The Labs Adds A Mac

MacBook Pro

Your looking at the first post to this web site completely written on a Mac.

Yep, thats right. A Mac.

Since the release of OS X I’ve wanted to make the leap to the Mac. The idea of a Unix based system with the useability of a Mac intrigued me to no end. I also have a couple of friends that have used Macs from what seems like day one, and have always told me that I was missing out on something cool. I just haven’t been able to justify getting one in my own head.

I think the clincher for me that a Mac was in my future was when Jonna started bringing one home for her testing work and I was watching her use it. It just looked so cool! Its been on my mind for a couple of weeks now, so yesterday we decided to take a road trip out to the Apple store and “just look” at the Intel based MacBooks to see whether it might be something I want to commit to as my next machine.

Well, I wound up walking out with one with the voice of an Apple customer from the store ringing through my head, echoing softly, “Once you make the move, you will never go back …”.

I got the machine home and booted it up. Within literally 15 minutes or so, I was hooked to our wireless network here at the Labs. Another 25 minutes or so and all of the software updates were downloaded. A few trips to grab the software I use most, like FireFox, the Flickr uploader, etc. and I already felt like I was home.

Of course, being a developer at heart, there are a few things I just had to do as soon as I got the base software like my favorite browser installed. I had to dive to the Terminal window and see what was out there.

  • Perl? – Check.
  • Python? – Check.
  • Ruby? – Check.
  • Java? – Check
  • Subversion? – Nope, but a few clicks and it was installed.
  • Screen Capture Tool? Kind of – only supports TIFFS. I need JPG for Flickr. A quick Google search got me to Snap N Drag, a free screen capture utility that supports JPG files.
  • iTunes – Check.
  • Office Suite? Nope – not there. Have to install OpenOffice, which requires X11. I’ll do that tomorrow.

Here’s the great thing about the whole experience. Every scripting language I use for every day work is on the machine from the moment I opened the box, even my old familiar friend, the bash shell. The important software I use day to day is at least available for me to install.

My email, calendar and news reader? I use Google, for all of that, so there was no setup or importing of data required. I just log in and feel at home.

The loose ends I have to tie off at this point is moving all of my iTunes stuff to the new machine. I’ve found a few articles on this around the NET, but the volume of data I have to transfer is becoming prohibitive. For some reason, rsync just stops part way through the sync — but I’ll get this worked out.

I’m extremely impressed with the machine so far. It has all of the utility of Unix and all the beauty of a Mac. I’m really not sure what else anyone could ask for.

20 thoughts on “The Labs Adds A Mac

  1. Look at NeoOffice as a substitute for OpenOffice. ( It runs in Aqua so no X11 needed. I’ve found it handier. Also depending on what you need in office stuff you will find that TextEdit will open/write MicroSoft Word files.

  2. Gee, isn’t that interesting, I just ordered mine today, when I saw your post I got jealous, so I called Apple and placed an order for the 2.0 GHz model, so it looks like 2 members of the Bieber family will have the same Intel Mac. I just have one thing to say “Welcome to Macintosh” HAHA!

  3. First, welcome to the Mac universe! I’m sure you grow to love your Mac just as much as “the rest of us”.

    Second, I notice you mention that the built-in screen capture facility in Mac OS X can only capture TIFFs. This is incorrect. (Actually, I’m pretty sure the default is PNG in Tiger.) Anyway, you can actually set the format you want, and it supports any number of formats supported by QuickTime (all of the most popular formats). You can change the format through the command line or by using several freeware/shareware utilities such as the free TinkerTool.

    Mac OS X is simply a joy to use. I am sure you are going to love every minute of it. : )

  4. PC-MAC File Transfer is a wonderful cross platform copying utility to move files back and forth…I use it all the time to transfer movies and music from my Dell laptop to my G5 or MacBook….the URL is…

    excellent software, reliable and just works.

    Welcome to OSX…I support OSX clients (about 4500) with a Windows backend…so….you will love it…the deeper you dig, the more there is to impress you.


  5. Ron,

    Screen capture,
    go to apples site and download a dashboard widget they have it will save you any kind of format you want

  6. Ron,

    You end with

    “I’m really not sure what else anyone could ask for.”

    I thought you mentioned some friends who were Mac users for a long time and maybe one in particular from the original Mac 128.

    Open Office, are you nuts?

  7. Sure, you blog for two years and hundreds of posts, finally put something up about a Mac, and Retondo finally has something to say – 3 times no less!

    Mike, any suggestions on Office applications? Is Neo Office what you’d recommend as well?

    BTW … re: Mac 128. Hate to tell you, but I wouldn’t have started looking at these machines had they not put Unix in the back end. I need to have my cake and eat it too … 😉

  8. BTW … from the experience of the last couple of days, I think that customer in the Apple store was right … I don’t think I’m going back …

  9. I’m seriously looking at the XServe RAID for storage. An intel desktop and laptop will be in my future. (in the future I fancy myself a rich oil tycoon)

  10. Ron – well well well. Welcome to the club! 🙂 I have to echo Mike’s comment – about freakin’ time. Seriously, congrats, you did the right thing. In no time flat you’ll be constantly scanning the Mac rumor sites like the rest of us, and visiting your nearest Apple Store just to spend time there.

  11. Ron,

    Send me an email and we’ll talk about Office and other software you should get.

  12. Welcome to the club/cult. Really it’s a no brainer if you’re a UNIX lover. You get UNIX, a really nice GUI, beautiful hardware and pretty much no hassle.

  13. Todd,

    You mean I’m going to wind up substituting the Apple store for Starbucks? Maybe this wasn’t such a good decision! 😉

  14. Pingback: » My adventures with Ubuntu

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