Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

10Aug/06Off

New Apple Desktops

Okay, I'll admit it: for what many have been slagging off as a pretty insignificant bump upgrade I have to admit that I'm impressed with the new Mac Pro machines and the vaporous promises of Leopard. The base specifications of the Mac Pro are pretty hard to argue with and I really like the fact that you can pretty much roll your own machine instead of the age old choice between three radio buttons that has represented new Apple offerings in the past. Another break -- I think as I haven't been paying very much attention for the past three or four years or so -- is the ability to actually roll back the default specs and drive the base price down for those of us who are not afraid to open a machine and rearrange its guts to our liking usually for a price about half of what Apple would charge. That is much more reasonable than the hermetically sealed desktop that were default in the past. Obviously this change has been the course of slow evolution over a long time from the less friendly days when you needed a tool from a third party to even open the fuckers to the point now where the chassis are actually built with ease of access in mind. I used to have a PowerMac 7100/66 that was a complete terror to open and I'm glad to see that the booming 'Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain' voice has receded into the background. That's good.

The OS is still in demo mode so it's hard to actually gauge what they're offering there by any standard other than sheer audio/visual impression. The 64 bit-ness falls into the 'it's about time' category but seems more wise at least in retrospect than the train wreck that Windows users encountered with 64 bit processors. I've heard numerous folks who I consider pretty technically competent tell heartbreaking tales of woe when using it and the sheer horror of the Gentoo Bugs site stopped me from buying a 64 bit chipset despite its novelty and sexiness when I built my last machine. That said, only the folks who attended WWDC and are first in line to get one of the new machines are really going to have much insight into how well Leopard functions until Apple actually releases the final product. I'm more than a little curious about how that will actually go especially since the amount of new hardware in the configuration for the Mac Pro machines seems a whole lot more expansive than I remember for Apple. The combination of 64 bit drivers and a brand new OS makes me a little hesitant to lower myself into more crushing debt in the near future. I've almost got the MacBook Pro (stupid camel casing) paid off but Yoon needs a Macbook before I go wandering off in that direction and get eaten by a grue.

One thing that has cracked me up a couple of times is the roar from the peanut gallery that the new version of the OS is essentially a point release and that precious time is being wasted on things that do not create new screenshots or whatever. Yeah, I know creeping feature-itis is how most people gauge new software releases but the whole three fucking architectures things is pretty killer for a single release without adding in a bunch of crap on top of it to further complicate things. Arguing the relative value of each announced feature especially when comparing it directly to announced features in Vista seems pretty stupid and I'm not feeling much like an analyst or anything so I'll skip it entirely. Well, I'm happy about the inclusion of virtual desktops or something that allegedly works like them but I'm glad that the issue is finally being addressed.

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