Burning a hole in my pocket, but I don’t care

My better judgement was tossed on the front steps this last Wednesday, the moment the MacMall sales associate told me there was no sales tax on products purchased online, for delivery to me.

New release Apple Powerbook G4 12 inch with Superdrive. 80gb hard, 512mb RAM, Airport Extreme, Bluetooth 2.0, etc. etc. Oops.

Now for some initial thoughts after tinkering around with it for the last six hours…….

First, MacMall service is great. Shipped as promised, on time (Fedex next day for $9.99). Well packaged all the way down to the fine Apple box.

Turned it on to about a 50% charge, and ran through the setup. OS X networking could not get into my WPA’ed wireless LAN on the upfront try. After setup, I had to configure through System Preferences.

I found Safari slow and cumbersome right off the bat, compared to Firefox, so I made that a second point to take care of. Importing old bookmarks was cake, as I already use Firefox on Windows and Linux.

Then unwrapped Xcode, as no decent machine deserves to go without some development tools, even if the owner doesn’t know the difference between Fortran 77 and PHP.

For office suites, it is my understanding that OpenOffice is not too hot for the Mac, so a quick trip to the store I went, to pick up MS Office 2004 for Mac.

Again, easy as pie install there, then the battle to get calendar and contacts in began. It is rumored that this would be a chore, but I found it less than arduous, with a little help from the OS community. There is a program called Outport that gets these items out of Outlook. Despite a lack of recent development, and lot of disclaimers on its use with anything beyond Office 2000, it work fine on my Windows version of Office 2003 (in fact, I used the same program to get the same data over to Evolution 2.0).

Anyway, once I had this little tool running again, I exported all contact and calendar items to “V” formats, and then moved them over to the Mac. Then, I selected all vCard items, and double clicked on them. They shot over to Address Book lickety split. Then did the same with the vCal files, and iCal. Next I opened the Entourage address book window, as well as the Mac Address Book. I then highlighted all the address in Address Book, and dragged them, first to the left out of the window, then up and into Entourage. Worked great. Same went for calendar, but then I had to delete a lot of duplicates (don’t know how they got there).

I am not going to go through an explanation of how I got all me email over, because I haven’t done it yet. Simple process though – use Mozilla on both ends of the transfer, according to numerous sources.

Email notwithstanding, up and functional as a work machine in just a few hours time.

A couple of other notes:

OS X reads NTFS just fine, despite what the forums say. I have a Firewire drive for backup, using it with my 1394 mini port on the Dell C840. So I unplugged it, attached a generic firewire cable, and the Mac sees it no problem.

I am also very very glad I took the time to learn Linux. The Mac is quite similar, just without all the driver install hassles. I will likely install X11 on the Mac so I can run some of my favorite open source progs on it too.

All and all a nice experience. But I must also say the slab is a pretty tight package, and doesn’t get very hot either. I hope my future experience deems it a good addition to the computing quiver.


Spamroll says:

You could be a convert too

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