SPUG: Bye bye XP PC!!! Hello Leopard Mac???

Bill Campbell bill at celestial.com
Thu Nov 6 11:24:38 PST 2008

On Thu, Nov 06, 2008, Michael R. Wolf wrote:
> My laptop PC's motherboard is fatally injured.  It's time to exercise  
> Washington's newly passed right-to-die initiative.
> A lot's changed in the 6-8 years since I last made this decision.  I'd  
> like to consider a Mac this time around.
> I'd be interested in anyone's Perl-centric (and business-owner-centric)  
> pro/con list for both sides.

I have been using OS X as my primary desktop and laptop OS for
several years now, currently a PPC Mac Mini running Tiger, and a
rather ancient Titanium Powerbook running Leopard (try running
M$-Vista on an 867MhZ machine with 1GB RAM:-).  I am getting a
severe case of NCF (New Computer Fever) for an Intel Mac to allow
me to run VMware for those extremely rare instances where I might
want to run something from the Redmon Raptor.

Prior to getting the Powerbook, I had been running various
flavors of Linux on Thinkpads, the last one being an 8-year old
TP600 running SuSE 9.2 Pro.

The perl that comes with OS X runs fine.  There are a few issues
with X11 on Leopard, but fixes are available.

Personally I build quite a bit of my own stuff on the Macs using
the OpenPKG portable package management system including a large
number of perl and python modules.

There are a couple of open source projects, macports which is
basically the same as freebsd ports, and fink which concentrates
on binary packages.

Building compiled programs can be a bit different on OS X, but
generally isn't a problem with most open source packages that use
the GNU autoxxxx configuration.

For people who use M$-Office there are a couple of options, spend
the money to buy M$-Office 2008 for Mac, use OpenOffice.org with
X11 , or NeoOffice which is OpenOffice.org with a native OS X
interface.  I use NeoOffice, mostly for spread sheets as most of
my text processing is done with vim and docbook xml.

Generally speaking, all the desktop/productivity stuff Just
Works(tm) on OS X, and the iLife multi-media software that's
bundled with the Macs is Good Enough(tm) for most people who
aren't high-end professionals.  For those there are programs like
Aperture, Final Cut Pro, and the Adobe suites which were born and
bred on Macs.

Apple just released new versions of the MacBook and MacBook Pro
in the last week or so.  This may make for some good deals on the
``older'' ones.  Be aware that the lower-end new Macbooks now do
not have FireWire, only the new MacBook Pros do.

Personally I plan on getting a 15in MacBook Pro as I prefer the
large screen (and I only get new laptops every five or six years
so figure go for the best available).

One can get refurbished Macs from apple.com with new warranties,
and with fair savings.  Go to the store tab, then search on
refurbished.  I don't think you will find any of the newest
MacBooks on the refurb list yet as they were just announced.

Another place for good deals on Mac laptops is wegenermedia.com.

The more RAM the better of course.  Unless one finds a good deal
on a refurbished machine on the Apple site, I would not buy RAM
from Apple, but get Kingston RAM from newegg.com or some other
site, and install it yourself.

Disclaimer:  I have no business relationship with any of the
vendors mentioned above.  They are companies I have done business
with over the years with good results.

INTERNET:   bill at celestial.com  Bill Campbell; Celestial Software LLC
URL: http://www.celestial.com/  PO Box 820; 6641 E. Mercer Way
Voice:          (206) 236-1676  Mercer Island, WA 98040-0820
Fax:            (206) 232-9186

Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.
  -- Herbert Hoover

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