Apple Could Discontinue Mac Pro Line, Would They Lose Computing Soul?

According to AppleInsider, Apple is at a crossroads with its flagship computer line: the Mac Pro.

In years past, I have owned a Blue and White G3, a dual G4 (thanks to an awesome trade with my buddy Chris), and a G5. I even think that I owned a IIfx, albeit used when I had the used computer stall at Y’all Come Flea Market (see the video above–the IIfx was one of the most expensive Macs at launch–$9000-12,000 depending on configuration in 1990). Now, my graduate student lifestyle prohibits my re-entrance into the hallowed halls of mega-Mac computing (I have considered going the Hackintosh route, but this would still require more funding that I have right now).

I can understand the business sense of dropping the Mac Pro line, because it is an expensive computer with lower sales than its more profitable, lower cost offerings. However, there is something about a flagship computer leading a company like Apple into the unexplored computational frontier. Where would Starfleet be without the Enterprise? Where would Blake be without his Liberator? I assert: no where. Apple might not be a space opera, but what you can achieve with the right software combined with their top-end machines is about as close to hopping galaxies as many of us will come.

Apple needs its Mac Pro line to continue the humanities-inspired core of what makes Apple, Apple. It was always their most expensive computers that did great things that would often erase the magic that the technology helped accomplish.

I would like to take a part in that adventure of the Mac Pro, at least soon, when I can afford to, but in the meantime, I hope that Apple doesn’t let go of the powerful emblem of their computing heritage.

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Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.