Looking at the new iMacs the 27" quad-core looks like it would make a superb pairing station for programming. I've been waiting to see what the update looked like before looking at end of year purchases. Here's how I see it:
Tonight I added an additional external disk to my Time Machine managed backups. This leaves me with the following configuration:
After adding the second external drive to the Time Machine Backup I kicked off a backup manually. I proceeded to ignore it and do some coding. After a few hours it hadn't completed backing 40G of data. I did a rough calculation and it was averaging aproximately 300-400 kBs. Needless to say that's is quite disappointing. At first I suspected the Drobo. (I'll admit I'm not a USB fan.) After some searching I realized it probably wasn't the Drobo.
I picked up my copy of Leopard on Friday evening and dove into an upgrade on my Mac Pro on Saturday. Things didn't go as smoothly as I would have hoped. I fell prey to two issues that long time users of OS X are most susceptible to.
I make no secret of the fact that I'm a Mac user, and in general an Apple fan, but I have one serious bone to pick with Apple.
I own a lot of professional Apple equipment, some Mac Pros, a G5 Quad, a Mac Book Pro, Apple screens, and scads of other iBooks, and PowerMacs. (At the moment I think I have about 12 macs total.) In general I purchase professional level machines for professional work. Problem is when something goes wrong with one of them Apple makes no differentiation between a consumer level machine or iPod; and a professional machine, in their treatment of your needs. You pay a professional price, but get treated the same as someone who bought an iPod Shuffle or a Mac Mini.
I picked up a new MacBook Pro (MBP) Core 2 Duo on Friday. This is a replacement for my iBook G4 1.3GHz I purchased in the fall of '04. This is my third Apple laptop, and my first professional model. My other one was an iBook G3 700MHz model.
I spent most of Saturday moving into and getting comfortable with the MBP. This is my fourth OS X migration since switching to a Mac. All in all they have gone impressively well, and this one was just more of the same. Boot the Mac for the first time, hook the firewire cable to the old machine and wait. When it's done it's your machine, with all of your files, settings, applications, etc. Apple has really made the process of moving from machine to machine a painless exercise.
Today I went to the Apple Store to see if they had a new Mac Pro. Low and behold they did. In the past our local Apple Store has not had the new machines this quickly. It was nice to see that Apple said it was shipping, and they had them in the stores. According to the sales lady they received them on Tuesday, just one day after the announcement. Good going Apple.
First impressions... It's hard to tell it apart from a G5 PowerMac. The give away is the FireWire 800 port on the front. There was little software on the machine with which to test it. I tried MS Office, which needs to use the Rosetta translation, and it was utterly imperceptible. I might even venture to say that it felt crisper in performance than Office does on my G5 Quad running native code. It doesn't make much sense to me, but there you have it.
This morning Sylva discovered a neat feature on her PowerBook, it also worked on my iBook. If you hit Control-option-apple-8 it will reverse the video. It basically turns your display into a negative of what it really is. It could be helpful in areas with high glare, where the typical white backgrounds don't work well.