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Switching

Date:  9th February, 2005

Tags:

Apple Power Mac G5

Today I have finally succumbed to temptation and placed an order for an Apple Power Mac G5. I expect to take delivery on Friday (11th-Feb-2005).

I've been a prospective "Switcher" for some time, so this move will come as no surprise to regular readers. I have held the G5 in the highest regard since the release of the first versions. Judging from the specifications alone, it is an amazingly capable computer and will satisfy my needs as a "power user" perfectly. Apple's recent price cuts made the decision to switch that much easier...

I have ordered a high-end machine: Dual 2.5GHz PowerPC G5 processors, 1GB RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL graphics card (you can probably guess what I plan to buy next) - so it should service all my desktop computing needs for the next 2-3 years.

Of course, now that I have placed an order, we can all expect Apple to announce the G6 in the near future, that's usually the way it goes!

OS X

The main reason behind the switch (apart from the G5's obvious style, stability, power, etc.) is OS X's underlying Unix core. I write software, for Unix servers, on a Windows XP computer. For the most part, this isn't a problem. However, the only way I can compile and test my software is by uploading the source code onto one of my Linux boxes and processing it there. This is inconvenient and non-optimal at best. It's also downright troublesome if my code has bugs (and who's doesn't?), as I can crash the remote server - sometimes to the point where the only way to get it back online is to call up the co-location facility and request a power-cycle. I'm sure you'd agree that this isn't ideal.

With OS X's Unix core on my desktop, I can write, compile and test locally. I need only upload code when it has been proven to work. Which is, of course, how I should have been working all along.

Usage

Aside from programming, I will use the iLife suite for music, video and photograph handling. I also expect to use Photoshop occasionally.

Questions

Apple's one-button mouse is no good to me. I need a two-button, optical mouse with scroll-wheel. Any recommendations?

I need a full-featured IDE (or text-editor) for working with Perl and C source code, as well as XHTML and CSS. Unfortunately Komodo, the IDE I use on Windows XP, is not available for OS X, so I need to find a comparable application for OS X. Again, I'd appreciate your suggestions/recommendations