andrew burke






Posted on: 2005-11-07

That's the name of my new computer. I went and bought one of the latest generation of PowerBooks and have been using it for about two weeks now.

Why Ironcoat? Well, I ordered the machine direct from the online Apple store just a few days after the new models were announced, and so, according to the FedEx shipping tracker, it came directly from Shanghai, China. Thinking of names, I decided something Chinese might be appropriate, and I remembered a character in Jet Li's Once Upon a Time In China named Iron Robe Yim.

The movie takes place in Hong Kong in the 19th century, where Europeans are taking over and rival Chinese mobsters are fighting over what's left. Iron Robe Yim is a giant powerful brute of a man and the main enforcer for one of the crime gangs. The climax of the film is a justifiably famous fight scene in a shipping warehouse, after which both fighters are shot at by European marines - and Iron Coat Yin dies, saying "No matter how good our Kung Fu is, it will never defeat guns"

Apple is moving their architecture to Intel-based chips in the next year or so - so this is likely to be the last and greatest of the aluminum PowerBooks. After which will come something completely new and different. My old 12" PowerBook, Tamala (another long story there) was just not keeping up with me, and has been pretty beat up over the last two and a half years of travel and work - and since my entire life and work depends on my computer, I decided it was worth going for the latest version, getting it as soon as it was announced to get the most life out of it. I ordered the 17" screen version (which turns out to have cost just about the same as my 12" did back in 2003). So it's a big powerful brute of a computer, but it is on the cusp of being surpassed by New Things.

I played a little loose with the translation and so 'Ironcoat', which sort of describes the look of the machine, as well.

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