Writing spreadsheets using a fridge

I hate this time of year. It has nothing to do with the letdown after Xmas. Nor has it to do with my impeding birthday which brings with it a larger number than I am truly comfortable with.

No, my lament is that very soon it will be PC clean out day. You know how it goes: all year you have been installing and uninstalling software on your machine, which have left traces of themselves all over your hard drive; you have been picking up countless files from surfing the web, and; your email is taking up 100 times more space than you used to have on the entire hard drive of that 286 you used to own (Yes, newcomers, there were 16 bit PCs with 40 Mb hard drives and 1 Mb of RAM).

The upshot is that your PC is now dog slow. Specifically, my PC laptop is now dog slow. So when I get irritated about it enough I will have to backup my files (careful ... careful now ...), reformat my hard drive - which will take the best part of a day - and then spend another day installing all the software I (questionably) need. Then I will reflect on all the important files I have lost.

Why do Wintel machines get slower over time? I know the technical reason, but shouldn't I be able to install and uninstall programs without having this happen? I should be able to archive my emails off disk and still have access to them. And surfing the web should not be a health hazard for my computer. PCs should just work - like a fridge does. Perhaps I am just being demanding.

Hence my thoughts are turning to the dark side: Apple.

Actually, I was initially (and still) thinking about going to Linux. But Linux is still quite clunky, as I recently found in my attempts to get the live CD version of Ubuntu Linux running with my Centrino laptop. I never did get the wireless networking going ...

So why not Apple? The stuff looks good. It seems to work well. And, who would have thought, some of their products are competitively priced. I am eyeing off the 12" iBook and at 699 quid in the UK, that is not a bad price. Damn it - I will race of to the shop now ...

Oh, hold on. Isn't MacWorld Expo starting, like, next week? Isn't this where they reveal all of their shiny new stuff for the year? Isn't a new, Intel based, possibly dual processor iBook about to be launched?

Maybe I'd better not do anything rash.Like I did when I bought that 286, about two weeks before the 386 was released.
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