Monday, May 30, 2005

Oops... I bought a Mac

Those of you who know me know that I go way back with Macs. I had Apple IIs in high school and early in college and back around 1986 (yeah... I was a latecomer) I bought my first Mac. It was a Mac SE with 2 floppy drives. Later I bought my first hard drive -- a 30 MB SuperMac drive for $699. $23.30 per megabyte and it seemed big at the time (compared with my most recent drive that cost $0.00093 per megabyte). I used my Mac for all sorts of things like writing music, writing papers, creating lots of databases, etc. When I decided to go into the geek business, I knew I wanted it to be related to the Mac in some way. I ended up doing tech support at Cayman Systems where we made and sold gateway routers between Macs and Unix machines. Later I started actually writing software on the Mac and loved it.

Much later, I went to work for Microsoft, but worked on the Macintosh version of Internet Explorer. I worked with a bunch of other folks who just loved writing cool software for the Mac. I went to the MacHack conference a bunch of times where some of the most die hard Mac developers spend several sleepless days trying to come up with the ultimate piece of cool - yet not useful - Mac software.

Then I stopped.

Well... Time passed and I worked on a bunch of very cool Windows applications -- including Windows® itself -- and I got out of the Mac habit. This weekend, I took a step back into the Mac world buying a Dual 2.3 PowerMac. You know what? I still love it. Sure, there a bunch of applications on the PC that I would miss on the Mac if I was there all the time (in particular, Digital Image Suite and Intelligolf) but I was surprised to see how many cool applications there actually are now on MacOS X.

The Mac has always been pretty strong in the creativity apps, so it was no surprise that there were lots of good applications for music production. GarageBand came with my Mac and I could have just as easily picked up Logic, Deck, Digital Performer and any number of other nice applications. Photoshop and the Adobe Creative Suite are there too of course. What surprised me was the number of nifty little utilities that did a fantastic job at their task. While MSN Messenger for the Mac was available, it is way behind the Windows version in terms of functionality, but Adium X is a great substitute offering some features not even in the MSN version and working with a variety of services.

I needed to sync my photos to the Mac and I found an absolutely fantastic file syncing app called ChronoSync. I've spent a lot of time writing synchronization software and honestly, it isn't rocket science but they have come up with a very simple and powerful interface that not only gets the job done very effectively, but adds the touches that make me feel safe doing something as potentially risky as keeping multiple folders of my digital photos in sync.

And this is all completely neglecting possibly my favorite thing about my new Mac. The hardware. It isn't a computer -- it is a work of art. Seriously. The way the case opens and closes. The way you install an additional hard drive. The beautiful styling on something as hidden as the heat sink on the CPUs. And even though it is a dual 64 bit processor computer, it is the quietest computer I have in my house (with the possible exception of my old PowerBook G4). I have never had a PC that evoked the same feeling that most of my Macs (certainly any one since 2000) has -- I just want to touch it.

I love it.

There is one major problem though. Duffergeek looks like crap on a Mac. Damn! Now I need to go work on updating my site template to make it look good in Safari.


David Parlin said...

Welcome back! It is about time.

Oh, and hurry up and fix your site so that it looks good on Safari. I am tired of reading your blog with broken formatting. :)

Duffergeek said...

Done :)

Anonymous said...

Vader is born and you return to the Mac. Coincidence? Resist the dark side, Annakin!