Apple is set to release a slew of new products over the next couple months. These releases include: Mac OS X Snow Leopard Client and Server (confirmed), new iPods (expected), and possibly the rumored netbook-tablet-macbook-thingy (who knows if we’ll actually see it).

With all of these potential releases, how does one prioritize their purchases? Particularly with the holidays coming up?

Now, I have an iPod that is almost three years old and showing its wear. I’ve been using it less and less lately in favor of my iPhone 3G; which has been relegated to an iPod touch. So I could upgrade my current 30GB 5th Generation iPod with Video. Not likely, but it’s possible. If I were to get a new iPod Classic, if they’re kept around, it’ll be $249.

Mac OS X Snow Leopard is a definite must on my list. However, here comes the tricky part. I currently have Mac OS X Leopard Client family pack and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Server, 10 client edition. I would love to upgrade the Server to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. The price tag of this is $499 retail, but this is for the full version along with being the unlimited client version. If I were to purchase Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard server, what do I do with my current version of 10.5 Leopard server? I could install it on my Macbook, but then that would negate the need for OS X 10.6 Client. What I could do, and probably will is max out the memory I can put on my iMac to 3GB (I’m still running a white iMac Core 2 Duo) install Parallels Desktop 4.0 and virtualize my 10.5 Server within the VM after installing OS X 10.6 Server on my iMac (all after a bootable working backup of course). Thereby reducing the overall cost, yet allowing me to run both. I will probably also do this on my Macbook with OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Client. I may even virtualize OS X Client on my iMac as well. For OS X Snow Leopard Client (Family Pack upgrade) it’ll be $49. Parallels Desktop 4.0 will be $79.99 each and I’ll need two copies so that’s $159.98. OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is $499. Just for this portion it would be $707.98.

I am currently running iWork ’08. So from an economical standpoint I should buy the Mac Box Set with 10.6 Snow Leopard and iWork ’09, except iWork ’10 should be just around the corner so it would make more sense to wait for that since that will only be $229 for the family pack. The key difference between the Mac Box Set and the 10.6 upgrade is that the Mac Box set contains the FULL version of OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard so if you had a mac that was running OS X 10.4 Tiger you could install Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard without any licensing issues as long as it was an Intel Mac.

As for the rumored netbook-tablet-macbook-thingy. If the rumors are to be believed it’ll be somewhere between $699 and $1299 (or there abouts). Plus, it would definitely depend on what the feature set that the device had as to whether I could find a fit within my workflow.

I would also like to replace my iMac with a Mac mini to use as a server, so that will cost somewhere around $1000 as well.

With all of this along with the Holidays and having to spend money there, how does one go about choosing what is the priority? That all comes down to need. For me I will probably get Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard family pack upgrade for $49 unless Apple releases iWork ’10 with the box set, then I will get that family pack version instead. I would definitely love to replace my iMac, but probably won’t for a while. I may buy Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server next spring. The memory for my iMac (as well as my Macbook) I should probably order soon, since memory prices are so cheap these days. I guess I will just have to see exactly what I end up buying, I just don’t like the lack of funds to play with everything I want.

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