Last Year’s Model

The computer I am modelling above (in what is certainly one of our more creative compositions I think!) is a Macintosh PowerBook G3 “Wallstreet”, taken from the PowerBook photo set on my main web site. This model was first released eleven years ago this month, so when we took this photo in 2003 (it was one of the very first photo shoots we did), it was already five years old. And believe it or not, it’s still my webmaster/photographer Lee’s main computer! (Although he has upgraded the processor to a scorching 500 MHz!) He also has a second computer (an 800 MHz SuperDrive eMac from 2002) for editing our videos and authoring/burning our DVDs. As for me, I use an original 500 MHz dual USB iBook (or “iceBook”), which coincidentally celebrates its eighth birthday this month.

So why on earth do we use such ancient computers? Basically, because we run the classic Mac OS exclusively. All these machines are more than fast enough for this wonderfully simple, elegant and fast yet functional OS, and machines newer than Lee’s eMac won’t boot into the classic OS anyway. So how do we run our web sites with such an ancient OS? In a way, we think it’s a good thing: if our sites work on our machines, we know they will almost certainly work on any current computer or OS! However, it also means we can’t keep up with the latest web technologies, so we are going to buy a new computer soon to allow us to launch an exciting new venture we have planned—stay tuned!

So what is the point of this post anyway? Basically, to tell you about the philosophy behind the new web initiative, Last Year’s Model—”saving the planet through sheer laziness”. In a nutshell, they are encouraging people to simply keep their old tech gadgets that still work fine, rather than buying new ones just for the sake of having the latest. This is something I can strongly agree with: my mobile phone is a few years old as well, and Lee and I both still watch old fashioned CRT TVs! (Still, one of the reasons we will be getting a new computer is that we realise our future video work will have to be in HD, even though we personally don’t care about HD at all). In part, I think it was all this rampant, uncontrolled consumerism (and the resulting debt) which led to the current financial crisis, and not throwing stuff away when it still works perfectly fine is certainly much friendlier to the environment.

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I keep the grass trimmed in my neighborhood.

  
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First, things first, I do like how you choose to personify Apple’s older slogan:
Think Different.

Now the issue at hand (or foot as it may be).

It is a complex issue.

The latest technology in most circumstances is more efficient in energy consumption, features/functionality, safety/security features etc.

Also the quicker the new form of technology is adopted by the marketplace the quicker the product goes through refinement and better efficiencies of production are realized and the price to the marketplace is reduced even further.

The luddite approach is the trap that environmentalists have fallen into for the last 40 years, and it is highly offputting to the general population. Sure we have had terrible consequences of pollution/contamination/human treatment etc, but we have improved most of the living conditions of 6/7 of the human population to a point where they won’t live in 1800′s conditions where everyday was a survival crapshoot. (Yes that still is a billion people that are in that situation, but 40 years ago, that number was nearly 3 billion people, with only 1 billion in the “safer zones”.

Take cars, the efficiency of vehicles by weight, safety, speed, creature comforts, actual cost by comparable PPP, features etc. are now 115% more efficient than vehicles from the 90′s and 250% more efficient than even the smallest subcompacts of the 1960′s. We are about to enter into the Hydrogen/Electric/Hybrid car marketplace, and if the marketplace doesn’t increase its consumption of these current vehicles, we might actually collapse the fledgling market entry of these “petroleum free” vehicles and delay another 10 years, what we needed 10 years ago.

The waste stream is still huge, but recycling of componentry is getting better for all industries. When in 1992, the average car could have only 22%
of its components recycled into reusable componentry, in 2009, some producers are nearing 92% of componentry that can be reused, or returned to material manufacture at some level outside the landfill system.

Responsible consumerism is the evaluation of needs, compared to wants in balance with lifestyle needs.

Simply put, the best combination would be made if, everyone consumed 1500-2000 calories, there were usable mass transit systems, with one or at max 2 vehicles per household to supplement those systems, had access to clean water, shelter, education, mass entertainment choices etc, but overall just consumed less of the “daily luxuries”.
1 coffee house coffee a day, adds up to $1,000.00 a year
1 bottle of beer a day, adds up to $1,000.00 a year.
1 carton of cigarettes a week, adds up to $2,100.00 a year
1 new video game per week, adds up to $2,600.00 a year
1000 text messages a month, adds up to $1,200.00 a year
30 Itunes downloads a month, adds up to $360.00 a year

so what constitutes “small daily activities” costs the average earner of $26,000 a year 1/3 of their annual income before large purchases, education payments, car payments, housing, food, etc.

Smart consumers would look to these drains first, and would solve nearly 85% of the borrowing that takes place in the societies.

Upgrading a computer, or buying a new car, or something like borrwoing against the house to install alternative power sources or spruce up the house/garden/living room in the houses looks like the culprit, but for the most part it was “Living the daily lifestyle” that was killing most of the population of the industrialized world in terms of unsustainable practices.

We need all of the true investment we can generate, to get over the hump and remove ourselves entirely from the “industrial age” and to the current age of possiblility for something most environmentalists have been waiting for 40 years to happen – the lowest impact standard of living for the most people sustained in all of history.

Imagine if you could, a consumer not needing to buy a tank of gas (average $50.00 every week (saving 2500.00/Year) and having their monthly utility bill reduced by 50% (average savings of $150.00 per month) or $1500.00 a year, and having their food generated locally, reducing production/transportation and waste costs etc. by 90% returning food prices from $400.00 a month or 4,800.00 per year to $200.00 per month or $2,400.00 per month.

With these small technology shifts (today of course) and relatively small “lifestyle” changes, that 26,000 dollar a year earner between cutting out the daily expenses, and benefitting in the new technologies, has now regained nearly 2/3rds of their income, while also improving the environmental impacts of society at the same time.

  
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screw the video games and the cigarettes. buy instant so you can afford the beer. I get 500 messages for 4 bucks so that is cheap, don’t have a i-pod..

Let’s see, if women were to wear bikinis only a small fraction of the size that they do… small enough to fit in a watch pocket, both the top and the bottom at the same time, then the guy only has to buy a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine to seduce them, so i-pod tunes are a definite must have item to take on the picnic,

I think it is just a matter of priorities on what you spend.

Actualluy, i just came here for a sense of balance. some gal is yapping in my ear on yahoo IM about something relgious so I sent her your athiest door-to-door link.

She said she had a church even atheists would enjoy going to.

I think you will be a hard sell.

She used to be alright, and I almost got her talked in to figure modelling. Don’t know what happened. Right after the last three guys dumped her one right after another all in a week, she changed.

let’s see, $89 per month for cellphone, 59.95 a month for landline phone with mid-range speed DSL, can’t really skimp on those.

I honestly think the only way you can really save money is to have women wear drastically smaller swimsuit bikinis. I mean, nothing at all would be better but there are times when it is considered correct, socially, to wear something so it is a necessary expense but it could be a smaller expense if the cloth material was corespondingly smaller.

I had a question. I have been blogging stuff with a translater and nobody replies back Is Mainland china in the northern and central part simplified chinese or traditional chinese for the characters? Does it matter? if you right the traditional ones, can they read it?

Oh, I have one of those swimsuits too, I design one and got the first protoype in the mail recently from the supply house. I don’t have a model yet, so I would be happy if your guy would have you model it for me. It would make a great add photo. Y-back with triangles in front. It covers one microinch more than it has to.

cheers,
let me know!
Michael

  
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Wheeler92196 seems like his “brain hurts!”
Perhaps he should see a Monty Python neurosurgeon for that.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIlKiRPSNGA

As for responsiblie consumerism, take a personal and responsible look at what you are consuming. I guarantee the things you consume with your “disposable income” everyday will add up to alot more than what you might buy every 2, 3 or 5 years.

However, I don’t believe I would want every woman to wear such small swim suits. These women might suffer skin cancer much quicker due to their surface area.
http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/attachments/month_0810/fat_women_in_bikinis_nx8BpTrO8Kmz.jpg
And these girls may have the same issues of surface area/cancer rate due to exposure also. Their abundance is of course in a different location.
http://www.eboobstore.com/images/products/619/front.jpg
Pictures of bikini clad women, so these are sfw.

  
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Thanks Akacra – I often wondered what was going on with Michael. ;-) You really ought to post a big fat warning before that first pic though – literally! :-D

Your point about new technology often being more energy efficient is well taken, but I think we can safely agree that replacing your mobile phone etc. every year or so (or even more) is very wasteful.

@wheeler92196 – In theory all Chinese speakers should be able to read traditional Chinese, unless they are very poorly educated (though not the other way around). So it should be fine for all Chinese.

  
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I am getting better at photos and I have blogs, one is english and one is chinese but I know nothing about chinese so it is hard to find the logout button sometimes. I have that one because there are a few of us around the world that follow a chinese-american actress and she has a spot there on sina.cn

Some guy in italy has a sign from her with what looks to be pinyin, and there are a couple easy sentences to translate and then the rest is gibberish and he try to translate it and it is difficult for him.

She says it is a riddle. The guy next door, I am a border and the other guy next door, there are two of us here, and he is Chinese. You may not be able to talk to him very good because the only book he reads is a bible written in chinese.

well, this actress, she can be a slut sometimes so the words are maybe not what he would expect. so the guy looks at the words. I processed the picture to make the words come out better and showed them to him.

He pause, and then he say very slowly, Chinese persons do not talk like that. So we do not know if the words are sensual.

Maybe the guy from Italy will talk to you as I have given him your name.

I also send the jpg address for your avatar here to the side and he is typical italian (he is in Milan) and he says, “we need a translator not a model” so I mention to him that you are smarter than both of us put together.

He has interest because the actress, Bai Ling, said the riddle is for him.

You have far better boobs than her so I came back to see what I can see, I was thinking of ordering the yoga dvd later this week. I understand it is pretty good.

I look forward to you touring the usa.

the blogspot is http://ling-bai.blogspot.com/2009/05/just-for-you.html

please do not mention the boobs because she likes to take the top off. I do not want to discourage any artistic behaviour such as taking top off.

Oh yeah, she has a myspace same as you, every now and then she says she updates her blogspot. and that is about it for myspace. I think she likes myspace as much as you do.

people do that with twitter too, I am
http://twitter.com/wheeler92196
and it is better than myspace since you can say things from your phone
I keep forgetting to look here for you but I will look more often.

Anyways, Best and Kindest Regards, to you
Michael Wheeler

btw, if you toggle the button, you can have nudes on blogspot, and you can have all the links you want. thier censorship policy says basically, “if you don’t like it, don’t read it”
san diego

  
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if you have a windows computer its after a short time much slower and when they make a new OS..you need normaly a much better computer
must people have the feeling microsoft does this only because we all should buy every two years a new computer

as a mac user i know that you can run faster with much less effort
my oldest mac is a ibook G4…it still runs

but some people need every year a new handy with features no one use..or always a new car…
that cant work and now our carmakers have problems
its not possible to buy all two years a new BMW or Mercedes from your own money..if you want one..you make debts or you never own it (leasing)

we should change this..but special politician never learn
buy buy buy…dont think of tomorrow

  
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Yes – it is true that Macs generally have a far longer usable working life than PCs running Windows.

  
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Obviously your early and ongoing commitment to MACs has paid off well over the long haul. There is an eerie inverse physics/math relationship between the parameters of “efficiency” (AKA “high performance”, and/or “latest and highest performance”) and RELIABILITY. At some point along the way, an evolving “gadget” (within its price, energy-use, and function range, other things being equal) runs into an epoch of diminishing returns as its engineers and sales team keep producing and promoting newer and higher-tuned clones of an original “hot item”. The technologies become more and more proliferative, rather than truly creative in such an evolution. Consumers get the rug pulled out from under them more and more often, facing ever more daunting and less rewarding upgrade challenges from ever more money-hungry corporations. This has been my experience with the PC-Windows products in general. I have observed, in parallel, that MACs aren’t perfect either, but their program has worked to produce a high-quality (although pricier) line from the start, in a manner much less vulnerable to the undermining of reliability. I believe I could transfer all my data to a newly purchased MAC this very year with the full expectation of using the same MAC system 10 years from now with very minimal upgrade/repair expenditure and basically no data loss. In picking out a new model, I would take care to get something highly reliable which is modestly efficient (and perhaps not too pricey), but not so “efficient” as to make a probable sacrifice of reliability (and money).

NOTE: I am becoming more and more suspicious of the influence of new GREEN concepts upon our technologies and their “energy” aspects. I think GREEN is becoming seriously infiltrated, or even hijacked, by some business and political interests that are not truly “green” in any way at all. Most certainly, they are less than fully sincere about sustainability.

  
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Wow! What a pose!

  
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Sachiko,

Nice picture. I liked your pose and modelling, awesome. How about posing nude with an Ipod between your breasts or legs.

  
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That’s an interesting idea. ;-)

  
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Thanks for that compliment. I wished that I could come to your house for a day see you how you lived in the nude but I can’t. BTW, does that sound creepy to you?

  
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You’re probably just more blatant in what you say (rather than what you think) than most other men. ;-)

  
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Hey, Your so hot! do you have a ike official site where i can see more of you???

  
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Just click on the “My Modelling Site” link at the top of the page (as well the links in this article). :-)

  
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Excellent post Sachiko! I also had the same iBook who’s logic board died twice due to heat issues. I still miss that lappy. After the second death I took it to the Apple store to see what could be done. It was out of warranty and would cost about $800 US dollars to repair. So I opted to buy the just released 13″ MacBook(CrackBook) in 2006 for a little over $1000 US dollars. I am one that does not buy something that has just been released because must new electronic devices has some early issues. Well I thought that I was safe until it was out of warranty. The white plastic where the keyboard is was being stained by my body’s oil from my hands. Then cracks appeared on various places. The battery’s lifespan was getting shorter and the display would flicker more often. My lappy is my entertainment system. It has replaced my television, hi fi stereo, radio and landline telephone. It was getting a lot of use but I feared that it would die because it was always running hot. So today I purchased a new 13″ MacBook Pro. Let me tell you this a very nice. Are you still using you iBook?

  
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Hi Joe,

To launch our new YouTube channel and web cams, it just wasn’t possible for us to stick with OS 9 any longer, and Lee felt OS X 10.5 (Leopard) was finally the version that could replace the classic Mac OS for our use. So Lee got a new Mac mini, and after many months of transition, he is finally ready to retire his old Wallstreet, after 12 years of reliable service! As for me, I’ve adopted his old eMac so I can run OS X as well, and I really love it. So I too am now ready to retire my old iBook.

Lee has just recently gotten a Macbook Air as his portable/backup – wow, what a beautiful machine!

  
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WOW, Cool pose :)

  
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Dear Sachiko/Contributors,

As usual, Sachiko’s thought-provoking article on “uncontrolled consumerism” strikes a chord with me [smile].

Picking-up on a point raised by Akacra, I do have to wonder why we humans are so obsessed with automotive vehicles..? Objectively, we are the only species on Earth that think lethal vehicles, powered by engines designed in the last century are a good idea.

Petrol-driven engines pump Carbon Dioxide into our atmosphere, fatalities from road traffic accidents average 1000s each year. On average, 20,000 litres of water are used to manufacture a car – while some developing nations are still unable to supply their citizens fresh water.

Recently, the BP Disaster in the U.S. demonstrated that America is still “addicted to oil”. … Common sense is not at work here. Solutions exist, but all falls fowl to an Automotive Industry that’s far too powerful.

PS: In a former life, working as a computer technician, I realized many components can be re-used, particularly RAM chips. However, the computer manufacturers re-design their motherboards so that old chips cannot be re-used. Result: more landfill.

  
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nbwriter,

I don’t think humans are so obsessed (well some are) with motor vehicles as they have greatly improved our lives. The goods we use are most likely hauled off a truck at some point. Until we figure out teleporting things through wormholes we have two options. Either live like a caveman and only eat things you can grow/hunt/gather or use motor vehicles to transport goods/people. I’m not saying be wasteful with petrol, not in the least. However we have to be realistic that in modern society you need vehicles.

Recently the University of Texas found a promising producer of biofuel: algae. The process produces refine-able biofuel that produces almost no harm to the environment. 20 corporations funded it and if the research is going at the rate its going, we just might have one of many solutions to our dependence on fossil fuel.

I live in a state affected by the BP oil spill and that was caused by them cutting corners to save money. The damage they’ve done will take a very long time to remedy. I for one am quite angry at them for doing that.

  
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urban wombat,

Hi Wombat, thanks for taking time to reply…

Sorry to hear you were directly affected by the BP Disaster. I hope you and your family have recovered from that awful event. Although I’m not a Certified Tree Hugger, I have noticed a lack of political will (here in the UK) and elsewhere in the so-called “developed world” to take lasting environmental initiatives.

Wasn’t it George W Bush who commented that a technological solution would be found for the technological pollution mankind has created? In other words, one creates a machine to cleanup the ecological mayhem caused by other machines… Hmm? Faulty logic is at work there… Because plastics, resins, chemicals and pollutants will be generated – Agreed?

I live in an industrial heartland – The car dealership is King in these parts. However, the figures speak for themselves: In 1986, half a billion cars were in use worldwide. That figure has doubled to one billion as of 2011 with China and India leading the way… (Source: uk.cars.yahoo.com). This kind of wreckless growth will be unsustainable. Petroleum will continue to increase in price, congestion will gridlock our cities and deaths related to car accidents (and indirect deaths due to carcinogens) will spiral. Already, there are more children born with asthmatic conditions…

I’m pleased you mentioned biofuel, it’s one option open to manufacturers who wish to take that “leap of faith”. Hybrid and electric cars would save us tax payers billions in revenue – But as far as I know, no electric “power point” infrastructure is planned while there’s a petrol station on nearly every street corner. I just don’t believe its beyond the wit of man to think laterally. I’d rather be a healthy caveman, than a drone who has to sit behind the wheel in traffic jams – Call me “old fashioned” [smile]

Thanks again to Sachiko for sparking this debate. I hope she feels like replying, since her eco-friendly computing methods were deeply inspiring for this caveman sitting here…hee hee.

Kind Regards, NB.

  
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nbwriter:

Thanks again to Sachiko for sparking this debate. I hope she feels like replying, since her eco-friendly computing methods were deeply inspiring for this caveman sitting here…hee hee.

I guess that does deserve a response. :-)

While I do agree that motor vehicles are to a point a necessity in our modern world, the obsession many people have with them is clearly insane, and powering them with petrol is even more so! It is very gratifying to see that more eco-friendly cars are really starting to take off in the marketplace.

While I still very much believe in the sentiment of this article, Lee and I now have a far more up-to-date arsenal of computer equipment: he now uses a Mac mini and a MacBook Air, and I now use a MacBook Air as well (and I love it!). I even have an iPhone. But we intend to hold on to them for at least a few years yet, although the 11 year run of Lee’s old PowerBook G3 will be hard to beat. :-)

  
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Sachiko,

Thanks Sachiko (Still an avid reader of your site!)

As we say in Blighty: “Hear, hear” (regarding the “clearly insane” obsession with petrol-driven cars). Car culture is rampant and myopic. To be clear, I agree entirely – in the modern world – we do need vehicles to transport goods and people. But why power them with a dated and dangerous technology?

Your “11 year run” with a PowerBook amounts to a real eco-achievement. (Certainly saving you 100s of dollars in the process!) I get by with an old XP machine using free optimization techniques (hard disk, o/s and internet). I think its enjoying its fifth year in my hands. If the manufacturers had decided to make motherboards truly upgradeable, I’d be enjoying a super computer by now!

Your point about “unfettered consumerism” affects us all in subtle and powerful ways. The “consumer society” did not exist until the 1960s. Everyone in the Intelligensia knows the writing’s on the wall for such an expedient trend. However, it will be a very brave politician indeed, who has the guts to turn the tide.

  
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