Well, this weekend--and I hasten to point out, at K's insistence--we bit the bullet and ordered a new Mac. We had told ourselves that we wouldn't until our savings account hit [undisclosed] dollars. Turns out we missed that goal by about eighty bucks. Ah well. K is a federal employee, which earned us a small discount, so we decided to splurge on the 20-inch iMac with a 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo (standard: 2.16 GHz) and 256MB on the ATI graphics card (standard: 128). We stuck with 1GB of RAM since I can add a chip on my own if need be, and we also stuck with a 250 GB hard drive because... well, I don't have a good reason for that. I remember hearing the advice "Always get twice what you think you'll need" back when 20 MB was considered a HUGE hard drive. I've never managed to follow it, though.
We're moving on from a 17-inch iMac G4, 800MHz, with 1 MB of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce 4 MX (32 MB), so needless to say, this will be a step up. It was long past time, to be honest. The power button broke off last year, so we have to turn it on by touching the bare contact in the back of the machine (we have it scheduled to turn itself on in the mornings), and the (admittedly SuperSlow) SuperDrive no longer writes properly, and reads only spottily. And in the past few weeks, the USB bus has been acting up... clearly this cookie won't be fetching a high price on eBay. (We may, actually, be giving it to D; we haven't decided yet.)
Meanwhile, I won't be putting my PowerBook G4 out to pasture just yet. ProTools isn't yet available as a Universal Binary, and I haven't upgraded Final Cut Express or Soundtrack yet. I'm thinking next spring, when Leopard comes out, maybe. But I cannot WAIT to see how fast Animation:Master runs.
And for me, the big question becomes: do I partition the hard drive so that I can run Linux as well? You see, the GIMP doesn't support pressure-sensitive drawing tablets under Mac OS X, but it does under Windows or x86 Linux. And all I have is a Mac OS 9 version of Photoshop, so that's not an option (Classic doesn't exist under Intel). I sure as shootin' ain't gonna buy Windows, but Debian Linux is very attractive...
So now, the waiting (read: obsessive tracking) game.