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Powerbook
photogeek
crschmidt
The one good thing about clients for Linux is that evan develops the main one (Logjam), so I'm always sure it's pretty much the most advanced client out there. In OS X, I don't have that luxury. It's not neccesarily a bad thing -- especially as I'm quite sure I can install Logjam from Fink, should I really need it. It's just odd.

For those of you who don't quite understand what I'm saying, I bought a Powerbook on Friday. It's a 12", with a combo drive (DVD + CD/RW), and no extras. (No extended AppleCare, no extra hardware, nothing.) Which means I'm absolutely shit-broke for the time being, but that's okay. Bought it with the educational discount I still have, and it did me pretty well - saved about $200 that way. Also, <3 NH for not having Sales Tax. I'm told its better when buying a car than buyinmg a computer, but saving the $100 from that was nice.

I've now written this from bed, upstairs, and outside while hanging out with Julie. This is all very odd to me, as before this I had never even experienced wireless before. I also had IRC connectivity from the fireworks last night via GPRS.

The coolest thing about Apple computers is the complete lack of work that all of this requires. I've seen lots of entries on setting up wireless or bluetooth in Linux. Many of them are confusing, and most of them won't work globally. They require you to install things, to build them, and in a million other ways to fuck with them to the greatest extent possible in order to even get things to work. On this computer, they just work. Honestly. I logged into a wireless router - with no configuration other than a password. I set up GPRS internet connectivity via Bluetooth - with no effort. All I had to do was tell internet to connect via the phone - which was paired by a wizard that found it automatically - and it was done.

I was thinking I would install Gentoo on this box, but as time goes on, I'm realizing I really have no motivation to do that. I don't have any specific dislike for BSD based systems. I think that software should be free - as in speech, not neccesarily as in beer - but there comes a point when the ability to hack code easily is overcome by the fact that a proprietary solution makes things so much better than anything else I can get by with. If my choices are between working, proprietary solution, and an open, broken solution... The chances are I'd spend more time fixing it than I would in hacking. Here, everything works for me.

I'm very happy with my purchase. I was amazed at the difference between this machine and the one I use at work - this has much less memory, but it's still significantly better in terms of just about everything. I haven't found anything yet that I want it to do that it hasn't been able to. (Other than run with the lid closed, but that's a heat issue, since I found software that would let me do it.)

All in all, I'm very pleased. It's a great tool, and I'm looking forward to using it at work as well as here. Many thanks to to Wedu for giving me a position of gainful employment, and to Kristan for providing the wireless which I have abused so much. But most of all, many thanks to Jessica for allowing me to enter a stage in my life where I can make this kind of purchase without guilt, for being supportive of me throughout the time I've been out here, and for just making things so wonderful in general.

For those of you who wish to drool, there are images available in the powerbook gallery.

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I think that software should be free - as in speech, not neccesarily as in beer - but there comes a point when the ability to hack code easily is overcome by the fact that a proprietary solution makes things so much better than anything else I can get by with.

That's exactly why I stuck with Windows for so many years. It was Good Enough for most purposes, and while I'd ideally like to see free software, I wasn't willing to waste too much time on it. I'd much rather get things done (or have fun not getting things done ;)) than wank on about open source. If it works, it works, and that IMHO matters a lot more than conceptual purity.

I finally switched because Mandrake's recent versions became easier to use than Windows. I had lost the product key for my WinXP installation, and rather than hunt all over it, I figured I'd rather just download Mandrake. Turned out the installation process was easier than Windows - I just booted off the CD and waited 40 minutes - and almost everything I normally use Just Worked. Even the digicam and CD burner presented no problem. I'm a little worried about printing - I haven't had to yet, and I heard it sucks under Linux. And I don't have a wireless card. But if it does what I need it to do without a fuss, I don't care whether it sucks at other stuff. Geeks take heed.

I am seriously considering a Mac for my next computer, though. I used to be a die-hard Mac fan until about 1996, when they sold out to Microsoft and botched their clean interface. And that was right when Win95 came out, and suddenly Microsoft was Good Enough. Now the pendulum's swung back the other way, with OS X being really cool and Microsoft starting to suck. But I'm still a bit put off by the higher price.

Only started encountering printing issues when we put the printer on Peanut and it became CUPS. Non-networked, it worked out of the box. Of course, I have a major brand printer -- HP -- so it was easy for it to recognize.

Regarding the Mac thing -- I'm not anti-Mac, in fact, I'd like a PowerBook. However, it's just recognizing that different OSes are good for different things. I'm not a power Linux user -- my machine is used for word processing, e-mail, Web browsing, IRC, and the odd game of solitaire. So I don't benefit from Linux's capabilities, but I <3 X. It doesn't crash IME.

Yeah, the horror stories I've heard were all CUPS. My printer's an HP, though a couple years old, so hopefully it'll all work out. USB, and my USB digicam worked out of the box, so that's encouraging.

My machine is also used for word-processing, e-mail, web browsing, AIM/YM/MSN (I wanna get started with IRC, but haven't yet), listening to music, and the odd game of Breakout/Tetris/FreeCiv. And I still found Mandrake to be better than XP. A lot of that is because of licensing issues - I hate having to write my product keys on CDs or otherwise avoid losing them, and I'm not comfortable with Microsoft's "product activation" that takes a unique hardware identifier (& who knows what else) and sends it back to Microsoft. And KDE has some usability enhancements that I've really come to rely on - multiple desktops and the ability to assign keyboard equivalents to launching programs.

I do, of course, use it for programming sometimes, but that's just gravy. I actually spend a minimal amount of time actually working with code, outside of my job. Chris does a whole lot more than me.

Linux is nice because most of it is Free as in Speech, which Windows, even third party apps, often aren't. It's nice to be able to change the way things work to fit with what you need when you need to, but it's also nice now that things are starting to just work. I'm involved ina crowd that's big on Metadata on the Desktop - basically, building a version of what Apple is calling Spotlight for GNOME (called Beagle). I think that Linux, as it draws more attention, is going to continue to improve usability wise. Right now, it's mostly hackers, and that's a good thing, because those hackers can make the things that need to happen happen.

As the desktop apps become more and more user friendly, which I do see happening, it will start to attract the attention of more and more people. There are corporations out there who have started throwing money at things to get them to the point where they can work from a business perspective - so they dont' have to go with Windows - and I expect that that's a trend that's only going to increase as more and more businesses realize that they really do want to get away from the Microsoft. It's tried and true, sure, but you can't trust that you're not going to be attacked these days, and with a proprietary system, even if you do, you can't do a whole lot about it internally.

I'm liking the movement that some apps have been making to the more casual user. I've seen significant speed increases with open office in the latest version, and although it's not perfect, I actually consider it to be moving towards being a usable application now, which is something I've honestly never thought before. I think that as these things become more usable, the exodus from Windows - and to more stable, typically *nix based platforms - will continue, which I consider a majorly good thing in terms of computing. I understand that Windows makes things easy, but it's just too easy to get inside of, no matter that it's proprietary. There's no way that outside people can analyze it, and that's just ridiculous. How can you expect that the people you hire are actually the best at something, better than the entire internet? That's just ridiulous.

Anyway, this turned into a lot of rambling about Linux on the desktop that would probably be better suited for an entry of its own. But kids distracting me as I'm typing do that. :)

For the record, you were using CUPS before, and the only issues with printing via it have been very limited and caused by my inept configuration skills rather than anything else. I'm good at a lot of things, but I honestly am just not that good at setting thing up :P That's waht neil is for.

CUPS really did everything automatically. The problem was only when I set things up wrong - assuming that it wouldn't - rather than anything else.

OS X would honestly be way better for what you use it for: everything is much more automatic, and the support is way better for compatibility with other programs. Apple has done really well at staying closely enough tied to Microsoft to get their cooperation with the creation of office, and the hardware they have out now, even at the bottom level, kicks your hardware's ass. ;)

Linux is cool in that it doesn't crash. So is OS X. Beyond that, it's really all gravy for most every day uses.

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