Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Newest Addition to Our Family

The last time I bought a new computer was some ten years ago, as I was getting ready to head off to college: an Apple PowerBook which is still running fine, though not much use for much these days as it lacks USB and Ethernet ports. Since then, a combination of growing technical expertise and simple cheapness has led me to supply the family with a succession of used computers which I wiped, cleaned up, and installed new parts on to keep running long past their natural lifetimes.

But a combination of frustration with seldom having working sound and video, plus a need to have a newer machine (our newest non-company-owned computer was four years old) on which to do graphics work, combined with a recent price drop and functionality upgrade among Apple iMacs, sent us out to the Apple store last night to pick up a sparkling new 17in iMac with a humming little 2.0Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo dual core chip inside (welcome to 64 bit processing, Darwin clan).

Macs have changed a lot in the five years I spent wandering in the Windows and RedHad wilderness. The white thing is a sleek looking (MrsDarwin approves of the new accent to her living room) but it'll take a little getting used to after a succession of grey and beige boxes.

I don't know if I'll make the transition back to single button mousing -- I think I'll head out in the next couple days to buy a two button mouse to replace this one. But aside from that things seem to be going well. I can't imagine what people need with the 20in and 24in screen sizes. Maybe it's finally coming out of the CRT world, but the 17in widescreen looks huge to us right now.

9 comments:

Tim said...

Congrats on the new addition. It must feel good.

Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

One of the nicest things about having one of those sleek white beasts on the desk is that they are so easy to move around depending on what else you are using.....

TJR said...

Your iMac should come with the mighty mouse (macs two click mouse that looks like a one click mouse). It's standard issue. Double check and make sure that you have the mighty mouse. Right click it and see what happens. The mighty mouse also has a little scroll button. If it doesn't have one go to the apple store with your one click mouse and reciept. They should replace it as they are standard issue

TJR
Alternative Blues / Rock Americana
http://www.tjrmusic.com

Download the new single "Peace Love And Don't Trust MTV"....for FREE
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Fidei Defensor said...

Darwin, deep down don't you wish that money had went towards an M-1 Garand? Be honest now!

Darwin said...

Hey, Fidei... Now if I could figure out to how get a few grand worth of extra project work done over the next month or two by using an M-1 -- I'd have one just as quick as the iMac.

TJR,
Our mighty mouse does have some additional click capability, but so far all it does is trigger the Expose figure which (don't get your hopes up, Rick) shows all the windows that are currently open. I may need to go customize that somehwere. It's also got a nice, tiny little scroll button.

zippy said...

Best thing about Macs in the past few years is that they are Unix boxes in disguise. Perl, SSH, all the goodies are right there. I still don't own one though. They don't make a Tablet.

Rick Lugari said...

...all it does is trigger the Expose figure which (don't get your hopes up, Rick) shows all the windows that are currently open.

Perhaps you should have gotten a PC then. ;)

Seriously though, let's say that Macs no longer have the stigma of the birkenstock wearing, organic-only vegan, treehugger crowd. Are there enough worthy applications available for Mac? I know a lot of the real biggies support it, but it still seems that Macs are left out in the cold often times or that they are late in getting supported. i.e. there is a lot of great freeware for the PC which saves having to buy $300 apps.

Darwin said...

Actually, now that Macs are running off a FreeBSD kernal (as Zippy mentions) there's at least as much quality open source software for the Mac as for Windows. And a lot of the commercial graphics/web design software that I would end up using is actually developed primarily for the Mac (which still has a strangle-hold on the design market) and then ported to Windows.

It really depends on what you want to do, though. For instance, I gather a Mac would be a really dumb joice for someone into gaming. And there's not nearly the range of financial or crm or fulfillment software available for Macs as for Windows.

But none of that is really what I'm in the market for just now.

(Most recent downloads: OpenOffice, Mozilla Thunderbird, MySQL Query Browser)

Darwin said...

Oh, and TJR called me up and explained how to program the mouse, so now I've actually got what ammounts to four button plus scroll functionality. And embarrassment of riches...