Saturday, June 10, 2006

New Gear

I bought a MacBook Pro. It's a first-gen 15.4" 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo piece - it was the only one that the dealership could ship quickly, so I sacrificed 170 MHz per CPU core rather than having to wait one month for the machine to ship. I ordered a +1GB RAM stick and a bigger HDD, but they managed to screw up the order, so these will arrive next week. Sheesh.

The reason I bought a MBP: I need mobility. I realized that while my iMac G5 is an absolutely satisfying machine for all my work, it falls short if I need to do work, but kids insist that I take them down to a playground. Or we want to spend the weekend in our hobby garden out of town, and I want to have a computer with me for evenings. Also, lugging the 11kg 20" iMac is possible - I proved this to myself taking it with me from Szeged, Hungary to Reading, UK and back - but by no means a pleasant experience. (There were no problems with airport security, mind you - Heathrow has a policy that you must take your laptop out of the bag and have the bag and the laptop screened separately. I argued that my computer is not a laptop, and they let me not have to unpack it from its iLugger, thank God. The screening lady cheerfully said "Look, this guy carries a big computer screen with him!" to a passing colleague, so that I can feel like a complete dork.)

Anyway, I'm typing this on the MBP now, after a rather painless transition - all my files, applications, and settings were transferred automatically from the iMac. I had a strange incident though - when the setup got to setting up wireless, I forgot that my router is locked down and will only accept connections from predefined MAC addresses. After two unsuccessful attempts (I thought I forgot the password), the setup froze, and I had to reboot it. It was rather painless afterward though, but since the second time I opted to not transfer data from another machine (would take another three hours), I had to create a local account that I later deleted.

Also a hopefully minor problem - I have to reinstall Fink, so it's bootstrapping in the background as I'm writing this, fingers crossed it'll all work. The nice thing is, the Fink binaries transferred from the iMac actually worked after the migration, as the Rosetta (Mac OS X's built-in PowerPC CPU emulator) picks them up, but various update processes quickly notice that the CPU architecture suddenly changed to x86, and get mightily confused, so it looks like the best idea is to recompile everything from scratch. It does make me a bit anxious though. Fingers crossed, as I said.

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