by David Nagel
Senior Producer

For many people, buying a new computer isn't exactly a dream come true. They see it as a necessary expense—for work, taxes, banking and the like. For them, there is no pleasure in owning a computer just for the sake of owning a computer. I call these people PC users.

For the rest of us, though, each new capital outlay for a new Apple-monkered box of joy brings a sense of excitement that can only be likened unto the excitement a kid feels when he gets a new toy sword or a teenager when he gets his first real gun. There's a sense of adventure to it, the optimistic certainty that this new thing will change everything, reveal hidden truths, bring unto the wielder total power—that it will add new purpose to the totality of his being.

And so it is that I enter this week with renewed vigor and hope for the future. For I, this week, shall be receiving my new G4, courtesy of Airborne Express. Not only this, but there's a chance I'll be getting a new G4 at work as well! O, the bliss! Everything's finally falling into place.

"Now, Dave," you say, "are you sure you're not getting a little too ... I don't know ... giddy over this whole thing? I mean, you're smart and handsome and everything, but are you sure you know what you're doing? You haven't even tried out one of these new machines."

"I know what I'm doing."

"But you've been burned before, Dave," you say, "what with that fiasco with Club Mac last time around."

"How did you know about that?"

"I've been following your career going nigh on eight years. I know everything you do. Everything. And I know that the last time you bought a computer in February, something better came out one week later, and you couldn't return the one you bought."

"Enough! First of all, I'm very happy with my decision. Yes, I've been burned before. And, yes, this computer is little more than what Apple originally offered four months ago. But it does have a faster system bus and AGP graphics. Now get out of my head!"

"Very well. But I'll be back."

I have to say, dear reader, that I'm a little surprised with your attitude. You know that I've been looking forward to a G4 system ever since I first found out about the possibility that they would exist. I was kind of hoping that you'd be on my side on this issue. But maybe that's too much to ask for.

I will address one of your concerns, however, which does seem valid—namely the problem of buying new systems in February. Price reductions and rebates typically happen in April, which means I'm outside the 30-day window of opportunity for ex post facto rebates. But the fact is that if you do wait for the rebates, then you're just a few months away from new systems. So you wait for that. But then you're just a few months away from newer new systems. Then it's rebate season again. It just keeps going around. The fact is, there's never a good time to buy a computer.

"So when is the best time to buy?"

"I thought I told you to get out of my head."

"Yes, but...."

"Get!"

The other fact is that I could be dead before those rebates come out in April. And so could you. You just never know. Then what has your waiting gotten you? Dead, that's what. Dead and computerless. Then you won't feel so smart, will you? So do as I'm doing: Spend your last few remaining days enjoying the miracle of post-post-modern technology that is the current G4 line. There's enough time for waiting in the grave.

Do you have something to say about this column? Write something back to me, and your letter just might make it into our very special section entitled "Talkin' Smack." Or, if you'd prefer, you can post a message in the Creative Mac World Wide User Group. Or, yet still, you can just go back to the Talkin' Smack page and read the other good stuff that's there.

Dave Nagel is the somewhat brand spankin' new Senior Producer of Creative Mac. An eight-year veteran of the print publishing world, Nagel covered a broad range of topics in the areas of technology and marketing. As a Mac psychofanatic since 1987, he's finally landed his dream job: earning a living writing about his favorite topic. If you have something to say, please send a polite e-mail to [email protected]. (Let's not try to bring him down from his euphoria too soon.)