Mac withdrawal…

As much as I’ve grumbled, and even as I sit here trying to remember what the hell keys to press to do simple cursor movements, I found myself wondering “how much can I get a Mac for?” and “maybe I should go into the office” this weekend.

The Mac-lovers I know are always going on about how the Mac “looks more professional”. I dunno about that: I’m one of those people who likes the rounded edges, soft shading, smokey/glass effects and colorful icons of 2000/XP/Vista; so I love all that about MacOS – but the very first thing I see are the menus which just look goofy to me.

I still don’t feel entirely comfortable with the near lack of a border around windows in MacOS, and I had quite the surprise this morning when my Mac very slowly greyed itself out and then presented me with a huge power-button icon and told me I had to turn it off and on again. Once again, I’m reminded that some of the key Mac advertising that stuck in my memory was hyperbole (no hour glass – it’s a spinner icon; no reboot required – except when the system needs to be restarted; faster than a PC – once everything is running, because Mac users leave everything running)

See? Grumbles. And yet… There I was, wishing I had waited a few months longer before upgrading my PC, because I could have bought an iMac with similar specs for just a little more. Don’t get me wrong, what I am enamored with is the neat little package the iMac makes more than the operating system. At the end of the day, I still prefer Windows to MacOS. However, I work with a lot of Unix systems and – as I’ve already said – MacOS beats any other Unix-based or Unix-like GUI I have worked with, hands down.

It seems that getting a Mac to properly network with Windows boxes is still harder than with other Unix/Linuxes, but applications like Parallels and Bootcamp significantly help cross the interoperability gap which gives rise to less and less cause to need to boot out of Mac OS into Windows. Infact, as yet, I haven’t actually made use of Bootcamp on this box – I was entirely expecting to have this box dual boot MacOS and Windows, and replace the Windows PC under my desk. But it now far more likely that it will replace the Linux PC under my desk. All I need is XChat and Codeblocks – and I guess I could use Parallels to run the windows versions.


I had an Apple IIe when I was ~13. Was awesome! I remember saving my lunch money and buying computer magazines with game code, where you could type in 30 pages of machine language just to figure out that there was a typo somewhere in the xthousandth line when you were done….ahhhh the good old days…


Not sure the problems you are having to connect to a PC network, but I had less problems connecting it to various networks and windows boxes than with other windows… sigh. I remember I read somewhere the “trick” on how to do it, creating a new user that is used as windows user, enabling something on the network… I’m not sure.

I had used apple OS in the past so I the frameless windows and the “menu always stays on top” did not bother me much. Regarding the closing apps… almost all applications define apple-key+q as close application shortcut, so when you get used to it, it’s not that bad. I use Adium as my trillian equivalent (instant messaging application), not sure about an equivalent for irc… Google says Snak would be good for “windows inmigrants”, but I have not used it, so…


I’m not fond of IRC at all – heck, I’m generally not found of instant messangers at all. However – I found XChat makes a really nice interface for our irc-based admin interface, and it makes it a comfortable halfway house between the mix of phone-calls, web-pages and emails that our normal operations require. Most of the admin stuff is still web-based, but the IRC interface annotates major activities (like terrain validation, patch delivery, etc) and having a channel instead of direct one-on-one PMs or emails is nice because if it’s not totally urgent you can throw a question out there and wait for someone to reply.

Sounds cool, I did some automation using jabber, but mostly for notification purposes. I did it on my own so I didn’t push it forward much, but I agree it sounds appropriate for some purposes when refreshing the page is not right. AJAX could be a substitute but when something works… :)

take a look at colloquoy – very nice little client if you need to use an IRC like channel thing – and does logging etc, which i find very useful for support channels is a nice little opener

— m

Right now each game server has an embedded IRC client (using libircclient); this connects to a per-cluster IRC server all of which connect to an IRC server on our management server(s).

In turn, we have a local IRC server down here at the office which also runs a “dircproxy” application. We log into the dircproxy which then acts like ‘screen for irc’ so that when we re-log we immediately catch up with all the traffic since we were last logged in.

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