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Sat, 18 Aug 2007
My Mac Let Me Down (Sort of)

This morning started out like any Saturday morning, for the most part. I got up a bit earlier than usual. Started coffee, read e-mail. Some piece of e-mail let me to a web browser. Then things started to go bad.

I got the Spinning Beach Ball of Death (SBBD) I was able to move to other applications. But, I could not bring up the system monitor, though the performance meter I had running not indicate a problem. The hard drive was making a noise I did not like. No, I cannot describe it. It was seeking far to much and with far too much noise.

I power cycled it. No joy. It would not boot. I booted in option mode. I got an alternating folder icon with a question mark. Hmmm. To make a long story short, I took it over to the Apple Store in the Columbia (MD) Mall and talked to a David at the Genius Bar. I was hoping he could diagnose the problem at least, or fix it. He did diagnose it: failed hard drive or failed bridge controller. Either way, I needed to send it out for repair, so I signed the paperwork, gave a credit card (to charge the $310 charge—$100 labor for a PB G4 12″ + $310 flat rate repair charge for same). I should get it back in 7 to 10 days.

The good news: It was only $310; the last time I backed up my home directory was 3 days ago; my e-mail is on an IMAP server, so it is (was?) on my Mac and also on my server.

The bad news: I don’t back up my non-home files. Particularly, the Ultilities and Applications directories are not backed up. So, any applications I’ve added or system settings I’ve made will have to be reinstalled/remade. Ah, well. Not so very bad news.

I’ll report on my progress. For now I am using my Linux desktop on which all of my files were backed up.

Drop me e-mail if you have any back-up schemes you would like to share. I suppose I should automate the process and I should back up everything periodically, and I guess I’d better copy the back-up files from the Linux server to a DVD and put it in my safety deposit box. Any ideas?

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[/pc2mac/] permanent link

Thu, 28 Jun 2007
Vista Brings out the Passion in Users

Okay, so another former Windows-lover has moved to Mac after being “disappointed” by Vista. It’s an interesting read at I even posted a comment, Subject: Passion:

I never cease to be surprised, maybe amazed, at the passion worked up by OS zealots. Now, I am not dissing anyone; passion is not a *bad* thing. I switched almost a year ago. I’ve not regretted it once. But… they really are just computers. I won’t talk about what caused me to do it and what was “the last straw,” as they say. I discuss those things at… [with a pointer to this blog]

The artcle by Erika Jonietz is very interesting, especially what she thinks of Vista. The comments that follow are … just amazing.

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Fri, 09 Feb 2007
Another Windows Expert Moves to Mac

If you came here because you are thinking of making the move, you’ll find my experiences and opinions here. I recently started a full-time gig at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. They started to order a PC for me. I asked if I could have a Mac. I have a 17″ MacBook Pro.

Here’s the interesting experiences of another convert. He’s a well-known “Windows Expert.” See A Windows expert opts for a Mac life.

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Tue, 06 Feb 2007
I Just Thought This Was Funny

Surely you’ve seen at least one of the “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” ads. Well, this photo just hit my funny bone: .

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Thu, 02 Nov 2006
Another “Convert”

I know there are a lot of them. But, Clinton Forbes’ blog 10 Pros & Cons of switching from Windows to Mac OS X is very good.

He also blogged Firefox 2.0 now the best browser for the Mac – Safari is dead. I was going to point out that I disagree. But then he did, in Mac Browser Death-Match: Safari vs Firefox.

I’m using both. I may do my own blog entry about Firefox. One thing I really like is “Find.” On Safari I have a hard time the text it found. See, when the Find box is open in Safari, the “highlighted” text is grey until the main window again gets focus. In Firefox, the find is not in another window. Firefox nicely hightlights found text. Well, more later.

I did comment on his original Firefox blog:

I’ve used Firefox before, just as you described (on Windows, to test pages, when Safari didn’t work).

One thing for me which might be a showstopper for making FF my default: it doesn’t (seem to) use the Keychain. It uses it’s own. I really like the fact that my keychain password protects the other passwords.

I know I can set a master password in FF. Maybe it is just as good. I’ve this notion that the keychain password is better protected.

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