A new addition to the “family”

I am really good at not throwing things out. One could consider me a pack rat, at last for some things. I was looking for a 15 foot Firewire cable yesterday, and found angled brackets from 3 years ago when I built a table for our printing press… Why was I looking for a Firewire cable, you ask? Easy to explain…

We got a new computer.

Costco, the one store aside from B&H that has no problem separatng me from my money and uniting me with large amounts of various stuff. Mostly foodstuff[s], but not always. Like yesterday, I could not pass up a $499 for a G4 Mac Mini. Nicely loaded, for a mini, with the 3-year warranty, a wireless mouse and keyboard, and the superdrive. It is exactly the same at the >$1,000 one currently for sale at the Apple store, but 4-5x times slower. That should cover the discount, would not you say? However, when upgrading from a 1998 1st generation G3 running un-upgradeable OS X (10.15) due to its lack of a DVD drive, it is a nice upgrade. More importantly, it leads to the next paragraph which contains embarassingly youthful gushing.
Every time I get next to a Mac, I really wish I could just switch to one. How do they manage to make Windows-based machines look lame each time, I am not sure, but they do. It probably starts with a lack of poster-sized instruction sheet, continues with a 5 minute setup that discovers everything there is to be found in a pleasant and logical manner. It builds from there with fast and accurate searching, the iLife suite, and the general feeling that “things work as they should.”

I am not a huge fan of iTunes or iPhoto – as specialist applications for music or photography they lack a lot of features ,and are not particularly fast or comfortable for advanced use. As general applications that should come with your computer – they are marvelous. I have only spent a couple of minutes with iWeb to see that it again, manages to deliver 90% of functionality in an easy-to-use package. Sure, Dreamweaver had many of the same features for years – but who used it and when? Same can be said about iCal – the calendar program, and other programs.

I think Apple has finally pefected, or has come very close to it, the mix of building proprietary software for a core audience that it understands, closely controlling the user experience by providing the hardware to OS to application level layers, yet truly supporting open standards where it is important for power users. It took me all of 2 minutes to add my google calendar feed to the iCal application. It is important, to a critical segment of users, that underneath OS X is a Unix BSD foundation. Apple is able to walk the straight and narrow in giving its users standard power and easy of use in one package. In my case, the package is about 6.5″x6.5″x2″

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