Dual Burn-In


After getting hold of a new 80GB disk (which will allow me to throw my ageing, bad-sector-infested boot disk out the window in the wee hours of the morning), I've set up Fedora Core 1 on my dual 933MHz as a stopgap. I fully intend to get rid of it, but I need another box to renew my attempts to get the Qube to run RedHat and to rsync my laptop to.

So far it's been a very smooth ride, the only real issue being moving 40GB of files back in and md5suming the lot. Setup worked fine (but I couldn't get a VNC viewer to control the anaconda installer remotely, so I did a text install), the new apt worked straight away, and Samba 3.0 surprised me by (so far) dealing properly with accented characters without any tweaking.

I've half a mind to try plugging my USB and Firewire disks into it (once I figure out how to migrate all that NTFS data across) but for now the important thing is to make sure my laptop is properly backed up every week.

In the meantime, I fired up Virtual PC and found that it runs Fedora just fine, which should come in handy when I kill off the rest of the PCs and need a temporary Linux box to test stuff (those of you with brand-new 1GHz PowerBooks - you bastards - will probably want a copy of my disk image to play with)

And thanks to Apple's X11, ssh -X [email protected] nautilus works great and saves me a lot of bother.

The Xmas Switcher Spree

And speaking of brand-new PowerBooks (which I'm not likely to buy anyway, since my iBook is plenty fast for my needs), it looks as though the tide is turning again. An old friend of mine bought an eMac, I now have two colleagues with 12" PowerBooks, and around the same time I found out another had bought an iMac a few months back, I got a couple of mail messages asking for advice on buying a Mac for Xmas.

(I also got another "how come you keep saying Macs are cheaper" e-mail, but I've given up on trying to debate that topic with people who just don't get it. It's a quality of life issue, not a mere price issue. It's like choosing between Volkswagen and those cheapskate oriental cars, if you like.)

I've already admitted to being rather fond of the 20" iMac (since I can hardly justify the expense of a G5 unless I really, really feel the need to splurge on a dual 2.0GHz box with a 23" screen), and I'm waiting to see what the next MacWorld Expo will bring (most likely a G5 speed bump and - maybe - new displays), so I can't provide much advice - the best thing I can do is say that, whatever the option, you're better off buying as high up the range as you can, and adding at least 512MB RAM to it.

That said, the obvious "get an iBook for portability and get a PowerBook if you need speed" still applies, with the 12" form factor being the best for diddling around on the sofa after work. I also hear the 1GHz eMac packs a mean punch, and it's cheap, at around Eur.900 for the entry model.

And yeah, I know the rumor sites are filled with wishful crap like a "G5 PowerBook" (won't happen, unless you want to have a liquid nitrogen trolley following you around), a "G5 Cube" (I'd love to see one, but it makes absolutely no economic or technical sense and would kill off the top-tier iMacs and lower-ranking PowerMacs), and a "G5 iMac" (probably Q3/Q4 next year, since the G4 took a while to float down to the consumer range) - people tend to forget their History lessons, and Apple has been focusing on broadening their range (lower-priced and better laptops at one end, and higher-powered workstations at the other), not jamming it in the middle.