Jumping Off the Train

I was reading this morning about the upcoming revision to OS X ("Lion"), contemplating what the upgrade requirements might be, thinking about the fact that my iMac is still running Tiger, and that I never upgraded my MacBook Pro to Snow Leopard, and that my wife was about to get a new MacBook Pro or Air of her own, and I really should get everything up to dateā€¦and then it hit me.

Do I really need to do this?

Living with the CR-48 for the past few weeks has brought home to me exactly how much I live in the cloud. There are occasional moments when I wish for a more traditional OS, usually when I want to print something (Google, can we please have a cloud print solution that works with a Mac-based household?), but for the most part I'm happy with what Chrome OS gives me. This morning before work, I was about to download and install Yoru Fukurou (a Twitter client for OS X) when I realized I was on the CR-48 and not my Mac. Since I run Chrome as the default browser on my Mac, the experience is fairly identical, and I had completely forgotten I was on the CR-48\. When you forget you're not using a Mac, I think that's significant.

So now I have a dilemma. I need to keep up with Mac stuff, since my wife is on the platform and will be for the foreseeable future. But I'm tired of being on the upgrade train, of spending $130 every year just to stay current (although it is true that I've neglected the last couple of upgrades). More than that, I'm not particularly fond of all the BS you have to go through when you do an upgrade, both the backing up (although I do have an ongoing automatic backup solution in place) and the actual upgrading, both of which are time-consuming and a bit of a pain. This is where Chrome OS has an advantage; if the Google team can succeed in their goal of pushing out upgrades automatically as needed, without user intervention needed, I think they're onto something.

For now, I'm probably going to upgrade the iMac to Lion when it comes out, since my wife uses it and she should have parity between the machines she uses. But for me, and my personal machines, I think I'm done. It isn't perfect, it needs some work, and it may not be for everyone, but the CR-48 really does work for me. The watershed moment has arrived: having moved most of my life to the cloud, I'm no longer chained to the relentless annual Apple upgrade schedule. It's time to jump off the train.