I’m still fairly happy with my 20-month-old Powerbook G4 550, and I’m not ready to buy a new computer yet, but this one’s going to need something soon, or it’s going to grind to a halt. I actually ran out of disk space this afternoon; I’m still not sure what ate up the last gig, but I was able to shift another couple gigs onto a spare firewire drive. I have about 12 GB of stuff that I can delete once I’ve had time to archive it at home (about 6 GB of unsorted digital camera pics, 5 GB of iPhoto database, and a bit of other stuff), but after that I’m going to be out of space. At the current rate, I’m going to need to swap my current 40 GB drive for a 60-80 GB model in the spring.
It's RAM that's really killing me, though. Panther's activity monitor tells me that I'm frequently down under 10 MB of free RAM, out of 512, and it really feels like it. I've taken to killing Safari off on a regular basis, it tends to grow up to 90 MB or so, and killing Mail and NetNewsWire off once or twice per day. That mostly keeps things in check, but firing up iTunes or iCal causes the box to start swapping again. I've ground to a complete stop a couple times this week, waiting for the laptop to respond and let me kill off a couple apps.