Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I was recently remembered that small things can really brighten one's day.

Just the other day, after leaving work and in dire need of some R&R i went to my favourite local bookstore (wich accidentally happens to be inside a shopping mall) and i found a recent edition of the great 2600 magzine.

Wow. That took me back a couple of years. 2600 was one of the reasons I started really learning about computers and hacking the system for fun and profit (this last sentece is probably copyrighted by someone).

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Linux user’s experience with a Macbook

Well if many people found it strange that I, being an VB \ MS SQL professional programmer and MCSA was a devoted Linux hobbyist and advocate, then what would they say if they found that I was becoming an Apple fanboy now?

The word “Triple-Traitor” comes to mind, although I don’t think that’s even a word…

I bought a black Macbook two months ago because I just couldn’t resist its charm and because now, with the Intel processors, I actually had one less excuse not to use the best looking hardware in the market. I knew that thanks to Apple’s Boot Camp I could use Win XP without virtualization hassles if I needed (and I do, really).

Obviously my first reaction to actually owning a Mac was akin to a child left alone in a chocolate factory. Apple really invests in the “buying experience”. It’s hard to explain, but I could swear that the casing’s interior and the laptop itself smell like apples… and I didn’t even noticed that it didn’t include a mouse or any other “gifts”. It’s just the laptop, the installation DVDs, Apple Remote, a power supply and that’s it.

Once I got past the drooling, I started the rather simple and straightforward process of installing Windows XP with Boot Camp. The instructions on how to do it are all over the net, so I won’t go about it here.

One thing I noticed immediately when first logging on to XP, is that it seems to respond slowly, there’s a feeling of hiccups just in moving the mouse pointer that I assume are due to “only” having 512 MB of RAM and using shared video memory, since I’ve gorked a bit for similar user experience and couldn’t find any such complaints.

The other major catch is the keyboard. Not having a delete key, is easy to live with, but not being able to easily write symbols like “@ “and “€ “? Now THAT’S hard to explain.

Next came the “usual” process of fitting and tweaking XP to my personal taste and needs. That meant about 1 hour of modifying default settings, from visual effects to the size and functionalities of command.com. I’ve grown so accustomed to changing default settings that I almost don’t even notice just how many times I have to open regedit, reboot, or go into administrator mode to get everything just perfect. If anyone is interested in finding out what the process was, just ask.

Finally I got to spend some time on Mac OSX. I’d already done all the updates, so I was left to change the default font size, setting up a non-administrator account, turning dock hiding and zoom on, readjust the app selection on the dock to fit my user profile and change the default wallpaper. That was it, really. I could automagically connect to my Linux box, had access to my ISP and a neighbour’s Wireless network that I use just to check if wifi works Po) . And using Microsoft Remote Desktop Client from Mactopia, I even get easy access to my Windows 2003 DNS and DB Server.

As to bundled apps, Mac OSX is, all things considered, much like Ubuntu, or SuSE Linux. It comes with a good selection that allows you to be immediately “in business” but the best tools come from the community.
The iLife suit is sweet, very easy to use even if somewhat limited for advanced user other than myself (I’ve heard), FrontRow is great, and there is also a SQL DBMS in it too. But what really got me by surprise was Xcode, Automator, Script Editor and Ruby being installed by default. I am totally addicted! Honest!

All in all I’m very happy with my Macbook and I would defiantly recommend anyone, even sysadmins with a little patience and some time to spare that need or are considering a new laptop to buy this one.

Monday, August 07, 2006


it was only after creating this blog, that i realised that it's acronym was omoo