Will our current gen macs be worthless in 10 years?

Theclamshell

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Mar 2, 2009
2,738
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Ok, So i was reading the archive's today and i saw a post about the (2001) imacs being dropped down to $700. This led me to wander, do you think our current gen imacs, macbooks, minis and pros will be cheap* in 10 years?

Its hard for me to conceptually grasp the fact that these 2k machines will be worth $20 in 10 years. I think that they will be cheap* in 10 years though. but that will be awesome though because i will get a ton of cheap* shiny macs to look at :)

* - can be found at electronics dumps and for about $20 on craigslist
 

Creative One

macrumors 6502
Apr 25, 2009
404
1
Ontario
Think of how Macs were built ten or 15 years ago. Obviously they didn't have the technology we have today, but are performing to this day. Now, with our advanced techniques and arguably superior build quality, you wonder, will it last twice as long, or only a 1/4?
 

Brien

macrumors 68030
Aug 11, 2008
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At the rate of technological change, I doubt anyone will be using 10 year old computers for anything (government is an exception, as is education).
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
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norcal
You have to define worthless. Technically, my 10 year old iBook cannot do a lot of things, but I gave it to my wife as a present.

It was her first Mac. Two years after she graduated from art school to be a graphic designer, the Macs hit the shelves and started to show promise for graphics. So it's always been a fascinating thing for her. Of all the Macs in 1999 when I bought the laptop, nothing caused the buzz up until then as the highly anticipated Mac consumer laptop, which they called the iBook.

I don't know if it can get $160 dollars today, which is one tenth of what I paid for it brand new.
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,286
14
At the rate of technological change, I doubt anyone will be using 10 year old computers for anything (government is an exception, as is education).
PowerMac G4, released 2001, running as file server 24/7.

Not worthless.
 

Buzz Bumble

Guest
Oct 19, 2008
802
2
New Zealand
Brien said:
At the rate of technological change, I doubt anyone will be using 10 year old computers for anything (government is an exception, as is education).
PowerMac G4, released 2001, running as file server 24/7.
PowerMac G3, bought late 1998 - still being used daily for my own business for desktop publishing, FileMaker databases, etc. :) It was still running Mac OS 9 only, but over the Christmas break I installed Mac OS X 10.1 so that I could get Internet access working again (thanks to my hopeless Internet Provider refused to fix their servers to work with Mac OS 9 dial-up log-ins!).
 

jtmx29

macrumors regular
Jan 14, 2010
157
0
Connecticut
Ok, So i was reading the archive's today and i saw a post about the (2001) imacs being dropped down to $700. This led me to wander, do you think our current gen imacs, macbooks, minis and pros will be cheap* in 10 years?

Its hard for me to conceptually grasp the fact that these 2k machines will be worth $20 in 10 years. I think that they will be cheap* in 10 years though. but that will be awesome though because i will get a ton of cheap* shiny macs to look at :)

* - can be found at electronics dumps and for about $20 on craigslist
Considering that they currently are at a good processing speed, they should retain value longer. CPU makers have hit a wall, they cannot go above a certain speed without many issues. This is why multiple processors on a single die is so popular. They have hit a wall. Until we get to a new way of computing we won't see anything too crazy. The i7 for instance is nice and uses new technology other than FSB, however, it isn't anything but a quad core that is a little higher clocked.

So as it stands I think they will be useful for many years!
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,596
2
Seattle, WA
PowerMac G3, bought late 1998 - still being used daily for my own business for desktop publishing, FileMaker databases, etc. :) It was still running Mac OS 9 only, but over the Christmas break I installed Mac OS X 10.1 so that I could get Internet access working again (thanks to my hopeless Internet Provider refused to fix their servers to work with Mac OS 9 dial-up log-ins!).
You know that's really not surprising that they refused to fix it. Not many people still use OS 9. The cost/benefit of fixing it would show that. That's not to say that it wouldn't be nice if they fixed it for you, but if you think about it from a more global perspective it'd be easier to see where they're coming from. :)
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
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norcal
PowerMac G3, bought late 1998 - still being used daily for my own business for desktop publishing, FileMaker databases, etc. :) It was still running Mac OS 9 only, but over the Christmas break I installed Mac OS X 10.1 so that I could get Internet access working again (thanks to my hopeless Internet Provider refused to fix their servers to work with Mac OS 9 dial-up log-ins!).
That's a testament to how rugged anything from Apple is. Whether it's OS 9 or OS X, it works with the hardware, mostly from day 1. Issues Macs may have are minor compared to the other side.

My late 1998 era PC laptop needs a new battery, drivers for quick access keys which never got written, a disconnected LCD which gets looser each time I open the laptop, feet that fall off the bottom making it hard to use on any slanted slick surface, and other issues. I can't put bigger RAM in it the way I could with my iBook . A PC desktop I used from that time had a power supply that died, and several mice. The computer was supposed to work with Windows ME, which never worked as an OS (ever), and was not prepared to work with Windows 2000 which Microsoft never felt the need to work well with a lot of hardware OK with Windows 98. By the time they got their act together with XP, it was assumed all PC users would have to buy new machines.

It's really funny when people say PCs are cheaper when you can have a Mac work well three times the lifespan of many PCs. I will stick with a thousand dollar Macbook vs. several $500 or $600 dollar PC laptops over the same ownership period, and the bigger amount of issues that face Windows.
 

Ca$hflow

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2010
447
67
London, ON
That's pretty cool that these machines still can serve some low level function. Looking tonpick up a couple of intel iMacs when get below $200 for basic use for the kids.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Most of the issues you bring up seem like grasping at straws. Your 12-year old machine needs a new battery? No kidding. A well-maintained PC can last just as long as a well-maintained Mac.

My late 1998 era PC laptop needs a new battery, drivers for quick access keys which never got written, a disconnected LCD which gets looser each time I open the laptop, feet that fall off the bottom making it hard to use on any slanted slick surface, and other issues. I can't put bigger RAM in it the way I could with my iBook . A PC desktop I used from that time had a power supply that died, and several mice. The computer was supposed to work with Windows ME, which never worked as an OS (ever), and was not prepared to work with Windows 2000 which Microsoft never felt the need to work well with a lot of hardware OK with Windows 98. By the time they got their act together with XP, it was assumed all PC users would have to buy new machines.
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
Most of the issues you bring up seem like grasping at straws. Your 12-year old machine needs a new battery? No kidding. A well-maintained PC can last just as long as a well-maintained Mac.
The PC battery died in one year, the iBook battery lasted nine years and both laptops were at the same price point.

Having been a warranty technician for Apple, Dell, and Compaq, and a user of both platforms for many years, Apple usually makes more rugged gear on the outside, and a more stable OS on the inside.

Apple has a decent advantage of longevity over most PC companies. But if I were to get a PC which was to really rock and have longevity, then a higher end Sony VAIO laptop, Lenovo desktop, or Toshiba laptop are on the top of my list. I have seen too many Dells, Compaq/HPs, and eMachines live short lives.

For Windows, I stick with XP which seems to have stood out as a pretty stable OS, but I still prefer OS X.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,863
30,388
Boston
worthless? From a usable perspective yes. From a collector's perspective possibly. I have a G4 cube that cost $1299. You can buy them now on ebay for a couple of hundred (if that). I fired up my cube a few months back and found it quite usable provided you ran the software made for it, i.e., photoshop 5, netscape navigator, etc.

I think in 10 years the demands of applications will be such that these computers will be unable to keep up, and so the worth of them will be subjected to one's desire to collect and keep them.
 

dXTC

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2006
2,032
49
Up, up in my studio, studio
But if I were to get a PC which was to really rock and have longevity, then a higher end Sony VAIO laptop, Lenovo desktop, or Toshiba laptop are on the top of my list. I have seen too many Dells, Compaq/HPs, and eMachines live short lives.
I have a Toshiba Satellite (1905 series) from late 2003 that's still running; I've only had to replace the battery and the DVD/CD drive. It's the anti-netbook, though-- it's freakin' heavy!
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
I have a Toshiba Satellite (1905 series) from late 2003 that's still running; I've only had to replace the battery and the DVD/CD drive. It's the anti-netbook, though-- it's freakin' heavy!
When I worked many years ago at Office Depot, people would come in looking for hard to find older parts, cables, etc. When it was a laptop over 4 years old they were looking to get an old part (IEEE 1284 cable, for instance), they would bring in their banged up, still working laptop. They were always Toshibas. I sold plenty of replacement Comaqs and HPs to people who had PC laptops that broke in some unrepairable way within two years on average. Our customers were not home users at our store but businesses that used their laptops every day, eight hours a day or more. Something about toughness and Toshiba go together.

Like miles said in post #14, you can have a well-maintained PC last as long a a well-maintained Mac. I would only agree partially, if we are talking about laptops, that Toshiba is it, for longevity, when it comes to keeping up with a Mac laptop.

Truthfully, I have always lusted for Toshiba for two things:

1) longevity due to tank built laptops (though kinda heavy)
2) great price point (though not always as low as Acer or eMachines)

At the time, we didn't carry Sony laptops but plenty of people talked about their longevity so I take their word for it.

The IBM Thinkpads we sold were tough except for all the versions we saw had issues with their keys popping off. I was the only salesman patient enough to reconnect the IBM Thinkpad keys and it can be tedious. What was good about the Thinkpads is once you got used to the eraser pointer, it made a touchpad seem obsolete.
 

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
Even older Macs have very decent resale value. Have a look around eBay for some G4s or whatever was new around 1999-2000.
 

Buzz Bumble

Guest
Oct 19, 2008
802
2
New Zealand
You know that's really not surprising that they refused to fix it. Not many people still use OS 9. The cost/benefit of fixing it would show that. That's not to say that it wouldn't be nice if they fixed it for you, but if you think about it from a more global perspective it'd be easier to see where they're coming from. :)
It was happening about every six months (server software update? security certificate expiration?) and they did fix it the three times before when they screwed it up. As soon as the greedy scum at Vodafone bought them out they refused to fix it ... after about three months of mucking me about with "there is no problem" which then became "we'll have it fixed 'tomorrow'", finally followed by "We're not fixing it". :mad: As far as I can see, it wasn't really a case of not worth the expense, but was really a case of them simply not having any clue how to fix it (the one intelligent tech who had previously fixed it bailed out when Vodafone took over ... see, he was intelligent!).

As a Mac tech (among other things) for a few home and small business / community group users, I know a few other people still using Mac OS 9 iMacs via dial-up who have no problem at all thanks to using other Internet Providers ... it is solely a greedy Vodafone problem.



That's a testament to how rugged anything from Apple is. Whether it's OS 9 or OS X, it works with the hardware, mostly from day 1. Issues Macs may have are minor compared to the other side.
The PowerMac still works well and has only had a RAM and hard drive upgrade. I have been through a few broken mouse buttons over the years and the original Apple CRT died after about five years.

It's not just the PowerMac though. At the same time I also bought a dial-up modem, inkjet printer, and scanner. The first two are still working fine (other than the Internet Provider problem above) and the scanner only became a useless box when the buld died about a year or two ago. :)
 

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2009
2,105
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IOKWARDI
I would still be happily using my Cube (1.2ghz upgrade) if the power supply had not TUed two months ago. I will get that fixed and use it again.
 

slu

macrumors 68000
Sep 15, 2004
1,636
106
Buffalo
I have an eMachines Celeron 667 Mhz PC that I maxed out on RAM, put a big HDD in, put a wireless card in, and put xUbuntu on that is running 24/7 as a file server and time machine drive for my wife's Macbook.

I bought this machine in 2000, so I guess it is not impossible for a "cheap" machine to be usable after 9 years.