Print Story It's Dead Jim, or, Drinking The Kool-Aid
Hardware
By wiredog (Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 05:35:31 AM EST) (all tags)
I did it. Finally. Joined the Slightly Less Evil Empire.

Yes. That's right. I bought a Mac. The old Linux Box died. Horribly. Smoke was involved.



A big Mac. The 24" (23" screen) iMac. Core Duo porcessor, 1GB Ram, 250GB hard drive. OSX 10.4.

Sunday afternoon I started a CD ripping on my 6 year old Linux box. 1 GHz Pentium Pro, 256 MB Ram, 60GB on 2 hard drives. Fedora Core 6. Went out for a walk (spring is finally springing.) Came home, walked into the apartment. "Is that the lovely sharp tang of burning electronics I smell? OH redacted!!!!" Run into the room the Linux box is in. Smoke is coming out the back. Once more, with feeling: "OH redacted!!!!"

So I unplug the box, put it on the table, and start disassembling it. Note that the power supply is hot to the touch. Run cold water over the hand that I grapped the power supply with while removing it. Look at motherboard. "I'm pretty sure there used to be chips where that charcoal is..." At this point I realize that I haven't done a backup since the end of January. I got busy, OK? No time to do the monthly in February. Besides, what's the worst that can happen?

Not sure if the power supply went, and took the motherboard with it, or the other way around. Either way they're both gone. I'm happy they didn't take the entire box, or the entire apartment, with them.

Hard drives look OK though. No burn marks, and they're not hot to the touch.

I'd been planning on replacing the box with a Mac, just not quite so soon. Fortunately CompUSA is going under and the local store is having a "Sell everything not nailed down" sale. So the iMacs are a couple hundred off of list. Drive over there, get the 24" iMac, and an enclosure for making the internal hard drives into external USB drives. Total cost, including taxes, just under $2000. That iMac is in a big box. Has a carry handle, but still big and heavy.

So why a Mac? After 12 years of Linux, why? Cost (oddly, for a Mac) is part of it. A big, gorgeous monitor like the iMac's costs about $600. Maybe more for one of that size and quality. Add in a completely new box (as the old one was 6 years old) kitted out similarly (core duo, mobo, graphics card,hard drives,etc.), including being designed to be very quiet (adds about $200), and a Linux box would probably cost as much, if not more. Another part is time: I'd have to assemble it myself. Then I'd have to install the distro myself. Then tweak everything. Too much work. I have better things to do with my free time.

So I get home, unpack the box, set it up. Takes about 15 minutes to get everything put together, plugged in, and turned on. Set up the user account, and see a gorgeous, huge, desktop. Seriously huge. My God, what a monster! Fast, too. And quiet. Everything just works. Well, except for the external disk drive that used to be the internal drive in the Linux box. OS X doesn't know ext2fs. Time to start downloading!

Quick, Robin, to the Bat Cave Google! Which takes me to the Mac OS X Ext2 Filesystem on SourceForge. Download, install. Open a terminal window and, hey! That looks familiar! Yes indeedy, it's a Bash shell! Home Sweet Home! This being another reason I bought a Mac: It's a User Friendly UnixTM. I wonder how many Apple developers had to sell their Immortal Souls to pull that off? But I digress.


HOWTO: Mount an ext2 volume on a Mac. Open a Bash shell.
Run 'disktool -l' to find out just which device OS X thinks the USB drive is and see that there's an unmounted volume at '/dev/disk1s1' that's formatted ext2.
Run 'sudo fsck_ext2 /dev/disk1s1' (since burning PCs tend not to shut down cleanly...)
'sudo mount_ext2 -x /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/ext2'
The disk is now mounted.


A quick 'ls -al' determines that this is the old '/' disk. So I go to /home and copy over a few files and directories. Reasonably fast. 'umount' the disk. Break for dinner. After dinner open up the disk enclosure and swap in the other disk. Mount it.

Start copying over everything from that disk. It was the /data disk, so it had the weekly backups on it, plus a bunch of other stuff. Close to 40 GB. While that's happening, fire up the browser.

Download Firefox, install it, import the old bookmarks. This is where Mac (or ff on Mac) makes things difficult. I can't import a random bookmarks file using the menus. At least, I can't find a menu entry for this. Possibly I don't get the 'Mac Way' yet. Since the menu isn't with the app, but is instead docked to the top of the screen, I get confused as to where it is when I bring different apps up. So rather than spend time messing about with various menus looking for the 'import' entry that allows importing of a bookmarks file (rather than just a choice of importing from Safari or IE) I just open a bash shell and 'cp' the old bookmarks file over. I then go to the Moz site and get ForecastFox and AdBlock. Gmail Notifier doesn't appear to have a Mac port yet. Oh well.

Files still copying. Copying an entire 40GB disk over a USB 2.0 link is going to take awhile. Go to bed.

Today, after work: Will install X on OS X (it's on the OS DVD in the extras folder) so that I can install OpenOffice. Then download and install Thunderbird and get e-mail working.

Later this week: There's an Aple Store in Tyson's Corner mall, which is a 5 minute drive, so I'll swing by there and see what else is going on with iMac stuff. Maybe they have books (preferably from O'Reilly) on using Xcode (also ships with the iMac, on the DVD). Or classes?


Just thinking, but: Could the Mac, in the long run, be more of a threat to Desktop Linux than Windows is? It's just as Unixy and with a bash shell even. BSD instead of Linux based, but all the command line tools I've been using for years seem to be there and to work as expected. But, unlike Linux*, it's easy.

Sure, Linux is easy for me, but I've been using it for 12 years. "Why I remember, back in the day, when a distro came on a stack of floppies, and you had to hand edit all the files in /etc..."

< A Day in the Life | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
It's Dead Jim, or, Drinking The Kool-Aid | 58 comments (58 topical, 0 hidden)
A threat to Linux by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 05:55:22 AM EST
According to legend, many of the early OS X adopters were Linux users. I know I was; I wanted my daily machine to be something that "just worked" where I didn't have to fiddle with everything all the time to do what I wanted. Also, at the time (2000 or so) Linux on Laptops was notorious for requiring lots of fiddling.


--
Cur etiam hic es?
Know any good Mac fora for Linux refugees? by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:04:28 AM EST
Or download sites?

The only things I'm still unsure how to do are: Rip CD's to MP3 and burn MP3 CDs, and how to bittorrent.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
To burn CDs by Herring (4.00 / 3) #10 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:16:35 AM EST
Right click on the ... ah.

It never gets old.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
That's driving me nuts. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:29:32 AM EST
No right click. I may plug in the old Logitech mouse to get that back.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Little known fact: by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #14 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:38:40 AM EST
The Mighty Mouse can't handle simultaneous clicks on both buttons. This is a bad thing if you have software (e.g. Opera) which uses it.

[ Parent ]
The best site for Mac OS X stuff by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #19 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:04:33 AM EST
is macosxhints.com. Also, O'Reilly sells an OS X book targeted right at Linux heads:

http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/macxtigerunix/index.html

The biggest problem is that things aren't in the same places and a lot of stuff isn't in flat files anymore, but in "property lists". In the worst case, the text config files are generated automatically by other tools and only exist as a compatibility hack for other tools.

So, you have to remember that you can't assume that you can reconfigure your IP address by editing files in /etc/sysconfig/networking, even if the directory appears to be there...

--
Cur etiam hic es?

[ Parent ]
Oh, for freeware/shareware downloads by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #20 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:06:41 AM EST
versiontracker.com is a good starting point. You will also want to install Fink at some point - it's a package manager/distribution system for Linux packages that have been ported to OS X.

http://www.finkproject.org/

--
Cur etiam hic es?

[ Parent ]
Fink, by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #25 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:13:19 AM EST
or darwinports.

Depending what you want.

What do you use for mail?

[ Parent ]
I thought darwinports was dead? by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #29 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:20:20 AM EST
I use Mail.app pretty much exclusively. I've played with Thunderbird but I haven't had a strong reason to change.


--
Cur etiam hic es?
[ Parent ]
I thought it was more the other way around. n/t by Captain Tenille (2.00 / 0) #31 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:23:53 AM EST


---------

/* You are not expected to understand this. */


[ Parent ]
I was thinking of open darwin. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #35 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:48:04 AM EST
They shut down, they host darwinports, so I assumed darwinports was gone, too.

http://www.opendarwin.org/

--
Cur etiam hic es?

[ Parent ]
Mac Gmail Notifier by ayrlander (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 05:55:34 AM EST
I just installed one on my wife's new iMac Saturday evening.  I haven't sene it in action yet, but just popping up showing new email coming in was pretty.

My wife's been wanting a Mac for about 5 years now, and finally broke down and got one about a month ago.  She fell in love from the first second the Mac smiley icon appeared on bootup.

That's for Mac, not Firefox on Mac. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:01:24 AM EST
Looks interesting. but the Mac has enough blinkenlights for me as it is.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Oops by ayrlander (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:05:29 AM EST
Used both Firefox and Gmail for years, never researched/realized there were any notifier plugins for Firefox.  Only Gmail notifier I've ever seen was the Windows desktop one.

[ Parent ]
You could access gmail through mail.app by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #22 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:09:21 AM EST
It's what I do.

--
Cur etiam hic es?
[ Parent ]
I access gmail through the web. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #26 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:13:59 AM EST
Any gmail I need to archive gets forwarded to my regular mail.

Does the mail app use the Standard Unix Mail Format? Because I've got mail going back over 15 years in that format.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
It doesn't look that way. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #28 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:19:12 AM EST
It seems to use a database combined with a one-file-per-email storage format.

You've got me way beat on email archives, I delete everything older than a couple of years.

I'll bet you, though, that you could set up a IMAP server on the iMac that serves up your old mail.

--
Cur etiam hic es?

[ Parent ]
Most of my archived e-mail by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #30 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:23:04 AM EST
is from family and friends.

My dad has letters between an ancestor and his sweetie written during the Civil War.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Stuff like that by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #49 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:28:02 AM EST
I burn.

I do have some letters that SWHTL sent me when I was in Basic Training; they aren't exactly poetry but they should completely horrify our grand children after we're gone.

Or maybe not, maybe by then they'll have teams competing in middle school intermural weenie hiding.

--
Cur etiam hic es?

[ Parent ]
The Civil War letters by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #50 Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 06:30:47 AM EST
are wonderful to read. Written by two people who only went to the local grammar school, through 6th grade. No high school. Naturally the grammar, spelling, and writing are perfect, and the word usage would make any modern college English professor cry. Because he would know that none of his students, even if they were in grad school, could write that well.

As far as the e-mail between family and friends, I've laready deleted the truly embarrassing ones long ago.

In other news, iPhoto Has Issues when importing. The default storage is by year. My default storage is by year, month, and event. I am NOT going to go through and sort, by hand, 9000 images. Easier to do without iPhoto.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Yeah, iPhoto doesn't pay attention to by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #51 Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 07:11:18 AM EST
existing photo organization at all - it reads the info out of the EXIF data and if that's not there, you're out of luck.

IIRC there are other photo management tools, but I can't think of any off the top of my head.


--
Cur etiam hic es?

[ Parent ]
Doing it old school by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #52 Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 07:32:35 AM EST
Using the Preview app to look at the images, and the file manager app to put them in their proper directories. i.e. just the way I did it on Linux.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Spotlight by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #54 Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 12:21:35 PM EST
If you embed various "keywords" in the folder and picture names, you can use spotlight to find things fast.

Also, if you're looking for some serious geekware, download quicksilver - but be warned, they expect you to figure out how to do the fancy stuff all on your own.

At it's simplest, it's like a version of spotlight that remembers your previous choices and has it's hooks deep into applications so that it can actually do stuff to the things it finds.

For example, to send e-mail to my wife, the key sequence is ctrl-space, s,u, enter - because by the time I typed the u it was showing me her contact in the address book and my preferred operation for address book contacts.

http://quicksilver.blacktree.com/

--
Cur etiam hic es?

[ Parent ]
The folder names by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #55 Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 03:48:57 PM EST
are date+event based. i.e. 'Images/2007/March/WaiaGala' (The gala being where girls wear fancy dresses that show as much boobage as their bathing suits do.) The images, well, I shoot digital. Lots of digital. I don't have the time to rename them. Especially good ones, or ones with Importance Attached, get copied to other directories.

The 'update' icon is jumping up and down in the switcher bar (or whatever it's called) like a little puppy that wants to go for a walk. Time to reboot before it pees on the carpet and see if the 10.4.9 update Does Bad Things or not.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
I just re-read my comment about qs by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #56 Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 04:42:30 PM EST
and it sounded like I was describing a hotkey program - that's not what it does, it's like spotlight, it searches for what you're typing, but it sorts the results based on learning the choices you've made in the past, and then it lets you select what action you want to take on the object - and the actions are also sorted.

Can you tell that I just discovered it and I'm having fun?


--
Cur etiam hic es?

[ Parent ]
I'm having fun just learning my way around by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #57 Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 04:49:22 PM EST
Open the hard drive icon and spelunk over to the apps directory to find the app to start it is very unixy. I just need to figure out how to put them permanently in the start bar, or whatever it's called, or as shortcuts on the desktop.

Had to install Thunderbird in order to get the address book ported over to Mac Mail, as Mac Mail doesn't read the .mab files. Copy the old address book to the settings folder for T-Bird, open it in T-bird, export as LDIF, import into Mac Mail.

And now all my Linux data is ported/copied over...

And I deleted the image library from iPhoto (which fortunately didn't delete the underlying images). iPhoto was taking 2 minutes to open. There were lots of images.

And now it's bedtime...

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Another spotlight tip, if you can stand it. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #58 Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 04:53:09 PM EST
Instead of pinning everything to your dock, or to the desktop, or to the side bar, or to the favorites folder, or wherever...

If you do a spotlight search for an app, then click it when it appears in the results, it launches. Not as fast as clicking on an icon, but for apps you don't use very often, it's a lot easier than finding them in /Applications/Utilities/bork/bork/bork.

--
Cur etiam hic es?

[ Parent ]
i believe... by clock (2.00 / 0) #34 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:45:33 AM EST
...it will import mbox, etc.  you can also use thunderbird (which is a great client).  for your mp3 stuff, just toss the cd in and it will ask you what you want to do.  tell it you want iTunes to rip that shit to mp3 and it will.

that's it.  nothing else to it.  the hardest part is to avoid overthinking.  you can honestly say "how should this work" and it will.

also, get thee a real mouse.  fuck that one-button shit.  your logitech will work as soon as you plug it in.  right-click and all.

but a wireless mighty mouse is very attractive.


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Overthinking by ayrlander (2.00 / 0) #39 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 08:05:49 AM EST
We did that trying to burn an audio CD from MP3s shortly after we got the Mac.  We were used to the Windows paradigm, so the first thing we did was go up to the menu, and select File->Import.

After battling with that for half an hour wondering why something so "intuitive" wouldn't work, I had an idea:  drag the MP3s from the shared drive directly into iTunes.  As soon as I did that, they copied over and a Burn icon appeared in the upper right corner (which defaults to burning an audio CD if the total amount of playing time will fit, or as an MP3 CD otherwise).  Clicked on that, and boom, had an audio CD.

Did I mention that the Mac came with this automatically, and didn't require me to find the Roxio CD (which was lost for 3 months), install it, reboot, THEN figure out how to copy files over to burn them?

[ Parent ]
Congratulations by cam (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 05:56:54 AM EST
And thank you. I just started a backup. I bought an iBook as I was sick of the inconsistencies of linux on thinkpads. My wife was pricing powerbooks yesterday, so her stinkpad is probably going to get replaced too. Only leaves the PC. I will probably buy a business computer to replace that which will be an iMac.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

it's getting better, though by Phil Urich (2.00 / 0) #47 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 02:51:19 PM EST
and Linux is still essential for a really, really cheap machine.

What I mean is, like with the recent barrage of clearance laptops; Apple went over to the Core 2 Duo instead of the shitty (from my rabidly 64-bit perspective) Core Duo, and then Vista came out.  The best price drop in the Macbooks was still less than the entire price of the laptop I snatched for my sister (a mere $275 for a 17" widescreen...more like an iMac than a laptop in that respect though, heh).

Now I'm not saying that this is a fair comparison (retail outlets and manufacturers are making waaay too big of a deal out of Vista, hence why XP Home laptops were so discounted) but the reality is Macs do still cost far more money if one is looking for the cheapest option, and in this aforementioned recent timeframe it was possible to acquire a PC laptop for a fraction of the price of a Macbook.

Admittedly this is not a very big sample, this one single laptop, but it was a rather nice purchase and as far as functionality goes it has been far from inconsistent.  I've had her on Kubuntu (Edgy Eft, ie. 6.10) and the next version, due out in a month or less, promises even more laptop integration (they've said to those who feel like testing "here's the testing CDs, try them out and if any buttons on your laptop don't function as expected tell us and we'll fix that"). Now obviously this isn't going to rival a product where the OS and hardware are a single (and very uniform) product, but I've still been rather impressed.

Again though it's an almost suspiciously Linux-liking laptop; it came formatted all as Fat32 partitions and half of the HDD was just blank, practically begging to be filled up for Linux and dual-booted.  It's like some Linux geek snuck into Acer's development labs and edited the defaults spec for this model, but carefully so it wouldn't be immediately obvious to the normal consumer that it was set up to be ready and waiting for Linux.

[ Parent ]
the reason... by clock (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:08:31 AM EST
...i went with a powerbook to begin with waaaay back was so that i would know exactly what was in the box.  not "a thinkpad with sdfklj234f.1 instead of sdfklj234f.112 wireless chip" and all that crap.  reading HOWTOs until the wee hours pisses me off now that i'm old and want to use the machine instead of muck around with it.

after a little fiddling i noticed that i had most of my linux software running on os x and hadn't rebooted to the debian partition i'd made for 40-some days.  there's a lot to be said for not having to fuck with stuff.

not that i'm not gonna screw around with bootcamp, mind you.  that's too cool to ignore.


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

know exactly what was in the box by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:30:58 AM EST
That's why I built my own PCs, and why a new PC would cost what a Mac costs. Quality.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
exactly. by clock (2.00 / 0) #18 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:45:10 AM EST
quality and less stress.


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
i have a mac now, too! by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:10:01 AM EST
i agree, Mac is more of a threat to desktop linux than windows.  It Just Works.  I don't have to futz with things (I remember having to recompile my kernel just to get USB support - no.  fun.), I can just do what I want to do, and get on with life.

Back in the day I didn't mind having to spend hours with Linux to get things to work. However, my time has become more valuable, and I'd rather do something else.

compile my kernel to get USB support by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:32:40 AM EST
For me that was fun. But I'm a programmer. Heck, I'd run 'make xconfig' to tweak things for maximum performance.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #15 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:39:14 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by yicky yacky



[ Parent ]
make menuconfig by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #17 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:41:20 AM EST
Had to do that once to get X running. Then I ran 'make xconfig'.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
valuable time by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #37 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:53:31 AM EST
that's why jesus gave us ubunutu.

When I'm imprisoned as an enemy combatant, will you blog about it?

[ Parent ]
WIPO by Phage (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:12:08 AM EST
Self-aware.

(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #16 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:40:07 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by yicky yacky



Pay no attention to that Stylish White iHelicopter by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #23 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:11:18 AM EST
hovering above your house. The friendly Men In Black Turtlenecks will make it All Better.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
And to think by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #21 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:08:03 AM EST
Back on K5, people used to make fun of me and my Macs.
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat
Before OS X by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #27 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:17:12 AM EST
The thought of using a Mac for any Real Work was pretty funny.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
considering... by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #32 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:41:08 AM EST
My Mac was my interface to my electrophysiology rig, serving as oscilloscope, stimulator, data storage device, etc, plus had sequence analysis software, I can safely say I did a lot of "real work" on it.

I went from command line to Mac in 1990, and have only used Windows under duress when I had to rent a laptop for a week.
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat

[ Parent ]
Did it multi-task? by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #36 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:53:29 AM EST
IIRC, multi-threading/context-switching was one of the big weaknesses of pre-OS X Macs.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
no, it did not by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #41 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 08:28:30 AM EST
back in the days iGrrrl is talking about you could only run Either your sequence analysis app, OR your $Y app, OR.....

(yes, I used to work in labs (DNA and laser cancer research), and had to use Macs for all our stuff.  They used to write most science-y stuff for Mac only, because the graphics were SOOOOO far ahead of the windows graphics.)

[ Parent ]
Early on, not so much. by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #42 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 08:34:30 AM EST
When I first started, I'm not sure I could run any two apps at the same time, but by the time I finished (around 2001, still System 9), there wasn't as much of a problem.  Of course, I couldn't exactly do sequence analysis while poking single neurons and measuring currents, but I could use Word while waiting for web-based CLUSTAL analyses to return results, and have the local analysis program open.

Then again, I wrote my dissertation in Word 5, refusing to upgrade to the abomination that was Word 6 for Mac.
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat

[ Parent ]
Back around 1990 (92?) by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #46 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 02:01:39 PM EST
I was working for a tiny startup building drone aircraft.  Circuit boards were designed on macs, software written on a PC running windows.  Can't say there was a noticeable difference in ease of use or stability for anything I did (this may have been due to the technical staff being PC biased).

Wumpus

I just hope that if they ever got around to doing their large numerical jobs, it wasn't on a buggy Pentium.

[ Parent ]
In 90/92 by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #48 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 05:49:18 PM EST
Windows was still version 3.0, which was as unstable as, well, a Mac of that era. Probably more unstable.

I was programming on a Vax in college then, and on some Solaris/Sparc boxes.

In 98 the preferred cheap OS for industrial automation was still MS/DOS. Which was very stable if you were aware of its limitations and didn't exceed them. A program I wrote in 1995 is still in daily use.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
WIPO: A distributed computing cluster by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #24 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:11:38 AM EST
of my old Palm Pilots.

--
Cur etiam hic es?
I looked at Macs by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 2) #33 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:43:48 AM EST
Before I bought my Dell (faster/upgradeable/etc/etc) for about $600 less, and that's AFTER factoring in my Apple ex-employee discount.

I did like the fact that all Mac's came bundled with some nice looking vertical blinds and a pastel coloured toaster, but in the end it wasn't enough to offset the price difference.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

Dude, you bought a Dell by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #38 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:58:02 AM EST
Did you know what parts were in it before you got it? The reason I always built my own was that I then knew what was in it.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Mostly by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #40 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 08:06:27 AM EST
They give you a buffet of options when you order so you can pretty much get what you want.

I've had mine custom built in the past but getting a Dell was much cheaper than going that route.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
Do I not recall... by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #43 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 08:37:06 AM EST
...that your dad's first words when he heard you'd bought a Dell were, "Son, format C."
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat
[ Parent ]
Oh sure by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #44 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 08:54:16 AM EST
I had to de-Dellify it, which was a bit of a pain, but not $600 worth of pain. For the record it's been 100% trouble free since I un-delled it.

For the record redux I was going to let my Dad build a PC for me (he's retired and quite the nerd) but he couldn't beat the Dell price for the specs I was looking at.

For the record redux redux - I'll likely not buy another Dell, even though it's been perfect - so it's not like I'm endorsing them even though the computer has been stellar. My next purchase will likely be from one of the local shops around here even if it's a few bucks more (buy local and whatnot) but that won't be for another 3 or 4 years.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
The Dell PC I have has RamBus in it by cam (2.00 / 0) #45 Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 09:10:56 AM EST
$300 for a Gig. For a while Rambus RAM was off the market. I tried to put in a quieter fan, but Dell uses not standard fan connectors.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
Note to self by duxup (4.00 / 1) #53 Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 10:36:39 AM EST
Back stuff up this weekend.
____
It's Dead Jim, or, Drinking The Kool-Aid | 58 comments (58 topical, 0 hidden)