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Power Users?

I’m really interested to get some opinions on this particular topic: is there a conncection between how people perceive their own knowledge of computers and what kind of hardware they buy?

I’m wondering because I’ve just been reading a discussion about the new Intel based notebooks, especially the new Mac Books which will be released in June. With 13,3" it will be the smallest of Apple’s new offerings, and a lot of people have cried loud for a MacBook Pro – ok, the name really sounds stupid – with the same form factor. But will they really feel a difference? Or do they just want them because the “Pro” makes them feel better (no insult intended)? My own hardware almost always has been pretty old, and I have never much felt the need to own something better just because I’m a “power user” (periods of “decadence kills depression” excluded of course ;) ). And what’s a power user anyway?

When my last notebook broke, I ressurected my old desktop machine (an Athlon 650 with 320MB RAM). Although not blazingly fast, I was able to do everything I wanted. My computing needs may be really simple, but given that I was able to read my mails, surf the web and working/coding in several terminal windows while listening to my MP3s or web radio, why should I bother buying new hardware? The same goes for the Mac Mini which will hopefully get delivered next week: why pay a lot more money for a Core Duo, when the Core Solo is already way better than the machine I had before that and which did everything I wanted? With all the money I have already saved by not buying computers I won’t really use to their full potential anyway, I can easily buy complete new systems when I don’t want to upgrade the current ones anymore…

How about you guys out there? Do you buy fancy new hardware because it makes you feel “1337”? Or are you still using your 486 because as a real hacker you know how to squeeze out every percent of performance possible?

Boomtime, Discord 44, 3172 YOLD