Macintosh

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I use a MacBook as my primary computer at work, it has the following specs:

  • 2.4 GHz Core duo
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 180 GB 7200 RPM harddisk
  • DVD writer
  • 13″ display
  • FireWire
  • USB2
  • Mini-DVA out
  • Mac OS X 10.5.6

It’s white. It has OK battery life 3–4 hours if I’m just doing normal text-based stuff.

The fact that the computer is white has attracted a lot of attention of a negative kind (particularly from “men of a certain age”). When they point out that I have a “fancy computer”, which is hardly macho. I kindly point out that I wasn’t willing to pay the $100 premium Apple had placed on the same computer in black. I also point out that it isn’t very macho — if that is your bag — to be so concerned with colour schemes.

Why do I have a Mac? I couldn’t find a laptop supplied by NTNU’s IT people that I could guarentee would run Linux well, and I wanted to try some development work with WebObjects. That was all.

I had been using Linux (Ubuntu, which I also have on this Mac) as my main OS for a couple of years beforehand. However, moving back to OS X wasn’t really a problem. I like Linux a lot, I like the whole idea a lot.

What do I use the Mac for? For example:

  • surfing the web
  • reading email
  • writing wordprocessing documents
  • using spreadsheets
  • using databases
  • using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
  • using PuTTy
  • using bash
  • writing code in PHP, Java and Javascript
  • recording and editing sound and video
  • listening to music
  • chatting
  • talking to my parents

That was what I came up with off the top of my head. What I have is a machine that lets me connect to the Internet, projectors and printers without issue. I can guarentee with 95% certainty that I will be able to get my work done without hinderence from the hardware or software.

It runs Linux or Windows too. I use Linux for a few applications that I simply can’t get to compile under Apple’s UNIX (NSS was one), and I did daly with Windows XP in order to run XMLSpy, but I gave up when I realized that NTNU doesn’t have a site lisence for XMLSpy.

My only issues with the MacBook are the poor build quality of the machine itself (this is apparently a problem with a number of machines built around the time I got mine), and the general rubbishness of Apple’s UNIX. I like pretty much everything else (not HFS+ of course, but you knew that already).

I’m not an Apple fanboy (any more*), but I am a bit of an iPhone fanboy, but I guess that’s fair enough considering my day job😉 I am not a fan of Microsoft’s products, but this has to do with the fact that they often don’t work. I used Windows for many years as a graphic designer and IT admin, then later as a technical writer and programmer. Windows is OK, it isn’t as good as UNIX when it comes down to doning what I do, but is probably fine for 99% of people. Linux is still my preference because it just seems to do everything I need to do really well, and without having to talk to anyone about software acquisition. However, I see that the Linux laptop is still not quite ready.

The white PC I use is a tool; it’s quite a good one for me.

*I used to be an Apple fanboy when I worked in the print industry, but then again you would have been too, back then.


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