After many years of thinking about it, a few weeks ago I finally took the plunge and bought a Mac, specifically the new MacPro. I lucked out in my timing. A few months earlier, Apple took an expected turn in its production and decided to start shipping products with the Intel chip inside. What that meant is that people could now purchase the first computers that can literally run all the current operating systems out there: Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix. For my part, I was only concerned with MAC OS X and Windows XP.
My first big surprise with the MacPro was the noise factor: none. It’s whisper quiet; easily the quietest machine I’ve ever owned, and considering it has server specs (two duo core CPUs), I was expecting major blowers on it. The fans are big but wider and the whole machine is tight (the metal case fitting very snugly) — so air flow is very even which probably helps keep it quiet.
I’ve spent the last few weeks between work and learning Mac OS X (that’s Roman numeral 10 not X; apparently, it’s a source of ridicule if you don’t know that). So far I’m finding the system pretty intuitive, but downloading software or updates without having to virus check is very strange to me. I understand from prior research that there hasn’t been a reported Mac virus in 15 years and that was only a joke or message popup, nothing destructive. Pretty cool if that’s true. Obviously, MAC OS isn’t impenetrable and I’ll still be looking into any necessary security before I place important data on the system.
Oh, and I love the Mac dashboard, but I understand Windows created one (or Yahoo did for Windows). Nice to have real-time references, clocks, weather, whatever, with one mouse click. Frankly, the only thing I’m finding hard to get used to is the standard keyboard; I have to get a Mac keyboard that’s ergonomic, which is what I’m used to now.
The one major drawback has nothing to do with the Mac, but rather with Adobe. I know I can get all my major production software for Mac OS, except Adobe Audition 1.5, my sound editing program. I’m a voice producer who can’t use her favorite editing program with Mac OS. On the definite plus side is that I downloaded the beta version of VMWare for Mac, Fusion. VMWare is a virtual machine software program like Microsoft’s Virtual PC. Basically, it creates a virtual computer within your computer and allows you to run other operating systems without rebooting.
My hope is that I can run Windows and Adobe Audition through VMWare on the Mac. Since Fusion is still in beta, I’m not sure how much of this I can test. Alternatively, I can try Microsoft’s Virtual PC. The demo looks great, especially when the ability to drag and drop between the Mac OS (host) and Windows (guest) — two computers in one.