Back in January, I was delighted to hear about the new Titanium PowerBook G4, but it had two big flaws from my point of view: came only in chrome (not my favorite color), and couldn't show DVDs.

I considered getting one anyway; sleek, sexy machine. But I tried one out in the Apple Store on the Apple campus, and it was a little heavier than I'd expected (though still much lighter than my then two-year-old PBG3) and not quite as slick as it looked in pictures.

And then all the rumor sites said that the next-generation model would be out by June, and that it would come in multiple anodized-titanium colors (such as purple or blue), and that it would include the combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive that I coveted.

When I bought my PBG3, it was the top of the line; four months later, it was replaced with a new model that was significantly thinner, lighter, faster, and cheaper. It was very useful for me to have the new machine during those four months, so I don't regret it too much, but I didn't want to make the same mistake again. (Yes, any computer you buy will be outdated shortly, but generally it takes longer than four months to be completely eclipsed by something that's far superior in every way.)

So I waited.

And waited.

Every month, the rumor sites would say that there were delays but that the next-gen TiBook would certainly be out within two months.

June came and went. As did July, and August, and September. Rumors were saying it might be November before the new models were out.

Today, the new models are out. And guess what?

No colors but chrome.

No combo drive.

So now I have to decide. After nine months of exercising restraint, do I continue to hold off in hopes that Apple will add the options I want soon?

Or do I go ahead and buy the thing, knowing it's not perfect, and run the risk that four months from now there'll be a system that's exactly what I want?

My old machine still works—but the disk has been about 95% full for months (the new system would have 7 times as much disk space), and it's probably not fast enough to run OS X as smoothly as I want (so I haven't upgraded to that yet). It crashes a lot—not that a new machine would fix that, but OS X would help. And, and, well, to be honest a lot of it is just gadget-mania, that incessant geek desire to Get A New Toy.

And then I look at the iBook, which does provide a combo drive, and has almost all of the other advantages of the TiBook over my G3, and is even smaller/lighter than the TiBook. It doesn't come in colors either, but if I can't get a color I like, white's as good as chrome. And it's significantly cheaper than the TiBook. The only flaw I can see in the iBook for my purposes is that the screen is smaller than the one I've got, which already feels too small for me. But maybe that's okay.

Clearly I need to drop by the new Apple Store in downtown Palo Alto (the rumor sites let me down on this as well; I'd been waiting for it for months, and had no idea it had opened) and try out an iBook.

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