Mac Day 2

Well, the first full day with Leopard. Mostly the experience has been decent. Getting some hardware working was difficult. As with Linux, not all hardware makers offer Mac drivers. But the struggle with some basic stuff like keyboard and mouse were unexpected. Even after getting some fixes in, it still freezes sometime with the keyboard and mouse not responsive (if I leave the machine for a while). The last thing not working is the microphone. Sound is playing through the speakers, so this is probably a configuration issue. Perhaps it thinks that the mic port is a multi channel audio out port?

Applications too are not as easy to find as in the alternate worlds. Windows apps are everywhere of course. And Linux distros have had “app stores” for a long time (Synaptic / rpmdrake / whatever). But I like the way of installing new apps: just copy the application install to wherever needed (e.g. the applications folder). Discovering what apps are installed already and how to manage them is still a problem for me. Given that Darwin is a BSD kernel and the underpinnings are Unix style, will a ports type of repository work for mac?

The presentation is very good. However it feels very restrained / claustrophobic in some ways.  The fact that everyone adheres to the basic user interface guidelines means that Firefox looks like Safari, VLC like Quicktime and so on. I guess the reason it is so successful is that it is a controlled system. In the same way there is the tight-knit ecosystem of itunes, ipod, etc. where the choices of what is available has been made for you. This feels so wrong for someone coming from an open environment like Mandriva (which is what I’ve been using for the past few years).

The basic reason I went in for the change in operating systems has not been tested yet: that is Adobe Lightroom 2. Unfortunately this nice piece of software is only available for Windows or Mac, and after trying XP for a while, I am not going to stay with it. Being perennially worried about viruses and other harmful software is not something I want to do. Loading the system down with a firewall, anti-virus, etc. is the surest way to slow the machine down to a crawl. I even tried running XP in a virtual environment (VirtualBox), but Lightroom runs like it is moving through molasses in that configuration. Tomorrow I shall test Lightroom out. It will also give me an opportunity to test how the export / import of the catalog of photos works.

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