Happy Mac

2007-01-13, , , Comments

Did I mention that I’m a happy mac user now? It would be rather hard to work where I do without using an apple computer — my boss is a mac evangelist, keen to convert those lost souls who continue to suffer other platforms 1.

The funny thing is, I don’t really spend time enjoying the legendary mac user interface: I live inside emacs, and about the only graphics rich gui I tolerate is firefox.

Nonetheless, the computers (I use both an imac and a macbook) are delightful. They look and sound fabulous. When one goes to sleep its white led pulses softly — you’d almost swear it was breathing. Installing software is simple. Fonts are beautiful. Upgrades are painless. As a software development platform, it’s fully powered by Unix, which is to say, it’s fully powered. Everything you’re likely to want comes as standard: a camera, bluetooth, wireless, firewire. I could go on …

So I can understand the fuss about the iphone. As it happens, I received my first mobile phone this Christmas. It was a present from Gail, who’d become frustrated by not being able to contact me. I confess, I didn’t really want one. Another thing to carry around, another thing to interrupt me — but now I have one, I quite like it.

It’s not a nokia or a samsung: it’s a fairly basic sagem, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised how well it works. It seems that, given constraints — in this case, a limited input device and a tiny display — software developers often do a better job.

1 I realise that software development and management are two very different disciplines, but I can’t understand why so many managers insist on choosing Microsoft “solutions”, especially ones which are over-priced, limited to a single platform, and which cause more problems than they solve.