Thursday, October 16, 2008

Death by Snoo Snoo

Fans of Futurama will be well aware what 'Snoo Snoo' is. If you don't know what it means, google it.

In the Futurama episode in question, Zif, Zap Brannigan and Fry are caught by giant Amazonian women from a planet populated by, er, giant Amazonian women. Their method of torture? Death by snoo snoo.

Witness the mixture of abject horror and abject pleasure as our animated chums contemplate their predicament.

Death by snoo snoo is what I contemplate when I think about the new Apple Macbook, launched a couple of days ago.

In one instant, you have an utterly gorgeous machine, honed from solid aluminium - an engineering and manufacturing marvel - and at the same time, a machine that - to me personally - is totally pointless.

Pointless because of that missing firewire port. You see, I have a lot invested in miniDV - two cameras and several hours worth of standard def and hi-definition footage awaiting editing. I really don't have plans to change my perfectly good Sony hi-def camcorder, for another hi-def camcorder that uses USB.

Our household has the two Macs - one G5 iMac and my old iBook. The iMac can handle the HD content no problem, but its stuck in one location and I was really keen to move that heavy lifting to a new Macbook. Alas, that plan has been scuppered by the lack of a firewire port on the Macbook. Admittedly, the vast majority of people will not miss this, but considering my old iBook was purchased partly on the basis that you could hook a miniDV camcorder to it and edit the footage via firewire (a feature promoted by Apple at the time) it seems a shame that my upgrade path be blocked by such a simple omission.

I have two choices. I buy the cheaper white Macbook with firewire, or I buy the Macbook pro (does this even have FW 400?) The utterly gorgeous metal Macbook is as useful to me as a block of cheese.

I can surf the net quite well on a sub £200 netbook. In fact, I am doing just that right now. Without that vital port, a Macbook would be serving exactly the same purpose and very little more. It hurts to say this, but why bother?

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