|[Editorial] Getting Your Mac Ready for the Holidays
by Jordan Streiff
So, you step outside in late November to look at the beautifully painted and decorated exterior of your home. Green, red, and white lights stretch from end to end. A 15 foot tree is clearly visible through the windows. But after all this, you realize you still aren't done. Your Mac (which many consider to be the most important part of a house) isn't ready for the holidays. 'Tis the season to be jolly, and you wouldn't want to neglect your bondi blue wonder, would you?
So, the first step is getting the exterior ready. If you've got one of the newer Mac systems (B&W G3, iMac, G4), it will go with just about anything. Try tying a nice little red bow or complementing your strawberry iMac with a green wreath. And of course, to make your Mac feel right at home, you'll have to splurge on gifts for it.
If not, then you're pretty much stuck... just kidding. There are plenty of solutions, they just aren't as easy as color coordinating a beautiful iMac. First solution is to bring out the spray paint. Alternatively, you could find a case that would fit over your current tower or desktop system, which would proudly display it's heartfelt holiday colors.
Since the exterior still needs a little work, let's look at complementing it with some blueberry or strawberry peripherals. First off, unless you've got one of those new radical, kick ass, cool DV systems, then your speakers are in need of a little booster. And because you love your translucent baby so much, you're willing to go the extra mile to complement it with some CoZo translucent speakers, which conveniently coming in all 5 flavors. They are available at from www.cozo.com for a mere $60. Just think, pretty soon you'll be blasting "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (with some pumping bass) through you're previously decibel deficient iMac! Hope you've been a good boy, because he's watching.
Next is the easy part. Over the past months your Mac has become littered with tiny particles called "dust." Unless you are a super commando clean freak, then this word is not that foreign to you. All you need is an old rag or sock, and a little bit of high quality h2o. Apply water to rag and wipe your baby down. Just be sure not to get any in any of your computers internal components wet.
On to some screen candy. What?!?, you still have that dull old Platinum appearance? Time for a makeover. Unless you're willing to spend hours (read days, weeks, or years) in a resource editor trying to figure out 8.5's themes feature, I suggest you download Kaleidoscope, which is available at Kaleidoscope.net. Some Christmassy themes can be found at the schemes site... just do a search for Christmas and they'll pop right up.
Just a little tidying up and your finished! Bring out that dusty (yes, that word again) copy of Spring Cleaning and go to work. You want to make sure your Mac has a happy Christmas as well. You wouldn't want to crash your Mac's party, so be sure to clean out that bloated system folder. Clean up the desktop, and you're ready to party like it's 1999... oh, wait, it still is.
Now it's time for the fun and games. Run over to your favorite shareware site and pick up the latest in quality (but cheap) Christmas entertainment files. CNET's shareware resource has a good collection. Hours of family fun are ahead of you (unless you opt for something more civilized, such as a friendly Unreal Tournament Match). To run any of those processor intensive apps such as Unreal and Quake II, you're going to need more RAM. Unfortunately for the consumer, RAM prices have skyrocketed. You're really going to need that extra Christmas money. As compared with the $90 128 meg chip I got a couple months ago, the price of such a chip has quadrupled. I guess that's what happens when RAM becomes so important it starts to get an inflated ego.
Anyway, I hope this has helped with your holiday purchasing decisions... just don't neglect your wife or other relatives on account of your Mac (I know it's hard, but you still have to try. Be strong.) Seeya round, Jordan Streiff