TITLE: Breaking in a New iBook AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: July 08, 2005 2:35 PM DESC: On tough product choices, Tiger, switching to bash, and on-line identity. ----- BODY: Daring Fireball recently ran a piece on several issues in the Apple world, including the recent streamlining of the iPod line:
This emphasis on a simplified product lineup has been a hallmark of the Jobs 2.0 Administration. For the most part, given a budget and a use case, it's pretty easy to decide which Mac or which iPod to buy. (The hardest call to make, in my opinion, is between the iBooks and 12" PowerBook.)
I agree with John's assessment of the last tough choice -- I recently agonized over the iBook versus PowerBook choice, focusing for budget reasons on the crossover point from iBook to PowerBook. In the end, I think it was more pride than anything else keeping me on the fence. I love my old G3 clamshell PowerBook and like the look of the titanium Powerbooks. But given my real needs and budget, the iBook was the right choice. One potential benefit of going with the simpler, lower-cost alternative for now is that it postpones a more substantial purchase until the shift to Intel-based processors is complete. My next PowerBook can be one from The Next Generation. My new iBook arrived last week. I've been having great fun playing with OS X 10.4... My old Powerbook is still running Jaguar, so I have been missing out on the many cool things available only on Panther. I'm only just now scratching the surface of Dashboard and Expose and the like, but they feel great. My only minor regret at this point is going with the 30GB drive. I'm already down to 13 gig free, and I haven't done much more than basic set up and my basic set of apps. In reality, that's still plenty of space for me. I don't store lots of video and music on my laptop yet, and my data will fit comfortably in 10 gig. If I do need more space, I can just pick up a external drive. While setting up this machine, it really struck how much of my Mac experience now is bundled up with Unix. In the old days, I set up Macs by dragging StuffIt archives around and creating folders; I spent a few minutes with control panels, but not all that much. Setting up OS X, I spend almost all of my time in a terminal shell, with occasional forays out to System Preferences. This machine switch may be more Unix-heavy than usual, because I've decided to follow OS X from tcsh to bash. Rewriting config files and hacking scripts is fun but time consuming. Of course, this change pales next to the switch I made when I went to grad school. As an undergrad, I became a rather accomplished VMS hacker on an old cluster of DEC Vaxes. When I got to my graduate program, there wasn't a Vax to be seen. Windows machines were everywhere, but the main currency was Unix, so I set out to master it. Another thing that struck me this week is how much of my on-line identity is bundled up in my Unix username. "I am wallingf." That has been my username since my first Unix account in the fall of 1986, and I've kept it on all subsequent Unix machines and whenever possible elsewhere. At least I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Last year as we prepared for the Extravagria workshop at OOPSLA 2004, Dick Gabriel wrote that rpg is the
Login name for RichardGabriel. I have used this login since 1973 and resent ISPs and organizations that don't allow me to use it.
Anyway, my iBook now knows me as wallingf. I guess I should give her a name, too. -----