Monday Jun 04, 2007

I, sadly, replaced my Mom's Mac with an (erp) Dell


I am a Mac lover and so I bought my 80ish year old mom an iMac running OS9. Well that is now so old that the browsers for OS9 won't display Web content very well AND she can't get any support because few of her artist friends use Macs. I live far enough away that tech support is offered mostly by phone and our conversations often get bogged down with me asking her to do something like enter a URL. So my sister and I bought her an (erp) Dell. I know, I should have at least had it shipped with Ubuntu Linux, but again, none of her friends could help her w/ Ubuntu so I opted for (erp) windows. With this OS I am no longer the sole 1 800 line for help as she can ask her neighbor, friends, my dad and take classes (and maybe even test Dell support!). However, to retain what little dignity I have left and to counter the threat of Windows (and associated viruses) I am stripping all other M$FT products and leaving FireFox, ThunderBird and Open Office. There are so many free and open source applications out there that it is simple to set up a computer - even for my computer challenged mom. Her friends may not have heard of these applications, but they have the look and feel of other commonly used programs so it should be easy enough to get help! We'll find out in a couple of weeks when I delivery it.

Moving to a PC means that she loses the all-in-one sleek design of the Mac and gets more cables and a big case on-the-floor. The only problem with this setup is the very large case contains a very large heat sink and fan. The heat sink is the size of my fist and its cooled by a $2 fan. The heat sink is an engineering marvel as I am sure that many, many weeks went into understanding the thermodynamics of heat transfer in a box. I just hope they had sufficient slack in their calculations so the processor won't die if/when the fan quits and I lose the $200 motherboard and AMD processor (maybe that's why Dell tried so hard to sell me the 3 year warranty?). I can now understand why the high end computers are going back to the good old days of liquid cooling!  Side note - my son upon seeing the size of the Dell box exclaimed - that's not a computer, that's a Dell!

Final note - to compensate for the sin of buying a Dell, my wife did get a new Mac Book Pro and I am buying a new iMac for home. My daughter complains that our old iMac is too slow and doesn't have a full version of Adobe Photoshop (which it couldn't run very quickly anyway). I am just waiting for Apple to ship the new 64 bit processors in the new iMacs - I hear it is now end of June.

Tuesday May 29, 2007

New Zealand Rejects Microsoft Office for 25,000 Macs!

Today, New Zealand Harold reports that the government of New Zealand rejected the bid from Microsoft to upgrade 25,000 Macs in their education system to the next version of Microsoft Office. Supposedly, the government couldn't justify the cost of $100 Million over ten years (yes Dr. Evil, that is 100 MILLION) for the Macs!  Bully for New Zealand.  Go download Neo Office for free now and upgrade to the OpenOffice.org version for the Mac when it is released in December of this year!  Save the taxpayers $100 million and spend it on more books, better hospitals, education for more open source programmers.  Unfortunately, the reporter (and maybe even the education minister) seemed to have eaten a bit too much at the Microsoft trough and stated that Neo Office is full of "bugs".  Sure all software has bugs, but the last time I used Neo Office (yesterday) it was extremely stable and bug free and the new version with the Aqua interface looks suite.

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