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All right.

If you’ve ever known the joy of owning an Apple product, then you’re no doubt familiar with the sting of obsolescence that eventually follows every purchase. One reason Apple owners may have such a bad reputation for being flashy with their gear is that they have such a short window in which to feel superior. What contempt Steve Jobs giveth, he also taketh away in the form of a steady stream of new product announcements.

My own Precious is about to be lapped by the newest line of MacBook Airs sporting Intel’s Sandy Bridge. I feel a little betrayed, and even though I knew it would happen, I didn’t think it would happen so soon. That’s the bad part. The new gear doesn’t even have to be out yet to send you spiraling into the sickly space inhabited by owners of newly old Apple hardware.

If you don’t want to follow in my footsteps of despair, your best bet is to start with something that’s old already. The only place to get your hands on old Apple gear available for sale or trade this side of Cupertino may be at the Houston Area Apple Users Group Semi-Annual Swap Meet, happening Saturday, July 16th, at the Bellaire Civic Center. The Civic Center is located at 7008 South Rice Avenue in Bellaire, Texas. Things go from nine AM until noon, so chances are good you could be poring over an OS 8 manual by lunch, reveling in the fact that only Woz has control
over you now.

And when Lion hits, all you’ll have to do is pull up your Platinum Interface to catch the curiosity of any apple-head in your immediate vicinity.

And who knows… If you come across the correct hipster, you might be able to trade up to something with Sandy Bridge. Your magic word for this impromptu-swap meet will be Vintage. It also doesn’t hurt to say that music just sounds better on old (Correction: vintage) gear. Don’t go overboard and answer ‘yes’ when asked if it contains any vacuum tubes (and they will ask you) but promising to produce a vintage Apple v-neck t-shirt will definitely help you seal the deal.

For details about the group or next Saturday’s Swap Meet, surf to haaug.org. Or call the HAAUG Hotline at 832.305.5999 to find out the latest news on future HAAUG meetings or to report any blinking lights.

If you’ve had an opportunity to venture out to the Houston Hacker Space known as TxRx Labs, you would have surely noticed the spread of mechanical and electrical tools they have at their disposal. The group now intends to delve into the arts of computer science just as deeply with a series of regular discussions centered around any given area of computer science. The group is newly formed within the hackerspace, and certainly fills a bit of a void in Houston in the non-institutional comp-sci community.

So, if you’re at all interested in the amalgamation of black arts and best practices that make up the field of computer science, surf over to www.txrslabs.org and look for the CompSci @ TX/RX link.

A little more in our immediate future, the Houston Linux Users Group will be hosting their first of two monthly meetings covering topics of a Linuxy nature. Things run from two to four this Saturday afternoon at the HAL-PC Headquarters, located at 4543 Post Oak Place Drive, Suite 200. Some past presentations can be found at the site, video.houstonlinux.org. You can also surf there to pick up the live video stream of the presentation if you can’t make it in person. The group also inhabits an IRC channel, #hlug, on irc.freenode.net in case you can’t wait until
Saturday to get your Linux fix.

A cool ancillary trivia question: Does anyone know what city the monthly magazine, “Linux Journal” calls home? It’s published by Belltown Media of Houston, Texas. A little more Trivia for you: the first issue was published by Phil Hughes and Red Hat co-founder Bob Young in March of ’94, and included an interview with Linus Torvalds.

That’s it for Apple Obsolescence Avoidance 101 and that’s that for BarretTime.

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