Saturday, October 20, 2012

Preparing for Departure from Mac

I bought my used Mac Mini (of circa 2006 origin, one of the original Minis, with the Core Duo instead of Core2 Duo processor, etc.) about 15 months ago, in the hope that it would last me two years. Bulked up to the maximum 2Gb of RAM and running MacOS X 10.5.x ("Leopard"), it's served me well for about what I would have spent on a new, but bottom-of-the-barrel, Windoze PC ...

... unfortunately, it's starting to suffer from both software obsolescence (e.g. Google just dropped support for the Chrome browser in Leopard and I'm pretty sure I'm at the version end with Adobe Flash as well) and worrisome hardware behavior (the DVD drive is working only sporadically, I just had to repair the hard drive from a command line boot,  etc.).

My plan had been to get another used Mac (but a newer one, of course) next summer. It looks like I have to move up the timetable, and I decided to think outside all of the boxes I've previously been in (DOS/Windoze, Mac, Linux).

I have several reasons for my selection. Three of them are:

  1. I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever go back to Microsoft operating systems;
  2. Apple has pissed me off more times than I can count in recent years. Love the gear, love the OS, hate the company; and
  3. Hey, I like to try new things.
So ...

One of my clients, for whom I work at the most rock-bottom rates I can afford -- precisely so that I can occasionally say "I need hardware help, stat" -- just agreed to order my new machine on Monday:

Poetic justice on the "intellectual property" front, I think -- I'm replacing Apple's offering with a Samsung product ;-)

The reviews I've read are pretty good -- they describe exactly the kind of machine I need for the kind of stuff I do.

Specs: 1.9MHz Intel Core CPU (I'd prefer AMD but I'll live), 4Gb of RAM, 16Gb solid state drive, 100Gb of Google Drive storage (although I'll probably stick with Dropbox if it works in Chrome OS), dual-band wifi (interesting, but it has Ethernet as well and my router sits about two feet from my machine, so I'll be going wired), six USB ports (I've been getting by with four), DVI port, two HDMI ports, allegedly boots in 5-8 seconds, etc.

A lot of my friends distrust the cloud, and I understand their concerns, but frankly I've been doing most of my work online for years anyway. My current hard drive is only 150Gb, and I never get below 100Gb free space, not even when I neglect for months to ditch the boring stuff in my secret porn folder. Since most (all?) apps will reside in the cloud, I expect the SSD will be more than sufficient. If I'm wrong, I can plug an external drive into one of those USB ports, I guess.

I'll review the Chromebox once I get it, but my prediction is it's going to be really cool.

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