The USS Quad Damage

Mac and I

It has been roughly a week since getting my new computer, and I'm starting to feel more at home using it. Overall, I'm happy with my purchase, and don't intend on using a Windows derivative until the Intel Macs come around (more on this later). My current setup is:

- The lower-specced Mac Mini with 512 RAM and Superdrive
- 200GB HD inside a firewire/USB2 enclosure
- 20GB 4Gen iPod
- 4 port USB hub (bringing my total USB ports to 5)
- All-in-one memory card reader (that doesn't read XD!)
- LG 17" Flatron LCD screen
- Some strange Logitech multimedia keyboard with so many buttons and oh god I don't know what to do with them all
- Microsoft Intellimouse Optical 1.1, which I bought in 2000 and only intend on replacing when it finally dies. And even then it would be with the same model.

Here are some quick lists on my OSX experience (yes, more lists!) -


- Size and form factor. To the point.
- Being one of the cool kids. I am now cooler in more than 17 different ways. On occasion, my world will change to that of a single colour and I'll start rocking out random tunes.
- File manipulation. Dragging files whilst task switching and to being able to drop documents on to programs in the dock is real nice.
- Consistency. The majority of programs follow some sort of guideline that dictates how it performs and presents itself to the user. This makes adapting to a new program much easier.
- User switching. The way XP handles multiple users, while vastly superior to it's predecessors, still feels like an awkward hack compared to OSX (and it's lunix friends I suppose). Neat graphical effect too.
- Fresh install. After a fresh install of Windows, I find myself scouring the internet for replacements of the programs it comes with and to make up for what is lacking. Although I am still checking out various OSX programs, I don't feel the need to replace the majority of them. If I had to, I could completely function using a fresh install of OSX. I could not with XP.
- iTunes. At first, I hated it when I tried it on XP. I much preferred the minimalist of Winamp 2.x, and felt far more comfortable using my own directory structure for categorising my music. After getting my iPod, I forced myself into using it, and now that I'm aware of it's various features, I can't imagine going back.
- Application management. For the majority of programs, installing means dragging the file into your Applications folder, and uninstalling means dragging it to the trashcan. I'd like to take this opportunity to give a big "FUCK YOU" to the Windows registry.


- Finder. Well, I'm mostly pretty cool with finder, but considering how important Finder is, it is far too buggy. Three times it has frozen on me whilst accessing either my iPod or a disc, and restarting the computer seems to be the only way to get Finder back.
- Dashboard. Although a neat idea, I can't really seem to find any widgets that catch my attention. I also wish widgets could function on the main GUI layer as well as it's own separate one.

I am currently in the process of sorting through my large CD collection and preparing to migrate the majority of those files to DVD. Not only will this save me a lot of physical space, it is also necessary considering the age of some of my discs. This process, in addition to the numerous HD failures I've endured over the years has gotten me into thinking about how to securely protect any important information I have, such as contacts, email and IM history, passwords, photos and the like. At the moment, I am looking at storing these sorts of things in the following ways.

- A copy on all three of my HDs (internal, external and iPod)
- A copy on any future computers that are in my house
- Anything text related as a passworded archive on my gmail account (particularly sensitive information such as bank details not included)
- A DVD RW kept updated from time to time
- Adding a compressed copy to every xth burned disc
- Should I purchase any online storage, I'll keep a copy there
- Much like every computer has a "Paulo" directory, I'd like to keep a copy of things like photos on a disc at one or two people's houses (fires!)

Because of my positive experience with my Mini, I am already thinking about what future purchases I intend on making. Next year, I will be buying an iBook. As nice as Paulo's Powerbook looks (even with the damage!), I can't see myself justifying the extra expense considering what I intend to use it for. Come 2007, or whenever the Intel move is complete, I want to get a PowerMac. Doing this will enable me to catch up on the many years of PC gaming I've missed out on. I wonder what Windows Vista will be like...

BF4E Apple Desktop