This past weekend was not only an epiphany of sorts about the insanity of excess, but a prelude to moving over to the dark side. I've written in the past about my love/hate relationship with technology; everything from the MP3 player to the heart rate monitor has lasted for an all-too-brief lifespan, mere days beyond the one-year warranty most manufacturers will honor. It's something that keeps me from jumping on the newest bandwagon, whether it's the newest Macintosh/Windows operating system or the smoothest-looking GPS gadget.
It's not just because I'm frugal, but I know the sum-bee is going to DIE AT THE WORST POSSIBLE MOMENT. Like race day.
My Speedo Aquabeat MP3 player decided to act up during the past week. I'm not certain whether it has to do with some of the music files I had becoming corrupted or some of the music files I found which might have had uninvited guests on board. Since I'm a Mac user, most of the viruses (viri?) & malware which malcontents use to terrorize the computing poulace are of little concern. Of course, I loan files to my non-firewall-using PC-owning friends at their own risk. Might have much to do with the recent bad scene. I had to literally reformat the player this weekend, but it seems the same outcome has happened. So, there are probably a handful of bad files on the player.
Then, on Monday, not long after that the strap on my heart rate monitor decided to go toes up. I only use the inexpensive analog strap to communicate with the cardio machines at my local gym, or when I do a spinning class. After inserting a fresh battery I found the same bad thing happening...nothing. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
So, in order to really track all the mileage/yardage I say I do, the efforts I put in, & even have an estimate of where a mile might be on an unfamiliar course, I've stepped over to the dark side. I ordered the Garmin 305XT wrist-mounted GPS, which can be used while swimming. Cool. I'm not so certain how the heart rate strap will work when in water, but that's a different concern altogether.
One of the things which kept me from going to a system like this, where I can track workout data on a PC, was the fact most programs which help determine physiological trends over time were not Macintosh-friendly. I remained a (smug?) Mac afficionado for 15 years, developing the ability to move from Mac to PC with little difficulty. However, in the last year the software I need to develop road race events, triathlons, training schedules & the like have left my G4/OS 10.3.9-equipped Powerbook behind. I thought about moving up to the latest & greatest Mac, even took a good long look at what a local electronics superstore had to offer. My pathological frugality & fear of having the latest/greatest for once in my life made me tell my wife we'd wait a little while longer.
Doggone if my wife didn't have to purchase a laptop for an office intern a couple of weeks later. When the internship ended there was an extra laptop around the office with no real need to keep it. Seemed like a good time to sell the thing off and recoup the expense. Ooh, ooh, pick me...
So as of today I have a new laptop. It doesn't mean the end of the Mac, however. Maybe we'll set it up as a home e-mail/entertainment station so we don't have to mix business with pleasure. I guess I really haven't gone completely over to the dark side. But I'm at the point where it might be good to keep a flashlight handy.