Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Taking a new approach

Well, those of you who've seen me at the various No Fluff Just Stuff shows probably already knew this was coming, but today I finally made the switch, bought a Mac, and started the (rather scary) experiment of converting my IT life over to a brand new operating system, something I haven't done in close to two decades. (Not since I bought my first 286 PC, in fact, back in high school.) I am now the new owner of a 17" MacBookPro (4GB, 1900x1200 matte, for those who want such details), and I'm slowly starting the transition.

Thus far, the Mac experience isn't all that exciting--I unwrapped the box, plugged the thing into the wall outlet (hey, now there's a switch--Macs come with pre-powered batteries, it seems), booted and walked through the opening steps of Mac OS X. (Don't ask me which version it is--I honestly don't know yet, nor do I know how to find out. I will, in time, but for now...) Vaguely reminiscent of Vista's installation (or maybe that should be the other way around), if a touch smoother.

Next steps, install iWork, so I can see if it's the Office-killer that some of my Mac-zealot friends say it is, install Firefox (because Safari just doesn't work for me, not even for the fifteen minutes I spent using it), and purchase VMWare Fusion. This is the secret to my $4000 experiment--I don't have to switch over completely in one day, because I have everything I do bundled up in VMWare images (one for Java work, one for .NET 2005 work, one for NetFX 3 work, one for playing-around-with-new-programming-languages work, and so on), so as long as VMWare images are cross-compatible between Intel Macs and Intel PCs, I'm good.

Unfortunately, this isn't going to be quite as smooth as I'd hoped; I'd forgotten that the Mac OS and Windows don't exactly share the same filesystem--Windows prefers NTFS (and has for years now), but apparently the Mac OS doesn't have write capabilities to NTFS. This presents a small problem, as my external 160GB USB drives are all NTFS-formatted. So I can suck the images off the drives, but can't write to them. Ugh. Possible salvation lies in the Ext2FS filesystem, which apparently is supported (through open-source efforts) on both Mac OS and Windows. I'll pick up a new 160GB drive, format it Ext2FS, and see how well it works on both machines.

(Curious readers may wonder why I need a filesystem that's writable in both directions; frankly, I need the full-fidelity because I'm not entirely convinced of the sanity of this move just yet, and I want to be able to go back if I need or want to. In fact, I'm going to be carrying the trusty T42p around with me, snuggled right up against the MBP, for a few months yet.)

So, as I write this, I'm running my "Work" guest image on top of VMWare Fusion. (Had to buy the upgrade to VMWare Workstation 6 in order to support the move to Fusion, since Fusion uses the hardware format of Workstation 6. Besides, Fusion/6 has some support for DirectX, and yes, I'm also interested in getting some games installed in here and playing around that way too. :-) ) I have to say, I really don't care for the touchpad, having spent the last half-decade training my index finger to use the nipple on the Thinkpads, but I picked up a Bluetooth mouse for serious work sessions, and like all good mice, it has two buttons. (Anybody know how to emulate a right-mouse-button-click on a MacBookPro?)

Fortunately as well, I have friends who are serious Macophiles, and I'm sure they will take my n00b questions with patience and understanding... since it's their fault I'm here anyway. :-)

Wish me luck....

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 3:43:28 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, August 1, 2007
I'm on LinkedIn now...

I know many of you, over the past couple of years, have sent me LinkedIn invitations that I've turned down (mostly because I've been nervous about what LinkedIn would do with the personal information), but a recent email discussion between myself and Van Meyer (of Meyer Strategic, Inc) has finally convinced me to jump in. The profile is public, in case anybody wanted to have a look.

So... to all those who sent me LinkedIn invitations that I turned down, I'm now online, and will accept invitations offered me.

Assuming, of course, I know you. :-)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007 5:20:44 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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