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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

From The Heart Of Mac Land

Well, been and gone done it. My brand shiny new iMach arrived two weeks ago. I'm still not convinced it was the right thing to do, but, it looks lovely and I'm slowly getting used to it - I did need an upgrade of some sort, my old PC was 4 years old and Vista would have been a move to far for me. Recently it's been misbehaving and I needed a change (and less security worries).

The transfer over has not been easy, there's been lots of problems for me. To start, it took me four attempts to get the drive partitioned in a way that made sense to me to start with. Fairplay though, reinstalling the OS is a lot easier than on the PC, I had 4 goes at it. There's been a load of other things that have really pissed me off with it as well. It just works? My arse - don't believe the hype.

Basically, I ended up moving all my data across by DVD (30+ on an old slow burner) as the transfer rates were so slow using the external drive it would have taken days. Only yesterday, I discovered the reason they were so slow was the port on the keyboard was USB 1 - whilst the back of the iMac was a USB 2.

How did I discover this? Well, I've got Windows XP running along side OSX thanks to the wonderful Parallels. Windows told me there were faster USB ports available on the computer, and could be used to improve performance. The penny dropped. I unplugged the printer and tried it in that port. What do you know - USB 2 speed. Why for the life of me the Mac couldn't have spotted it was a USB 2 drive and warned me I don't know, but there you go. Lessen learned.

And I'm sorry, but iTunes is really below par - but I'm having to get used to it as my favourite piece of software is no longer in development and I either adapt, or stay stuck in the past. I could do a whole post on why iTunes sucks, but I won't right now.

As for moving files around, the Finder software is also extremely lacking - I miss all those wonderful little XP features that made moving and renaming files so easy, the Send To feature, edit with contextual options, a simple delete key for files (yes I know it's Apple + Delete) and simple batch renaming. And oh for Thumbnail view in Finder...

Navigating across drives and folders is also a pain using Finder - I ended up getting something called Path Finder that gives me back some of the ease of use and right click options that XP has. It's good, but I'm very aware it's sitting on top of what the normal desktop is. To be honest, I do most of the file management work whilst in XP as it's just so much easier and quicker. It's taken me the best part of two weeks to get comfortable using this new environment, and there's still things I want to change whilst still doing a lot of stuff under my old environment.

On the plus side - it looks great and the display is amazing. It's also powerful, if slightly less stable than XP was (small freezes are common, and it's had one lock-up.) Best of all, it's quiet. There are things I like - the Widgets are growing on me, and the desktop exposure thing is superb as well.

I've yet to get down and dirty and do video and stuff - but touch wood that's when it'll come into it's own. I'm also liking the fact there's a built in Apache webserver. I've set it up using symlinks (a first for me) so I can preview my sites via Dreamweaver and have all the PHP stuff work. That's pretty cool. It's fair to say though, if I hadn't have been able to get XP working alongside OSX, I would have been regretting the move by now. At the moment it's a good change for me and it's growing on me all the time.

Posted by Dio Bach at 10:41 | 0 comments | links to this post

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