Tuesday, September 29, 20:20 CDT
Well, I'm using a Mac. A G3 266 mhz w/32 megs of RAM, to be more specific. We're leasing it through the school for $35 a month (hey, it wasn't my idea). It's one of the ugliest computers I've ever seen - an all-in-one case, with a top that's something like a translucent plastic cheese grater, and an overall shape that my mom likens to the head of some hideous B-movie alien.

That said, it's not a bad machine. Although I personally dislike Apple's entire design philosophy (stuff like the single button mouse, and the lack of a disk eject button and monitor controls), the one thing really holding this computer down is the Mac OS. Version 8.1 is, in all fairness, a vast improvement over previous efforts; it's far more stable, multitasking is actually a possibility, and its looks have improved greatly. Nonetheless, long overdue stability and a fresh coat of chrome do not a modern OS make.

I'm looking forward to installing MkLinux or LinuxPPC, and testing my theory that all this machine really needs is a decent OS. In the meantime, I've found some pretty cool Mac software -

  • BetterTelnet is an improved version of NCSA Telnet. A very nice little telnet prog (probably beats anything available for Win32), and it's distributed under the GPL.
  • I've been hearing good things about BBEdit, a popular text editor, for some time. The full version with all the nifty features is rather pricey, but BBEdit Lite, which I'm using to type this, is free.
  • IRCle is one of the better IRC clients I've tried, and by most accounts it's the best on the Mac platform. It's no mIRC, but hey...
  • MacLynx, the Mac version of everyone's favorite text-based web browser, is far superior to the Win32 version.

On a completely unrelated note (what, you're still reading?), we've probably all heard by now that Star Wars: Episode 1 is going to be titled Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Some people are theorizing that it's a decoy. IMO, it's just a cheesy title. I won't much care, if the movie lives up to its potential. Lucas had really better come through on this one...

Anyway, I'm off to do homework (yeah I know, bad habit to get into).

tags: topics/sfnal, topics/technical

p1k3 / 1998 / 9 / 29