Daily Archives: March 7, 2004

You have to spend money to make money

I’ve bought a PowerBook. 1.25 GHz, 512 MB, 80 GB, 15-inch.
Plus the Adobe Creative Suite.

My excuse is that it’s mainly for work purposes (I’m spending the
next month working for Bango). And also because I’ve coveted one for
some time.

It’s luuuuvly. Some oddness, including flaky SMB connectivity
(bizarrely, the GUI way sometimes fails but mount_smbfs works fine)
and a required google to discover how to type # (it’s Alt-3: # isn’t
labelled on the keyboard or described in the doc). But on the whole
it does what it says on the tin.

There was a touch of America-is-the-world during installation. It
asked me to set the date, which defaulted to 1-1-1970 in good ol’ UNIX
fashion, but there was nothing to indicate which number was the day
and which the month. Since I’d already told it I was British, I
assumed day-month-year. Bzzt, wrong. Oh well. Smack hand Apple. (It
gets it right post-install.)

The most annoying thing I’ve found so far as a “Windows switcher”
is that, by default, Tab only moves between text boxes. You have to
select a checkbox (System Preferences, Keyboard & Mouse, Keyboard
Shortcuts) to make Tab notice other types of control. And rather than
a single Alt press, it’s Ctrl-F2 to give the menu bar the focus.

I’ve spent the weekend sorting out email, etc. Downloaded buckets
of software. I didn’t think I’d be installing all the developer stuff
within two days, but I’m using Fink for package management, and some
of the stuff I want (the Subversion client, for instance) is only
available as source right now (and, sadly, requires you to build the
whole of Apache and sundry other packages first). Still, it’s
exercising the CPU and disk; I heard the fan for the first time not
long ago.

I’ve discovered Fink to be a bit unstable if you want, er, unstable
packages (as Subversion is currently categorised). Fink managed to
install segfaulting tar and awk binaries while updating and rebuilding
itself, which was very clever I thought (I copied over the standard
Darwin binaries and crossed my fingers, and it seems to have worked).

I haven’t even run iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie or iDVD yet. I have,
however, got XEmacs working…


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