Well I’m happy to report that Leopard, the latest revision to Apple’s Mac OS X, has finally stopped crashing my machine. Apple released Leopard after an initial delay of over six months in October of last year. I was one of those that installed on the release date, having pre-ordered my copy from Apple. I have had several problems with this release compared to Tiger.
Not to long ago I wrote here about our trusty mac mini server, well after nearly two years (20 months) of service the old Mac mini has moved on. No it did not die, it is now enjoying a second life as a desktop once again. After a little debate as to whether or not to purchase an Xserve I once again decided to go with a mini as my server (long story short it was the noise factor that tilted the scales the most). The new mini being a dual core box with 2 GB of ram is much faster the the old mini, but serves the same purposes. The old mini is now happily functioning as a desktop again as I have passed it on to my mother. Mom has really taken to iPhoto, and the rest of the iLife suite. Now that digital photos are so easy she keeps wondering when we’ll be adding a grandbaby to the equation.
In my Why all development will move to the Mac entry I identified several reasons I think the Mac will become the dominant platform of the future. Now more evidence as Wilkes University is moving to all Apple hardware. Read the article in Computerworld. They apparently will dual boot Windows, but the head of the IT department acknowledges that part of the decision was based on the perceived superiority of OS X.
It isn’t something I think about much but today I was a little astonished when I realized the Mac mini has been running for about 18 months. Not continuously. I did shut it down for about six hours once when I upgraded the memory at a friends house. Another time it was down for about four hours when I moved my office. Other than those ten hours of rest the mini has been restarted when Apple released updates to the OS that insist on a restart.
Like many of my friends working as software developers I have noticed a significant increase in the number of fellow geeks toting around Apples rather than MS or Linux based machines. Just attend a local nerding event and you’ll see them, happy looking hackers quietly banging away at a Mac. Why are they smiling? After all hacking is a serious business of creativity by force. An act of the strongest will. Only the bravest need enter as many hours will be spent wrestling with the complexities of your machine in order to bring your ideas to fruition. Are they insane? Have they finally lost it after countless hours of struggling with the latest patch to a Linux driver that just will not work with the wireless card that arrived from Amazon late this afternoon? Maybe they paid extra for next day air because they need to replace their failed wireless card now, and get back to work fast, but it turns out that the manufacture stopped using the wizbang 3.05 and changed to the super-cheap 0.95 chip-set six months ago and nobody outside of the developer of the driver knows how it works. Maybe they’ve tried everything they know to try and gone through the instructions of some guy named Phil, served up from a server in North Korea, that claim to solve the problem but alas no wireless. Or maybe they encountered a blue screen on their MS box, or a program that had to be reinstalled and restarted and debugged to get it to work one too many times. What ever it was it must have been bad because they got an Apple. It’s common knowledge Macs are just cool looking toys. Isn’t it? Until about a year and a half ago I wasn’t sure why these geeks were smiling either.
Ok, so this is a blog. Not sure how useful this will be. It occurred to me it would be a good place to capture information on projects that are in-progress, etc. Plus I’ve wanted to stay on top of putting new stuff on my web site but never have the time. If this can allow me to add stuff easily in 15 minutes or less then maybe I’ll do it.