Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Share the joy

Today brings us two new Apple systems. The first is a new iMac, with a 20" LCD. It costs $2199 in a config that is otherwise identical to the 17" iMac it replaces at the high end. The 17" remains, at the original price. The $400 extra just gets you the big screen.

This was an inevitable upgrade, simply because I'd just recently bought a 17" iMac. Josh's First Law of Computing dictates that the model I own will always be upgraded within a month of buying it. However, had it been available I would not have bought it - Jane has one of the older 17" iMac models, and I knew that was definitel enough screen. In fact, I'm not sure how well this one will do in the market. $2199 is kinda steep for a G4 system nowadays.

The other upgrade was much more practical for most. The mid-range G5 tower (1.8 GHz) now brings a little dually love to the table for the same price ($2499) - and the bottom-end G5 (single 1.6 GHz) has had a small price cut. For $500 more than the dually G5 1.8, you can get the 2 GHz model, but all you get extra for the money is the two slightly faster processors and a notch up on the video card. Changing the video card as a BTO option only adds $50 to the price, so you're paying $450 for a pair of processors that are only one click faster.

They'll sell a lot of the 1.8 systems this season.

In other news, the Massachusetts SJC has just declared that same-sex couples have a legal right to marry under the state constitution. However, they left it to the Legislature to come up with a solution, giving them six months to come up with a solution.

Personally, I have no problem at all with the idea that gay couples can marry. I don't think it threatens marriage as an institution, and it doesn't threaten my marriage either. But I doubt that our legislature has the same attitude that I do. What I expect to see is an initial effort by them to rewrite the constitution to explicitly define marriage as male-female. After that fizzles (it did last year when they tried it), they'll wind up passing some kind of civil-union bill that Romney will reluctantly sign right at the deadline. It'll wind up being something like Vermont.

Ultimately, this nation will come to the conclusion that stable pair-bondings are a Good Thing, regardless of gender. But it's going to take a long time to get there, and the socially conservative wing of the GOP is going to have to start getting hit at the polls before we get there.

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