Old at the Age of Two and a Half

Titanium PowerBook G4My trusty, first-generation Titanium PowerBook G4 is starting to show its age, even though I bought it just two and a half years ago. At 500 MHz, it was never a screamer, but when I made the transition to Mac OS X entirely, the laptop began to feel slower and slower. It’s sometimes painful to get anything done on it now.Mac OS X has always been resource-intensive, so the Titanium never really felt particularly speedy running it. But now, with all of the miscellaneous system utilities that others would advise against but to which I am addicted (e.g., LaunchBar, DragThing, Default Folder X, WindowShade X… I’d better stop there), the thing sometimes really just chugs along. And with the bucketloads of MP3s that I’ve been accumulating, the 20 Gigabyte hard drive is starting to burst at the seams, too.

So I am faced with the question of whether I should continue to invest more money into upgrading the machine, or if I should save my pennies for a new PowerBook, perhaps sometime this summer or later in the fall. I’m leaning towards the former option, which will address my immediate needs. This will mean spending at least $300 on a new 60GB hard drive from MCE Technologies. I’ll probably also max out the RAM to a full gigabyte (it’s currently at 768 MB), which will require a 512 MB RAM chip from Crucial at about another $150. With tax and shipping, that will set me back about $450. Gulp. Maybe that’s not such a good idea after all.