Daily Archives: November 30, 2005

Back to the Mac side?

As a part of the project I’m working with right now (the National Lambda Rail Experiment Support Service), I needed to manage a Mac X Server as a collaboration engine for the team. This meant that I needed a Mac to run the fat client administrative tools (sure, you can do it with a command line, but this is much easier). So, the project provided me with a Mac mini to run these tools. I’ve had Macs in the past (and in the mists of time, I was even a Newton user [MP100 and MP130] 😉 ) so I’m not unfamiliar with Apple products. However, this was my first extensive introduction to OS X and current generation Mac technology. I’m enjoying this, and am actually spending significant time using it as my primary email/browser platform right now, accessing the PC with my other stuff via TightVNC. I miss my 2nd mouse button (I have single-button bluetooth mouse), but everything else feels quite natural. There are some things that annoy me — the Apple Mail app has some issues with IMAP expunge and Thunderbird 1.07 has stability problems (crashing), and for some reason, Mac OS X locks up requiring a reboot if I leave it on overnight (still looking into that). But, overall, it’s great. I’m quite interested to see what will happen with the new Mac announcements in January, and the possibility of a “Media Center” Mac mini. I don’t have a DVR, and I think that one thing that Apple does better than anyone else is the user interface. I expect that device to be very usable, and the form factor and quietness would make it easy to put in the living room.