Keep calm and buy old tech

In my mind, I've always been an early adopter. In my mind, I'm also Bruce Wayne's wealthier uncle, Gustav, who thinks Batman's a punk for refusing to use micronukes for crowd control. In my mind, I have many issues.

But I've always wanted the latest gear. Willing to put up with the headaches of paying to be a beta-tester just to have something new, shiny and, undoubtedly, the answer to life, the universe and everything. Or at least able to knock 2.8 seconds off a Photoshop Gaussian blur. In this respect, I am not much different than many of you, I suspect. I'll pause momentarily so you may retch.

The problem is, I've never been flush with cash. I've never bought a used car only to find 20 kilos of Acapulco Gold sewn into the rear seat upholstery. And sadly, spending lives at the gas company and at a grain silo manufacturer left my grandfathers unable to bestow an adequate trust fund upon me.

Also, I work in advertising.

So, over the years, I've made do with used cars, used computers, and refurbs of all shapes and sizes. Which was generally fine. It's hard to complain about driving around in a year-old BMW M3 that you nicked for two-thirds of the MSRP. If only I could pull off a similar feat today. My tech has almost always been one generation behind when I bought it and four when I sold it. Or recycled it. Or turned it into a parcel shelf for 20 kilos of junk mail. I did manage to get an iPhone 3GS the week it was released, and a (at the time) current-generation MacBook Air. Which, of course, was used. Hmmm.

But through careful upgrades and a willingness to eat another Pop Tart while Final Cut rendered some ill-chosen color correction, I've managed to shuffle along fairly well down the halls of technological progress, even if I linger a few steps behind.

Frankly, I'm tired of it. I want a new iPad. Not a new-to-me iPad. Or a refurbed iPad 2. I want the newest-of-the-new, ready-for-iOS 6 iPad and a robot pony to go with it. As you may recall, I was none too impressed with the original iPad. I, like many others, considered it little more than giant iPod Touch. Which I still think it was. Nonetheless, many millions of people had apparently been longing for a supersized Touch and gobbled them up. The iPad 2 was much improved, and I was tempted to get one. But, with a generally working Hackintosh, iPhone and (at the time) employer-provided MacBook Pro at my disposal, dropping serious coin on another iDevice didn't make much sense.

The new iPad, however, is different. Mainly because of the Retina display. I can use LogMeIn on it to work on my Hackintosh while leeching Wi-Fi from the food court. Mmm, Instagramming corn dogs. Or, I can open docs from Dropbox and use a Bluetooth keyboard and Magic Mouse (thank you, Cydia!) to bang out whatever bit of ad flotsam I'm currently tasked with. Why not just use my Air for that? Well, I do. And that's about all I use it for. So I've got this nice, shiny machine that's barely being tasked. Or, I could sell it and buy two iPads. Not both for me. My wife's been using a late-2006-era MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo that weighs almost as much as a modern Dell (it's a joke, move along) and can't spit "The Monster at the End of This Book" onto the Apple TV like an iPad can.

Yes, I'm rationalizing. Now shut up and click the Buy It Now button. I've already got Leatherelleā„¢ cases and Bluetooth keyboards (refurbs, of course) ready to go. And if you haven't figured it out by now, the title is not a bit of self-reflection.



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