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12 March 2005 @ 07:48 pm
New toy incoming!  
Gah. Today was such a waste. I felt inexorably loopy (I think I'm coming down with whatever Josh and Julia got this week...bleh), so I spent a lot of time napping and didn't get anything done. I seem to be feeling better now, though, and two mega bowls of Randy's super easy yet amazingly tasty chili (canned tomatoes, canned beans, fake meat, spices) are helping. Anyway...

Bad news: my motherboard has been cranky for a while, and it just keeps getting worse. I get hard drive timeout errors that lock up the machine. This has happened with more than one brand new hard drive from different manufacturers (and hooked up with different cables as well), so it can't be the drives' fault. Sometimes I get random kernel panics when I boot the machine. It's also had a longstanding problem that makes it annoying to turn it off and back on again. You have to mess with the computer (turn the switch at the back, unplug it from the power supply, plug it back in) to clear some capacitator or something and enable it to turn back on again. It has been pissing me the hell off this week (especially today), and we decided that it's time for some new hardware. Here's the fun part: my system is a dual Athlon setup (we got it to replace another busted mobo, and at the time, going dual cost only a few hundred bucks more, so we figured why not go for it), and now that I've been using a dual for some time, I refuse to go back. I mean, a fast single CPU would WORK...but I just love having the computer be responsive even when something is sucking CPU in the background.

Good news: nowadays, a new dual mobo + high-end x86 processors is so expensive that it really isn't much more to just go with an entirely new system. In my case, we're getting a dual G5. I've been drooling over OS X for a while (it's *nix-based with a reputedly fantabulous interface, and from what I've seen of it, I would like it better than a taskbar-centered interface) and if I wanted to do anything fancy with my computer, it would be sound production and spiffy graphics editing (and Macs are reputed to be king for both of these tasks)...so this looks like the best bet for me. There's even a package manager of sorts for OS X that downloads, compiles, and installs free open-source software for you. And I might as well get a new computer desk while I'm at it - one that takes up the space of this ancient desk and another rather pointless piece of furniture in the room. Apple's GarageBand music software looks like a must-buy as well. It's only $100, but it's supposed to be excellent. Randy's musician coworker loves it. OMFG NEW STUFF YAAAAAAAAAAAY
Current Mood: okayokay
Ungrateful Ninjauninja on March 13th, 2005 04:07 pm (UTC)
I'm leaning toward a Mac for my next system, as well. Though I think I'm holding off until mid-year, since that's when Apple typically updates their Power Mac line. The rumor mill leads me to believe that they'll have dual-core systems this time around, possible even a dual-processor with dual-core system, based on what's in the latest developer tools.

The Power Macs we got at work recently came with iLife, which includes GarageBand. It looked neat when I played around for a bit, but I haven't actually used it for anything.
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on March 13th, 2005 05:51 pm (UTC)
Mmm...dual core... *drools* I wish I could hold off, but my mobo is really acting up lately. I seriously can't even get a day's uptime any more. And much as I like Debian unstable, it would be dandy to have a *nix-based system that Just Works. Though I have learned quite a lot about getting various aspects of Linux to do my bidding, I'm not a sysadmin type. Beyond a certain point, messing with the system gets annoying rather than fun. Besides, you CAN mess with OS X if you want to. I really don't want to shell out for Photoshop right after getting a new system because a) it's a monstrous chunk of change and b) I don't NEED all of its features right then and there, so I'll have to figure out how to get X11 on there (it looks like a simple download from Apple) so I can install Gimp. Or perhaps there's another good free image editor for OS X that I don't even know about...or maybe the stuff in iLife will do the trick for now. Either way, I'll figure something out.

iLife comes with some other handy software, too, and the entire thing costs less than $100. Perhaps I should have looked at the Apple site instead of going from memory of something I read on Slashdot ages ago. (Maybe they said it costs less than $100 or Apple dropped the price since then. Who knows. In any case, it looks quite spiffy.)
sinistarfithsinistarfith on March 13th, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC)
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on GarageBand if you go with the Mac. I've been an Acid Music user for about 4 years now and have heard from their biased userbase that GarageBand is just too limited in terms of simultaneous tracks and realtime effects.
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on March 13th, 2005 11:04 pm (UTC)
At this point, the Mac purchase is certain...we just can't order one until tomorrow because the price falls over our bank's debit card limit, so we need to clear the purchase with them first. Randy did that on Friday and tried to order one last night, but evidently there was something like a 24-hour window that we missed. D'oh. At any rate, I'm not sure how useful my opinion on GarageBand will be...I wasn't planning on making any recordings with lots of background tracks and effects, so it will probably be fine for my purposes. My stuff is basically piano + vocals, and perhaps I would lay a track or two in the background. I'd think that for something simple like that, there wouldn't be much difference between the two applications. I'll let ya know my thoughts anyway, though. ^_^
Victoria Maevesyncopated_time on March 13th, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC)
Welcome to the Mac revolution. ;)

I would talk up all the good stuff but I think you've covered most of it.

As far as GarageBand, my iBook came with iLife '04 which included GarageBand (though '05 is supposed to have even more features) and iPhoto which I think is supposed to have basic photo editing capabilites (I have Photoshop on here so I haven't really played with it).

I'm anxious to hear what you think of OS X and how you find the interface, coming from a non-taskbar Linux environment.

New stuff is always Teh r0xx0rz.
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on March 14th, 2005 06:38 pm (UTC)

(too much coffee)

I'm sure I'm going to love it. Apple has a reputation for designing interfaces that work well for everyone from newbies to power users, and I'm all excited to see what that's like. I've read that I'll have to install extra stuff to get a full Unix command line (by default, OS X supposedly has a small subset of commands), but that shouldn't be a problem. I'll definitely write a very long-winded opinion of my new toy when it gets here. It's not due to ship until the 18th, though, so I won't get to play with it until next week. *pouts*