computers

Mac or Windows?

Heard of the latest //Windows flaw?  From what I understand of it, and I may not understand all of it, but the only thing a user needs to do is visit a malicious website to get infected.  It doesn't matter if they are using Internet Explorer or Mozilla, just as long as they are on Windows!!!  The websites given as //examples seem innocent.  So now viewing a seemingly simple photo can get your computer into virus issues!!!

My Reasons?

I've been looking at moving to a Mac for some time.  I must admit part of it started with the iPod, a very cool product by Apple.  I find the iPod to be a solid piece of hardware that has been very useful in the two years that I have had it.  It's been a great gift that I truly appreciate.

Other input has come from radio shows I listen to, mainly //Leo Laporte's show, who touts Macs and Unix.  Leo continually has end users calling in with a lot of Windows problems.  Granted, 80% or more of the home users out their user Windows.  But listening to these callers has just convinced me that their must be something better out there.  One of Leo's main reasons for moving is he feels that non-power users shouldn't need to be security experts in order to use their computer.  I mean, you need to know to run spyware protection, to run virus protection, to know what to disable and enable in your browser.  I know all of this, but haven't realized that I really don't need to know all of this.  After all, there are no known viruses or spyware for the Mac (at least not now).

Another part of it stems from all the computer problems I have experienced, mostly through friends and relatives,  with Windows-based machines.  I was at someone's house (they shall go nameless) who was having computer problems.  They said their computer was running very slow.  I did a virus and spyware scan and...BAM!  forty-four instances of spyware and at least four viruses!  It was impossible to clean, so a reinstall will be the most likely solution.  (I still need to do this).

Then on our recent trip to Hawaii, someone asked me to look at their laptop to see what was wrong.  Guess what?  It had viruses galore on it!  The laptop wasn't even used that much on the Internet, and when it was it was through a dial-up connection!

So I took the leap to Mac. I have used a Mac before.  At my first Silicon Valley job we used Macs to answer customer questions.  I took a while to get used to, and the group I was in was the only group on Macs.  I slowly moved that group to Windows, as I had some problems exchanging reports with my boss who was on Windows.  So that was the last time I touched a Mac.

Moving to Mac

I've been living with my Mac PowerBook for about a month now, about the same amount of time I've been out of a job!  My last job had a perk where you could get a slight discount on Apple products.  I decided to use it by purchasing a Mac computer.  I wasn't sure which one I would get, but I knew I wanted one.

I went with the 12" PowerBook.  I knew I wanted to take a little leap, without too much cost.  The Mac Mini might have been a good choice, but I didn't need to replace my desktop.  I looked toward laptops since I wanted to be portable.  I was initially going with the 15" PowerBook, but the price for me turned out to be a factor.  Plus I loved the size and feel of the 12" PowerBook.

How's it Going?

What I'm finding is that the Mac is suiting most of my computer needs: surfing, emailing, and composing Word documents.  I did plunk down some $$ for Microsoft Office, but other than that the PowerBook came with all that I needed.  I still haven't found a suitable photo management program, and probably won't look for one until I get a Mac desktop computer.  This PowerBook only has a 100 GB hard drive, so I'm not using it for music storage or image editing.  But I am using it for everything else.

The only outstanding issue I have is my Mac is running slow on my home network.  I don't know why this is the case, as  it seems to be running fine here at Starbucks.  I'll need to figure this one out.  But hey, I highly recommend the Mac at this point.  And with the new Intel Macs coming out soon,  you should consider a Mac if you are looking for a new computer.

building a box part III

well, the box has been built and ran through the burn-in test without error. so now i'm running a sweet p4 3.0gHz machine. i can only see the difference in running some applications, such as image editing, word, and other applications i run at the same time.

the reason i wanted to build a new box was not just to have a new computer but to get ready to scan a ton of images this year. hopefully i'll be able to scan some old negatives and some older pictures. the extra power will come in handy when processing this information.

building a box part II

well, i've just slapped all the pieces together. i was a little worried about putting in the cpu as it can be delicate. you have to put this huge fan on top called a heatsink. you need to 'snap-it' on top of the processor. let's hope that went in right.

'm not going to turn it on until tomorrow. there is supposed to be this 72-hour burn-in period where you run the processor for all it's worth during that timeframe. i guess any problems, such as faulty processor or heat and cooling problems, will show up during that timeframe.

wish me luck.

building a box part I

i decided late last year that i was going to get a new computer system this year. my current system is a p3 733 mHz running winxp and win2k (swap drives). i bought it about 2 1/2 to 3 years ago from micronpc. when i bought it i decided not to get 'top of the line', which i think was the 900mHz, because i heard the difference wasn't too much.

since then the 1gHz came out. then the 2gHz. now the 3gHz! in between that time i built my first computer, which was a present for lotte. that system is an amd system, which i think runs at 1gHz. it's a sweet machine and my first effort at building a system.

well, early this year i got a new work system. i had been running a clunky 400mHz system, while everyone around me was in the 1gHz to 2gHz range. i then got a replacement system: a 2.4gHz system. well, i then saw how much has improved. so it was time to upgrade the home system. now to buy or build?

buying would be easier, but building would be more satisfying - and frustrating. so of course i chose the latter. i set out to do the research, asking knowledgeable friends what they would consider, and then bought the parts that fit my needs. i wanted to be able to surf the web, get email, and the edit photos and video. so i went with the following:

  • p4 3.0gHz 800mHz fsb
  • asus p4c800 deluxe motherboard
  • 512mb ram - setlled for pc2700 for now
  • 150gb maxtor sata hard drive
  • ati 9600 xt video card
  • nd a antec sonata case

you figure i would save some money building a system, but in actuality it?s the slightly more when factoring the cost of software. the difference is you get to choose from a wide variety of parts and build the puppy.

well, i have all those parts. now just need to put it all together.